Whenever we think of Israel and Egypt, the image is invariably this;

“So they set over [the Israelites] taskmasters to afflict and oppress them with [increased] burdens. And [the Israelites] built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.
But the more [the Egyptians] oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that [the Egyptians] were vexed and alarmed because of the Israelites.
And the Egyptians reduced the Israelites to severe slavery.
They made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar, brick, and all kinds of work in the field. All their service was with harshness and severity.” Exodus 1:11-14 [AMPC]
In fact, things got so bad; midwives were asked to do the unthinkable.

“Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” Exodus 1:15-16

But it was not always so. We often forget that long before this, Israel was benefactor to Egypt, Egypt owed Israel a debt of gratitude for the wealth and prosperity which they were experiencing; and we forget that a young Jew named Joseph, interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams to him and warned him of an impending famine which touched Pharaoh so much, he did this.

“So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 41:37-45

And not only did Joseph interpret the dreams well, he later managed exceedingly well all that Pharaoh put into his hands and prospered Egypt.

“Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.” Genesis 41:47-49

And because of this, Egypt was not only secure during the famine; she gained political strength and power because the region became dependent on her.

“Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.” Genesis 41:53-57

Now, do you think that anyone in their right mind would subjugate the very ones who brought them wealth, security and peace? Of course not; so too was the Pharaoh of the day not an ungrateful man, for this was what he did for Joseph.

“Now the report of it was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, “Joseph’s brothers have come.” So it pleased Pharaoh and his servants well. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and depart; go to the land of Canaan. Bring your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land. Now you are commanded—do this: Take carts out of the land of Egypt for your little ones and your wives; bring your father and come. Also do not be concerned about your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”” Genesis 45:16-20

‘All the best of the land of Egypt is yours’ said Pharaoh. So how did the situation deteriorate to that state in Exodus 1? Understanding this will not only help us understand why good things turn bad; we will also see how to live in our Father’s constant supply and not let the world make us lose sight of our Father’s love for us.

Let us start from point of deterioration.

“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” Exodus 1:8

It was not so much that he did not know Joseph the person; what he did not know was how vital a role Joseph played in the prosperity that this new Pharaoh found himself in. He did not know what Joseph did nor how Joseph, by the grace and favor of our Father, brought blessings upon the land of Egypt because of Joseph’s sake; just like it was in the house of Joseph’s former employer, Potiphar.

“So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field.” Genesis 39:5

This new Pharaoh did not know that Joseph was the source of all the blessings that he was experiencing; and did not know that as long as he associated himself with Joseph and Joseph’s descendants, who were partakers of Joseph’s blessed position with our Father, he and his country would experience the free favors of God.

Now this is not so much a lesson in the benefits of putting in place a quality History program in schools, as it is a lesson for us that when we forget that our blessings come from Jesus, our Heavenly Joseph; when we forget that it is our Father who pours out His blessings upon us because He loves us; then we will become like Pharaoh, distracted by the cares of the world, thinking that he alone was responsible for the prosperity of the country, that he alone needed to carry the burden of his peoples and therefore he alone must find the solution. And when this happens, fear, jealousy, cynicism and emotional unease will overtake us, just like Pharaoh.

“And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.”” Exodus 1:9-10

He started to worry that his own would get out-numbered. He started to fear for the security of his own people. He also started to get jealous of Israel’s success, for indeed, our Father was blessing them.

“But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.” Exodus 1:7

He wanted to be shrewd with Israel, thinking that they would one day conspire with others for Egypt’s downfall. Even though this new Pharaoh did not know it, he had already let Satan, who was crouching at his door, enter and take possession of him. Therefore beloved, two things we can take away from this.

Firstly, we should never lose sight of Jesus and His love for us. For He has promised,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

We should also never forget that our Father has promised,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

So when Satan comes asking to sift us like wheat (Luke 22:31) we can stand firm on the promises of our Father and of Jesus and keep our eyes on Him.

Secondly, we need to remember that the world, when they see how blessed we are, will get jealous, because they neither know the source of our blessings, nor believe that His love is also freely available for them if only they would believe. Therefore, they think that by your prosperity, it is somehow depriving them of their prosperity.

But beloved, we can take comfort that just as our Father delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt; He too will deliver us from the bondage from those who, out of ignorance, oppress us. And when that happens, just like how it happened for Israel,

“Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, “Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go, worship the Lord, as you have said. Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and bless me also.”
The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, “We will all be dead.” So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders.
Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.” Exodus 12:30-36 [NASB]

So too will it be for us.

Beloved, are you greatly blessed, without a care in the world? Remember to stay your eyes on Jesus and His peace will always be with you. You will never be stressed because you know that just as He has, He will always provide and protect.

Beloved, are you greatly stressed, with many cares of this world? Remember that not only,

“But the more [the Egyptians] oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that [the Egyptians] were vexed and alarmed because of the Israelites.” Exodus 1:12


“And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.” Exodus 3:7-8

To you has been promised a land flowing rich with milk and honey, a land which is so rich, it can support 6 peoples; and He wants to deliver you and give that land to you. And while that is happening, you shall continue to prosper so as to vex and confound your oppressors. So beloved, stay your eyes on Him and watch Him make the bad good, and the good, even better.

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