Summary: Persecution is a fact - but your response is yours to choose! This is exactly what we see from the Israelites in spite of unbelievably cruel persecution. If God would protect them, can't we rely on that promise for ourselves?
Exodus, Part 2
- Exodus is an incredible study of God's faithfulness to man
-- It is also a great encouragement to see man's ability to be faithful to God
- The series title is "Redeemed to Worship"
-- From this day forward, it is my prayer that title would stick to you
-- We, in 2018, have been redeemed for one purpose: to worship
- Let me ask … do you like action movies?
-- The remainder of Ch.1 couldn't have been better scripted for an action movie
-- We have deceit, oppression, murder, rebellion … the Bible tells it like no other
-- Prayerfully, we will see this story in a different light today
- Read Exodus 1:8-22 / Pray
- FACT #1: The world will always reject God and persecute believers
- FACT #2: Persecution is inevitable … we might as well get over it now
- Persecution ranges from:
" Mildly shunned (i.e., getting defriended on Facebook)
" Publicly/Privately ridiculed by family/friends
" To the extreme: Murdered for your faith
- Persecution is the subject of this particular passage of scripture
-- In particular, there are three persecutions we will see
2. Deception, and,
- First, we have to examine the reason for persecution … why did it happen?
Point 1 - Why was there persecution?
- IMP: The new king, Pharaoh, suffered from common ailments (v8-10)
- First, he was ignorant … about Joseph, God, or any of God's promises to Israel
" He knew nothing about why these people were in Egypt
" He knew nothing about who they were or why they existed
" He was ignorant about the great value of life (people = property to him)
" He was totally ignorant about God being the ONLY true God
- He failed to understand how a free people are more prosperous
-- People who are enslaved work less, slower, and with less inspiration
-- People who are free will have initiative, drive, and motivation to do well
- FACT: Persecution is overcome by God - He is the answer
-- APP: God delivers those who truly believe and trust in Him for deliverance
-- OT: Psalm 34:19, "The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all"
-- NT: John 14:1-2 (Jesus said), "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?"
- Second, Pharaoh was also afraid of the people of Israel
" Their population was exploding (2,000,000)
" They were becoming a mighty force which could rebel
" He feared their rising up (ex: joining with an opposing army)
- Third, He was desperate to hold onto power, position, possessions, and wealth
" This labor force meant one thing to Pharaoh: free labor for his use
" If two million people rebelled - it would be devastating to his way of life
- Bottom line: Pharaoh feared what he could not control
-- Therefore, persecuting these people would allow him to have control over them
-- His reasoning: If I own them, then they will not disobey me, and I'll be #1
- TRANS: He persecuted Israel in three separate ways …
Point 2 - Pharaoh persecutes through enslavement
- The Egyptians were pretty clear in what they wanted (v11-14)
" To stop Israel's growth
" To break their spirits and keep them from reproducing
" To cause many to die through hard labor and harsh treatment
- Israel's people were forced to build two cities for Pharaoh: Pithom & Rameses
-- Both were used for storage of military weapons and supplies
-- APP: He ordered the people enslaved / forced to work for the government
- Imagine: A life where your very next breath was dependent on government rule
- Yet, the people overcame this oppression by multiplying and bearing children
-- Consider: Egyptians were trying to wear them out - yet they grew in number
-- How is this possible? Considering all that is against them, how could they?
- God gave them the strength to do this - overcoming was His
-- Pharaoh was willing to do whatever it took to wear them down
-- But even in the face of exhaustion and despair; the people continued to grow
-- Exodus 33:14, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
- Pharaoh could not enslave the promise of God
Point 3 - Pharaoh persecutes through deception (v15-21)
- Pharaoh ordered two supervising midwives to kill all infant boys
-- Even worse, to kill them why they were still delivering them - live abortion