Settling in Egypt
Sermon shared by Damian Phillips
Summary: Sermon # 2: This message emphasizes how settling down in one’s comfort zone can lead to missing God’s will.
Audience: Seeker adults
The settling down of Israel, and the accompanying consequences, can be observed in the first chapter of Exodus. The Bible says:
And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.”
Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.
So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage - in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor (Exodus 1:6-14).
At some point after Joseph died - a few hundred years later - there arose a new Pharaoh in the land (Ex 1:8), who placed the Israelites in bondage and hard labor (1:11, 14).
Under Joseph, who was Pharaoh’s advisor, the Israelites were free and living in prosperity and abundance in Goshen, a district of Egypt (Gn 47:27), and they owned real estate there (47:11, 27). They made their abode in the very best of the land (47:6).
The Israelites were once settled with their families, and living in peace and prosperity, and then they were thrown into unexpected hardship, tough times and suffered greatly. Their freedom was snatched away, and the people were forced into slavery (Ex 1:11), and the Egyptians intentionally treated them harshly.
In your own life you can be settled with your family, in your job, or be comfortable with a certain standard of living, having your every need met; and before you know it your perfect, predictable world can become a place of trials and bondage. Perhaps the Israelites were not unlike you, and maybe there is an important lesson to be learned.
God in His foreknowledge knew the Israelites would serve Egypt and not depart for four hundred years (Gn 15:13-14). The Lord was in control when He allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery, and eventually placed in a position of power in Egypt to prepare for an impending famine (45:6-8). It was God who told Jacob to take His people Israel and travel to Egypt, and that He would bring him back again to Canaan as a great nation (46:1-4).
The Lord sent Israel to Egypt to preserve and prosper His people; however it was never His will that His children become enslaved.
When the famine became severe in the land the Egyptians had to sell off their own livestock and property in order to buy grain, and they eventually sold themselves into bondage as indentured servants (Gn 47:16-23). Israel, however, remained free in Goshen, and Joseph gave the Lord’s people bread without charge (47:12).
How did Israel ever become enslaved under a new Pharaoh, when the people were living
Comments and Shared Ideas
Join the discussion