March 21, 2019

Our God is a Faithful God

Exodus 1

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Israel Increases Greatly in Egypt

These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt. Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

Pharaoh Oppresses Israel

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. 13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. 18 So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” 19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” 20 So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. 22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews1 you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”

Footnotes

[1] 1:22 Samaritan, Septuagint, Targum; Hebrew lacks to the Hebrews

Our God is a Faithful God



Key Verse | Exodus 1:12, 20-21

But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. . . . So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.

Bio | Travis Gallivan

Hello! I'm Travis, born and raised in Dallas, Texas. In 2013 I realized the importance of a relationship with Jesus, and I met Sara, my lovely wife of three-plus years—in Las Vegas of all places. Our God is a redemptive God. We have called Watermark home for five years. One of my first experiences at Watermark was in the Summit men's Bible study with a small group of real estate professionals. I now serve as a Summit leader. I am passionate about bringing my faith into my business and impacting the real-estate industry with the love of Christ.

Central Truth

Even when we can't see it in our current circumstances, God is always in the business of faithfulness.

Devotional | Exodus 1

Exodus fast-forwards four centuries from where Genesis left off and picks up with Abraham's family. In chapter one, God flexes His faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham. The Abrahamic Covenant...

Exodus fast-forwards four centuries from where Genesis left off and picks up with Abraham's family. In chapter one, God flexes His faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham. The Abrahamic Covenant includes three promises regarding land, seed, and blessing.

Exodus 1:7 says the Israelites: 1) were fruitful, 2) increased greatly, 3) multiplied, 4) grew exceedingly strong, and 5) filled the land. Okay, we get it—or do we? We get a glimpse into the magnitude of these descriptions a few chapters ahead (see Exodus 12:37, 38:26). With exclusively the male population of Israelites numbering 600,000, biblical scholars estimate the entire Israelite population at two million. From 70 people to two million in around 430 years. WHOA!

The conditions for this type of flourishing were anything but ideal. A new Pharaoh came on the scene, and he decided to put the Israelites under the yoke of slavery and treat them harshly. Despite these ruthless circumstances, God was faithful to multiply the Israelites (Exodus 1:12).

Pharaoh became desperate to stop the Israelites' growth and ordered the Hebrew midwives to murder the male babies at birth. This demand stood in stark opposition to God's value of all human life as His image bearers, as well as His command for the Israelites to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). The Hebrew midwives' fear of the Lord led them to obey Him and let the Hebrew male babies live. The midwives' disobedience to Pharaoh undoubtedly had consequences, but they chose to do what was right in the sight of God, and He was faithful to honor their obedience.

We often doubt God's faithfulness when He calls us to obedience, questioning whether He will come through for us. His faithfulness does not always look the way we expect it to. Sometimes He responds in faithfulness physically, as with the multiplication of the Israelites; and sometimes He responds in faithfulness spiritually, carrying us through trials and suffering. No matter which way He responds, we can trust Him to be faithful to provide what we need in that moment.

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Discussion Questions

1. How do we survive and thrive in life circumstances that feel impossible to overcome?

2. Is there any act of obedience to which God is calling you that you know will have real consequences?

3. How has God been faithful to you in your life? Has it always been in the way you expected it?

11 Comments available

Jay Caruso 25 days ago

I feel God is been faithful in my walk hello I’ve had a lotta selfish areas and he has always been there sometimes when I didn’t even realize it so but looking back he has protected me. Travis thank you for your devotion and your time spent with men’s summit

Scott Jones 25 days ago
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Another 20th century example is Dietrich Bonhoeffer who defied Hitler and actively conspired against him, while most of the German Church looked the other way (Romans 13, don’t cha know?). It cost him his life. Bonhoeffer was also associated with the conspirators of Operation Valkyrie who attempted to assassinate Hitler. It is noteworthy that Colonel von Stauffenberg who actually planted the bomb was a devout Roman Catholic. Bonhoeffer believed that failure to act in the face of evil is evil in itself. He believed that if we sin in so doing, it is covered by God’s grace. I wonder if he had the Hebrew midwives in mind,

Scott Jones 25 days ago

The Hebrew midwives are a clear example that obedience to the king (government) is not absolute. Keepintpg Romans 13 in mind, it is clear that civil disobedience is not a matter to be taken lightly. Two aspects of the midwives’ action stand out to me. First, Pharaoh was ordering the, to violate a clear command of God. Second, the midwives did not stand to gain from disobedience, I put disobeyed Pharaoh at great personal risk. I also noticed that they lied to Pharaoh, yet were spared consequences and were blessed. Covered by God’s grace?

greg jones 25 days ago

A)“This demand stood in stark opposition to God’s value of all human life as His image bearers.”

B)“When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord.” Exodus 13:15

Question. If verse (B) is fact does it support statement (A)? If verse (B) is allegory written to support a Israelite monarchy does it serve it’s purpose or contradict statement (A)?

“[F]or they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4b. There is no rock in Exodus that accompanies Paul’s ancestors in the wilderness. Paul, like his first century listeners, had no problem speaking and hearing allegory states as fact. I’m thankful for people who have worked hard and with a cost to make this known.

Yolanda Escobar 25 days ago

When one is afraid of God our name will be written in the book of life. We see that the names of the midwives were written to remember them and follow their example of pro-life. I pray that today many mothers who still hesitate to give the opportunity to see their children born, know and experience the love of God in their lives.

Don Freeman 29 days ago

Amen

Michael Scaman 29 days ago

In the midst of harshness a glimmer of light. The two Egyptian woman are the first recorded examples of righteous civil disobedience in protecting the baby boys and God blessed their own families for doing it. ( Ex 1:17-21)

The two midwives names mean something like splendid and beautiful maybe the names are meant to highlight their beautiful acts?

Note the Brooklyn Papyrus with Hebrew sounding names of slaves (names of slaves in Egypt related to the Jewish sounding names David, Job, Asher, Menachem, Jacob… ) http://apxaioc.com/article/hebrews-egypt-exodus-evidence-papyrus-brooklyn This suggests Hebrew slaves in Egypt prior to 1440s BC. These fragments are named after the museum they are in

Sue Bohlin 29 days ago

Thanks, Travis, especially for reminding us of the 3-fold Abrahamic covenant of land, seed, and blessing.

I just love when God reveals His heart through His word. I smiled that the Holy Spirit had Moses record the names of both Hebrew midwives, but not the name of the king of Egypt. Upside down from what the world sees as important, right? God always directs our focus to what matters. And it’s what matters to HIM that counts.

The king’s edict to kill the baby boys reminds us of the modern-day imbalance in China where there are not enough girls to marry all the boys who grew up missing sisters because of the one-child edict. Bad things happen when people don’t honor God’s principles for living.

Hope Harris 29 days ago

What God wills no man can stop. That’s the thought rolling around in my head this morning.

Julie Newmeyer 29 days ago

Love being reminded of God’s faithfulness!

Hugh Stephenson 30 days ago

GM Travis. Well done. I am focused on your verses today.

2 Tim 3:16 - I see how God guided these events as Moses’s word choice reads like a play-by-play of a boxing match. Through proxies, God is using the oppression and adversity to grow His people and make them strong. He is preparing them so that they can be ready to return to the Promised Land .

I am particularly focused on the courage of the midwives. Not only were they women whose status was lowly, but they were Hebrew women in a pagan nation intentionally defying Pharaoh.

In the 1960s we saw in the Civil Rights movement how much courage it took to obey the laws of God when the laws of men opposed them. The courage of the midwives is even greater as they defied a tyrannical ruler who could easily kill them.

Trust and obey.

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