Sermons

Summary: A study in the book of Exodus 1: 1 - 22

Exodus 1: 1 - 22

He doesn’t know him

1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt; each man and his household came with Jacob: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already). 6 And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. 7 But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 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.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. 13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. 14 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. 15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. 18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?” 19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.” 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. 21 And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them. 22 So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river and every daughter you shall save alive.”

How can you say you do not know someone when everyone else in your country knows the person? How about this question/ Do we Americans know who Abraham Lincoln was? I know that there are some really uneducated people in our country but I think most if not all Americans would have heard something about Abraham Lincoln. Just last week our country recognized ‘Presidents Day’. For this holiday we see on commercials every year some actors dressed up like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. So, you really have to have your thought tied up on your smart phone to have never heard about Abraham Lincoln. Would you agree?

This is why I am quite surprised when I read that a new Pharaoh came into power who did not know Joseph. How could anyone in the then known world not know about Joseph. He was the one anointed by God to save the whole world from the worst famine in history. Well, one excuse I might buy is that Joseph’s Egyptian name was Zaphnath-Paaneah so they might not know his Hebrew name but there is more here than this.

Let's say you're a huge fan of a celebrity, like Tiger Woods, the professional golfer. You know all the facts about his life: when he was born, where he went to school, and some problems he has gone through. You've seen all his news reports and you have watched all the sports programs about him.

You might know everything about him, but would you say you know him? Probably not, though I assume you'd like to. And what would it take to know him, rather than just know about him or know of him?

So here is a little information which might help us understand what is going on in chapter 1 of Exodus. For one thing the type of knowledge one might have about someone is called impersonal knowledge, while the type that would lead you to say you "know somebody" is called personal knowledge. But what is it about them that makes knowing about someone so different from knowing them?

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