Have you ever just wanted to get out of somewhere?
On February 23, 2007 in Parrish Florida 13 Year Old Boy was kidnapped at gunpoint at his bus stop by a 22 year old kidnapper who drove him into the country. He chose the boy at random planning to hold him for ransom. Once he had 13 year old Clay Moore in his car, he drove him into the country and using rope, duct tape, & having stuck his own sock in Clay’s mouth as a makeshift gag, the kidnapper bound him to a tree and left. What the kidnapper didn’t realize is that during the drive to the country, the boy had managed to remove a safety pin from his school uniform, placed there just that morning by his mother. She had been angry with him for tearing the shirt and had chastised him, stating that she wasn’t going to sew it up for him, he would have to use a pin for now. That little safety pin ended up saving Clay’s life. Without the kidnapper noticing, Clay removed the pin and put it in his mouth. Once left alone, Clay went to work. Using the pin, he methodically picked away at the duct tape that was placed across his mouth. Once that was removed he used his teeth to pick and tear at the ropes binding him to the tree. Once he had freed himself he ran down the road and spotted a farmer in his field. The farmer had a cell phone and quickly called authorities. Thank God Clay had that pin in his shirt that morning, and the sense and fortitude to use it!
After being in Egypt for 400 years, the Israelites wanted out! Originally they came to Egypt in a time of famine for the food that Joseph had wisely stored up. At first, things were pretty good for the family of Jacob. They were reunited with Joseph, there was plenty of food in Egypt despite the famine in the land, and the Pharaohs honored them on account of Joseph. But over the years things drastically changed and the Jews just wanted out.
The title of the Old Testament book detailing their deliverance from Egypt is called “Exodus” which literally means “way out”. In this book we’ll see two main themes:
1. God delivering His people from the oppressive Egyptians
2. God establishing the Jew’s theocratic nation of Israel
Basically, how the Jews were delivered to worship! By God’s power and according to God’s purpose, the nation of Israel was delivered to worship! (Just like you and I are today.)
This book, along with the other first four books of the Bible, was written by Moses during the Exodus itself between the years of 1450-1410 bc. Both Joshua and Jesus attest to the Mosaic authorship.
Moses ends the book of Genesis with the death of Joseph which was around 1805 bc. He begins the book of Exodus with a recap of Israel’s origins in Egypt and he then picks up her history a couple hundred years later around 1570 bc.
Things had started to drastically change for Israel under Egypt’s government and the time of their deliverance was near. Moses is setting the stage for that in chapter one.
I. Israel’s population explosion
[600,000 men = 2,000,000 total population, (annual growth rate of 5%).]
God had told Jacob to be fruitful and multiply back in Genesis 35:11 in accordance with the covenant He made with Abraham that He would give him a multitude of descendants. God was again showing Himself faithful as He brought forth millions of people to Israel – even while they were living in a foreign land.
Now for many years the Israelites lived a peaceful existence in Egypt. But they were still visitors there and had to live by the Pharaoh’s laws. Even though they didn’t have a land of their own, God made them incredible fruitful.
But while Israel’s growing and prospering, the Egyptian government was going through lots of changes. And these changes brought about a fear of the Jewish people which caused the Egyptians to hate and oppress them.
II. Egypt’s harsh oppression
1. Egypt’s new king
[Read Exodus 1:8.]
Now of course, the new king wouldn’t have known Joseph personally. Too many years had passed. But this verse means he didn’t know the history of Joseph and what a blessing he was to the Egyptian people. So since he didn’t care about the Jew’s history in the land, he viewed them as unwelcomed foreigners in the land.
Just who was this king? Well, there were three Pharaohs that ruled during this time in history. But I believe it was Ahmose 1. You see, before he came into power, the Hyksos people had taken over the government of Egypt for some time. The Hyksos were a group of people who were made up of people from Semitic and Asiatic descent. (They were not Egyptians!) And since they were a foreign group of mixed people they tolerated foreigners in Egypt more than ever before. So native Egyptians never accepted them as true Egyptians.