8 Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. 9 “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”
2. Fertility is the goal of worshipping the gods of Egypt. Pharaoh carries out his rituals and exercises his divine reign to secure the blessing of fertility for the people. But here, the God of the Hebrews is already outdoing the gods of Egypt. They are more blessed than the local Egyptians. This is a major threat – economic, security and religious.
3. There is a double meaning of all this talk of “labour” or work” In Hebrew, this word can also be used for the “work” or worshipping God (liturgy). Israel’s labour here is hard, destructive and unjust because it is done for a foreign god. God will turn their hard labour into rest, joy and blessing when they “work” for him and with him in their worship (working) life.
4. Interesting that the Hebrew midwives enact civil disobedience. They deliberately defy the law of the land. When is it OK to do this Christians?
5. Pharaoh has to act in every increasing violence – killing baby boys – halting this divine power the Hebrews seem to posses – but God is on to it. A war is brewing of cosmic proportions.
The Birth of Moses (Ch 2)
5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket (“ark”) among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
3. Pharaoh’s daughter is a pre-cursor to God himself here. She hears the cry of this baby. She is moved with pity and shows mercy and compassion in saving the baby from annihilation. God will also see and feel the pain of his people an act (next week).
4. Moses is a forward sign of this new nation of God who will also be drawn from the water and even a sign of the promised Messiah who will be baptised by John and command his church to baptise the world in his name (Matthew 28)
We are drawn out of the water in baptism.
We have been snatched from the hand of the evil one and our own sinfulness and places in the ark – the place of God’s presence and protection and life.
Christians have often used this boat kind of imagery to name places of worship. Where the people gather is the nave – the body of the ship. Often church architecture has included vaulted ceiling of stone or timber – depicting an upside down boat or ark. What does all that mean for you?
Pharaoh kills the sons of the Israelite, thereby picking a fight with the God of the Israelites. The final “plague” or sign will be the undoing of Pharaoh. God the Warrior will fight for his covenant with Abraham – blessing of a nation, a name and a land of blessing.
Interesting that God uses another Egyptian to rescue his chosen special leader, Moses. Is this a show of God’s craftiness and intelligence and power?
This new nation will not be founded with a land, known leader, political system. It will be founded by the direct action of a holy and all-powerful God and so, be a unique, specially chosen and formed community of God in the world with a special task – to be the means through which God deals with the sin of human beings and gives his blessing of life to all nations.
Would there ever be a reason why you would practice civil disobedience?
Has God heard your cries and acted to save you in a situation?