The Israelites arrived in Egypt when Joseph was in the midst of saving that world from a devastating famine. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had a plan. His plan was to reward Joseph by honoring his family. He gave them land and work. He allowed them to continue to live as a separate people and worship God.
But that Pharaoh died. Joseph died. Time passed and the plans of Pharaoh changed. I love the way it is worded in the NIV in Exodus 1:10, “come we must deal shrewdly”. What an interesting choice.
Shrews are animals that live throughout the world. Very small, the size of a mouse, a shrew is closely related to a mole. They have very poor vision. They are extremely territorial driving away all rivals. They live their lives mostly in hiding in leaf litter and deep vegetation. They have voracious appetites consuming 80-90% of their body weight each day.
The contrast between the plans of earthly men of power, the earthly pharaohs and kings, and God, the King of Kings, is drastic. God doesn’t die. God’s plans do not change. God is large, bigger than the universe. God is all seeing and all knowing. God is welcoming and inviting, desiring to bring all into His house. God not only lives in the light, He is the light. God provides for us all that we need.
Nothing against shrews, but, I think, as we continue to study the bible, we are called to live our lives becoming more holy each day rather than more shrewdly.
3. They had been welcomed guests during the great famine because of the way God, through Joseph, had saved Egypt
a. They were numerous, if war breaks out they will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country
b. Oppress them with forced labor
c. (1) The more oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread (2) The Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly
d. Birth control: Hebrew midwives commanded to kill all boy babies born, letting only the girls live
a. Death and the wrath of the king of Egypt, punishment for themselves and family. They feared God
b. Protected them from Pharaoh and was kind to them, the people increased and He gave the midwives families of their own