DCLM Search The Scripture Youth For October 23, 2022 : Topic – ISRAEL’S MULTIPLICATION AND OPPRESSION IN EGYPT
ISRAEL’S MULTIPLICATION AND OPPRESSION IN EGYPT
TEXT: Exodus 1:1-22
MEMORY VERSE: “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew, And they were grieved because of the children of Israel” (Exodus 1 :12).
The children of Israel had moved in to Egypt through the invitation of Joseph who was sold to slavery by his elder brothers, but had become a great ruler under Pharaoh. The Israelites grew into a large nation and they prospered greatly and increased mightily. After Joseph’s death, they were forced into slavery. “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph” (Exodus 1:8). God then raised Moses to rescue His people from oppression and led them out of Egypt. The first chapter focuses on how God multiplied the Israelites greatly, and how He delivered them from oppression. “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them” (verse 7). This wonderful increase was a fulfilment of the Promise of God “…I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation” (Genesis 46:3).
Question 1: What can youths learn from the fulfillment of God’s long time promise to the children of Israel?
The experience of the Israelites serves as a great lesson to contemporary youths that passage of time cannot cancel the promises of God to His children even in the presence of their enemies.
GOD MULTIPLIED ISRAEL IN EGYPT (Exodus 1:1-7; Genesis 46:8-27; Deuteronomy 10:22; Acts 7:14-17; Psalm 105:24)
Looking at the seventy souls of Jacob’s family which were brought by the hand of the Lord from the land of Canaan to Egypt to alleviate their famine, though insignificant, God was with them. It was this little band of insignificant immigrants that God used to raise a mighty nation (verse 7).
Question 2: What lesson can we draw from the multiplication of the Israelites in spite of their Affliction?
The blessings and growth of Israel was vivid enough that the Egyptians confessed, saying the Israelites are “more and mightier than we” (verse 9). Christian youths should know that God’s promises cannot fail. They will certainly come to pass, no matter the opposing circumstances. Adversity can never hinder God’s purpose in the life of a believer. “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30). The Egyptians became envious of the Israelites, which eventually led to persecution of the later. In like manner, the progress of Christian youths can cause envy, opposition and persecution by their ungodly peers. As we obey God’s word, Satan will always want to oppose us through his agents. But we should rather choose to suffer opposition for the sake of Christ. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution’ or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35).
GREAT MISERY OF ISRAELITES IN EGYPT (Exodus1:8-22; Genesis 15:12-14; Acts 7: 18, 19; Psalm 105:25)
After the death of Joseph, the children of Israel lost their initial favour in Egypt. The new king, seeing the growth and multiplication of the children of Israel became afraid. He presumed that the Israelites could join their enemies to fight them in battle and escape from servitude. Evidently, the Egyptians oppressed Israel for two reasons. One, to slow down their multiplication in order to weaken them; and two, they did not want them to think of leaving Egypt. The Egyptians planned to enslave them continually. The king said, “Come on, let us deal wisely with them” (verse 10). What the Egyptians termed as “dealing wisely’ is considered an act of wickedness before God and man. Some youths think they are wise as they get involved in examination malpractice, steal other students’ books etc, not knowing that: “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish… But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:15-17).
Question 3: Mention five methods employed by the Egyptians to oppress the Israelites.
Five major methods were used by the Egyptians to oppress Israel. One, the use of task masters to allocate work, collect tribute and beat them. Two, slavery; they were not given freedom. Three, hard labour and rigorous service; they were forced to make and burn bricks which they used to build house for Pharaoh. Four, infanticide: their male child were Commanded to be killed as soon as they were born, in order to stop their growth. Five, male children genocide: when the king observed that his order to the midwives to kiII all the male children at the point of birth was not carried out, he Ordered all the people to cast into the sea, the male children of the Israelites.
Question 4: Mention some positive impact of persecution
However, the oppression of Israel produced some positive results. One, it made Israel to call upon the Lord in prayer for a relieve (Exodus 2:23). Two, it made the Israelites ever-willing, yearning and ready to leave Egypt. It reminded them that Egypt was not their resting place. In like manner, persecution and tribulation serve as reminder for Christian youths that this world is not their permanent place of abode. Three, the affliction made them stronger and tougher. Four, it produces courage in their women during childbirth, unlike the Egyptians. This teaches us that God is able to preserve His people in spite of affliction and opposition. Five, from the incidence, the Egyptians realised that no man can win God in any battle. Lastly, through Israel’s affliction in we learnt that our prosperity and security depend on God, and not situations around us. Once God is on our side, nobody can be against us (Romans 8:31). Persecution strengthens and enhances the progress of Christian youths (Acts 8:4,11, 19; Philippians 1:12). On the other hand, living Outside God’s will can lead to spiritual death and ultimate destruction.
GODLY MIDWIVES BLESSED IN EGYPT (Exodus 20; 3:8; 1 Corinthians 10: 13; Job 5: 19; Psalm 32:7)
God rescued Israel in Egypt by ensuring that the more they were afflicted, the more they multiplied and grow (Exodus 1:12). When Shiphrah and Puah, Hebrew’s midwives were commanded to kill the infants at birth, God’s fear in their hearts did not allow them to obey the wicked command. They “feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive” (Exodus 1; 17)’ When the king inquired, the midwives replied that, “the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them” (Exodus 1:19). It was God’s finger that resulted the frustration of the Egyptians’ plan. They did not exalt patriotism above God’s command not to kill innocent children.
Question 5: Give examples of Bible Characters who rejected ungodly commandments.
Scriptural evidences show that God always bless those who respect His word above men’s command, even when it is dangerous to do so. For instance, Jonathan refused the instruction of his father to kill David (1 Samuel 19:1,5). The three Hebrew men disobeyed king Nebuchadnezzar’s command to worship his golden image (Daniel 3:1-30; 6:1-28). Daniel prayed to God, contrary to king Darius’ decree (Daniel 6:1-28). In the New Testament, the Apostles preferred to obey God rather than men when faced with intimidation of the Sanhenderin not to preach or teach in Christ’s name (Acts 4:19). Godly youths are to obey constituted authorities at home, church, school and in the society at large; but only “in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1). When men’s order contradicts God’s word, we have to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), God rewarded the midwives because they feared Him, He dealt well with them and prospered them by building houses for them. Fear of God and obedience to His words bring blessings. On the other hand, disobedience attracts a curse, Youth’s genuine fear of God can be demonstrated by practical departure from evil (Proverbs 3:7). Finally, we learn from the study not to oppress one another. The act of bullying and misusing junior students is God hates oppression; youths are to desist from oppressing one another in the hostels, classrooms and in all their interpersonal relationships. “Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 25: 17)
Question 6: What should guide Christian Youth’s obedience to parents and other constituted authorities?
Our Obedience to parents and constituted authority should be the fear of God. Youths should be careful not compromise their faith due to fear of man. God expects all saved youths to fear Him above anybody. Our obedience always should only be in the Lord.