Thursday, August 18, 2011

Exodus 2:23-25 Waiting and Watching

"During that long period, the king of Egypt died.
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out,
and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.

God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant
with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.
So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them."

Exodus 2:23-25 (NIV)
The Pharaoh whose daughter had adopted Moses was possibly Thutmose III.
[More post(s) will follow soon regarding why he is a good candidate.]
Previously (years before), Ahmose, the founder of the 18th dynasty in Egypt, had expelled the Hyksos (Semitic and thus, foreign, rulers of Egypt).  That may explain both 
  1. why the present Pharaoh (Thutmose?) did not really know about the history of Joseph's influence in Egypt (Exodus 1:8), and
  2. why Thutmose seems both quite nationalistic (note the 'we' and 'us' vs.the 'them' of Exodus 1:10) and almost single-mindedly concerned with ridding the land of Semitic peoples who (he feared) might try to fight against Egypt and/or leave the country.

It also helps explain how the Israelites had previously enjoyed years of peaceful growth in Goshen.  Of course, God was ultimately behind this peace, but God may have also arranged for them to be living there during the reign of  Semitic Pharaohs. [This is just another example of how God is able to integrate all the details of a situation for His own plans and purposes.]

I suppose that it doesn't really matter which Pharaoh(s) ruled during the oppression and the exodus.  The main thing is that God proves to be far greater and stronger, and the only true God.  However, I find it fascinating that perhaps some of these details are left for us to be able to piece these events together and realize just how intimately God was involved in all of the details behind the scene.  That, too, I believe, brings glory to God, which is why I am pursuing these side issues.  [Besides, I like details.  I can have faith without them, but I can also use them to share with others so that they can get a better picture of how God works and come to have faith in Him, too.]

We see that God has been hearing the Israelites' groans and prayers for His help.  He 'remembers' His covenant with them (not that He has forgotten it previously) and is concerned with their plight.  And, as we have seen in the past, God will always keep His promises to His people.  It may take time, but He will fulfill everything which He has promised, and will punish those who seek to work against His people and His plans.

The fact that He has allowed them to be oppressed is not because He does not care about the Israelites, but (at least partly) because, like Moses, they are being prepared for their journey to the promised land.

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