Summary: A study of the exodus


The fuller impact of these chapters can best be gained by reading chapters 37 through 50 of Genesis. The account of Joseph is a rich type of Christ, from his going down into Egypt, to the scene of his brothers, who represent the tribes of Israel, finally bowing down to worship him.

When Israel and his children first came to Egypt during the famine, there were seventy of them in all (Gen 46:27), but by the time of Moses they had grown to great numbers. Some scholars estimate nearly two million at the time of the Exodus.

Before we move on into Exodus though, I want to point out some key points from those last chapters of Genesis.

After Joseph had given his invitation for the family to join him in Egypt, and had promised that they would be well cared for and supplied there, his brothers went home to Canaan to tell their father, Israel, the news. Learning that his son, Joseph, was still alive, Israel set out with all that he had, to go to Egypt and see his son.

On the way, in Beersheba, Israel stopped to offer sacrifices to “the God of his father, Isaac”, and was visited there.

It is noteworthy that it was near here that God had repeated to Jacob, His promise to his grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac, that his descendants would be ‘as the dust of the earth’, and that they would possess this land. (Gen 28)

Jacob (now Israel) may have had doubts about going into Egypt, especially at an old age, and may have worried that it was a very dangerous move to bring his entire family into unknown circumstances. But God met him here at Beersheba, as He had done in Jacob’s youth, and assured him of His presence and His protection. See Genesis 46:2-4

“And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, ‘Jacob, Jacob; And he said, ‘Here I am’.

And He said, ‘I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.

I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes’.”

God remembers. He remembered His promise to Abraham (Gen 17), and to Isaac (Gen 26), and as we will see, to Israel; both the man, and the nation.

God remembers His promises to His own, reader. Exodus 1:8 says that “...a king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph”. The implication is that he also did not know Joseph’s God. God’s people may find themselves in circumstances that they do not understand. You, reader, may often wonder at the circumstances of your own life that threaten to enslave you, to keep you down, to take away your joy, to stifle your ability to worship and to praise your God the way you should. These are precisely the times and the circumstances that should drive you back to God’s Word; to His promises; and also to your knees in prayer. Jesus said that He would never leave us or forsake us. He said that all authority has been given to Him, in heaven and in earth. He called us ‘brethren’, and promised that He would return and gather us to Himself. And He will. Man forgets. God remembers.

Four hundred years passed (Gen 15:13,14 Acts 7:6). The Pharaoh, king of Egypt, feared the people of God. Can you imagine that? Here was a nation of people that had eventually been enslaved. They fell under the harsh treatment of a stronger nation, and were compelled to build cities for them, driven to labors that were “rigorously imposed on them”(1:14), yet the Pharaoh feared them. So much did he fear them, that he ordered that all male Hebrew children should be killed at birth. (Ex 1:16, Matt 2:13-23)

Reader, it is Satan’s goal, wherever he can, to frustrate life. His goal is to stop life, if possible, before it begins. It was his ultimate aim in the Garden of Eden. It was his underlying cause throughout the generations thereafter. He put it in the heart of Pharaoh to kill the male children and thus prevent the coming of their deliverer. It was this same Satan, using a different tool (Herod), who used the same means to attempt to destroy the Redeemer of all mankind at His birth. It is this same Satan who puts it in the mind of unregenerate man that homosexuality is an acceptable ‘lifestyle’, even though God calls it an abomination and a sin. But Satan wants it to thrive, because it frustrates life. Two males or two females cannot reproduce life. He has put it in the minds of unregenerate men that fetal abortion and even post natal murder for the sake of convenience, are acceptable, even though God’s law says, “You shall not murder”.

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