1. One of our families favourite summer places used to be the beach, but it is also one of the most dangerous places, as we have found out more than once. One summer day, a number of years ago, we were at the beach, our daugther, Sarah, was out in the water on an air mattress, floating on top of the water. She was probably 5 or 6 years old. She had started off near the shore but she had drifted and she suddenly realized that the shore seemed dangerously far away. Holding onto the mattress with her hands, she tried to stand up, but her feet would not reach the bottom. She did not know how to swim. Thank God that she did not panic but was able to get back on the mattress. But the wind kept on blowing her away from shore. When I saw how far out she was I ran out and safely brought her back to shore.
2. In our call to worship this morning the psalmist talks about deep water. He talks about God who (Psa 18:16) reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
3. He is not talking about the beach however. Instead he is talking about the deep waters in our lives when we experience troubles and turmoil.
4. In some ways we can think about of our lives as being on an air mattress.
a. We seem to float along with everything being safe and stable.
b. But every so often things change. Perhaps the mattress springs a leak, the waves get to high, or we loose balance and fall off. The winds of change so easily blow us from the shores of safety and stability to deep dangerous waters.
c. This especially happens in this rapidly changing world.
5. We have seen this in our midst. The restructuring of local governments, of hospitals, of the education system have upset things in the past year. Maybe some of us are still wondering how our jobs will be affected. We have buried 5 of our loved ones this year. We have seen broken marriages. Illness have come upon some.
6. We may look forward to the next year with apprehension. We may wonder how far we may float from the shore and how deep the water will be. we may even find ourselves going under.
1. The world moved at a much slower pace 4300 years ago than it does now. But the passage before us depicts a pivotal time of change in the history of Israel.
a. We move from the time of the patriarchs to that of the exodus and the subsequent entry into the promised land.
b. There is also a massive change in the lives of the people. They had been experiencing prosperity and freedom, not in the land that God had chosen for them, but in the land of Egypt. But this was soon to change.
2. As we examine the frightening changes that they faced and how they responded to these changes, we are given direction and hope for the known and unknown changes we face.
3. God had promised Abraham and the people of Israel their own land in Caanan. They had come to Egypt in order to escape the famine in their own land. Joseph had been sold as a slave by his brothers, but he ended up becoming Pharaoh’s right hand man. He had ruled Egypt and saved it from the effects of the famine by having Egypt store up grain. Jacob and his eleven other sons came to Joseph in Egypy and settled in the region of Goshen, where they acquired property there and were fruitful, increasing greatly in number. Before he died, Joseph told his sons that God would surely come and take them out of Egypt and into the land that He had promised to his great-grandfather, Abraham.
4. He made them swear an oath that they would return to this land. I wonder if as time went by, they did not forget this oath. We also find it easy to forget the promises we have made to God or to others. "Did I promise that?" after all, things were good for them in Egypt. Why should they leave?
5. In Exodus 12:40 we read that they stayed in Egypt for 430 years. More that 400 of those years were good years, but things were about to change and I wonder if these changes were necessary to draw them back to their own land and to make them keep the oath they had made to Jacob.
6. In vs. 8 we read that a new king came to power in Egypt. This pharaoh was probably Ramses 2, who started a new dynasty and was not related tp those who ruled before him. He did not either care or know what Joseph had done for Egypt. Instead of seeing the Israelites as his friends, he saw them as a threat. He saw how they prospered and worried that perhaps one day they might become so powerful that they might become allies with his enemies, for they lived in an area through which their enemies would probably attack.