A Monumental Shift

Birth | Devotion 1: A Monumental Shift
Richie Henson

The life of Moses cannot be totally understood unless we take a moment to grasp the context prior to his birth. As we begin reading Exodus, there is a serious transition taking place. Joseph and the sons of Israel have all moved to Egypt, and their families have become quite large in number. At this point, Joseph and all the other people of his generation have died, and a new Pharaoh takes control in Egypt. Along with this generational transition, there is a cultural shift in Egypt.

Exodus 1:8-10 says, “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.’”

The new Pharaoh determines the massive number of Israelites is a threat to the security of Egypt. Pharaoh decides to deal with this threat by subjugating to slavery the entirety of the Israelites. In spite of these poor conditions, the people of God continued to multiply thereby increasing the fear of Egypt. In turn, the Egyptians begin to work the Israelites even harder in an attempt to keep them from rising up and escaping. This is such a jarring change. One generation previous, Joseph was a man of high stature within the government, and now, the entire nation has been lowered to slavery.

As I read this account in Exodus, I cannot help but think of our own nation. As the church, we, at times, put too much importance on our “Christian nation.” We allow ourselves to believe that our government is devoutly Christian. We get sucked into the false sense of security that our nation and government will always support our freedom as Jesus followers.

However, I believe Exodus teaches us that things can change quickly and we must continue to put our faith, not in our worldly government, but in the Kingdom we are eagerly working to build by the power of the Holy Spirit until the coming of our Lord Jesus. Do not get me wrong, if you love to vote or engage in politics, by all means, that is your prerogative. However, I would beg us as a church, as members of God’s kingdom, to focus our attention on the importance of the eternal government that will come at the return of Jesus. That we would put our hope and trust, not in our government, that could be as fickle as Egypt in Exodus chapter 1, but instead to put our hope and trust in a great and mighty King who will one day come again to rule and reign.

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