Israel’s Family in Egypt
When Jacob (or “Israel “as God had named him in Genesis 32:28), and his family were just a few, we find they had journeyed to Egypt where God continued with His perfect plan for His chosen people. There were only 70 of them at this point (Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5; Deut. 10:22) but they came to Egypt to survive the famine that had swept over their own land.
Actually this was all part of the covenant God had made with Abraham. You know me well enough to know by now this wasn’t something I picked up the first 50 times (or so) I read or studied Genesis! But there it is: Genesis 15: 13, “Then the LORD said to Abram, ‘Know this for certain; your offspring will be strangers in a land that does not belong to them;…”
Oh, I can’t wait to get to the “rest of the story” that God had planned! The first years were good years. Jacob’s family settled in Goshen. Goshen was a perfect location for shepherds, which was Jacob’s family occupation! And Egyptians were happy as farmers, (Genesis 46:28 -47:12)
And Jacob lived 17 more years. He was one hundred and forty-seven years old when Joseph promised Jacob that he would not be buried in Egypt, but would be buried with his Grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac, in Canaan. (Genesis 47: 17-31) Joseph lived one hundred and ten years when he died in Egypt.
Forward four hundred years. The Hebrews had now increased in number. What had been a fruitful place to live before was now threatened by a new king of Egypt that had not known Joseph or cared that he had once been second-in-command. As a matter of fact, he felt threatened by the increasing number of Israelites. So, he ordered the midwives to cast all baby boys born to the Hebrew women into the River Nile! (Exodus 1:5 – 27)
The story of Moses was also a favorite Vacation Bible School story for me! Imagine a Hebrew woman that had a new baby boy and faced the threat of him being killed! How clever to hid him in a basket in the bushes along the river! This was really an exciting Bible story to a young girl that loved babies!!! But, only God and His perfect plan would have arranged for the Pharaoh’s daughter to be in the right place to “find” that baby boy!! Add to that the wonderful fact that the baby’s own mother would be chosen to nurse the boy and be paid to take care of him! And the baby was named, Moses!! (Exodus 2: 1-10)
But, unlike Joseph who had never broken a rule; Moses was guilty of taking the life of an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave. Hebrews 11: 24 tells us that Moses refused to be called the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter. He choose instead to be treated as his fellow Hebrews. So when he killed the Egyptian, he was forced to leave the place of his birth and flee to Median where he lived for the next 40 years! (Exodus 2:11-21)
God has His way of choosing a path for His people that is sometimes smooth and sometimes bumpy; but always leads to a place where He wants us to be! Always tested, sometimes carried and always brought through with a stronger faith!
We will catch up with Moses again tomorrow and it just keeps getting better and better!! I hope you are enjoying our travels! Be sure to share with anyone who might enjoy our study!