February 7, 2014

Trekking Through the Bible: How Did We Get Here? (Genesis 12-50 & Exodus 1-6)

One of my goals this year is to read the entire Bible in chronological order. To help me absorb more of what I read as well as to help with accountability, I plan to post weekly (although lately it's been every other week) about what I read the previous week.

In Genesis, we learn about the beginning. We learn about the life of Abraham, of his son Isaac, of his grandson Jacob, and of his great-grandson Joseph. For the most part, everything is good. Joesph is a governor in Egypt. Then comes the Exodus, of Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt and out of slavery.

Whoa, wait a minute. How did we get here? How did we get from Joesph and his brothers and their families just hanging out in Egypt to Moses, the great-grandson of Joseph's brother Levi, leading the Israelites out of slavery? What happened in those few generations, and why did this never bother me before?

Exodus 1:7 says: "But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them."

Exactly how it was supposed to be. God promised Abraham in Genesis 22:17 that his descendants would be beyond number, just as the stars in the sky and the sand upon the seashore, and God fulfilled His promise. But immediately following, in Exodus 1:8-11 (emphasis mine):

"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.' Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens..."

It's because they were so numerous that they became slaves? Didn't God see this coming?

Of course he did.

As Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

All things work together for God's purpose. Sometimes, it just takes awhile to see what that purpose is. Sometimes it's not just weeks or months but generations. He takes His time. Sometimes it's difficult for me to trust in God's plan and His timing, but I know He's the only one who can see the big picture.


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