If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Exodus 1, Luke 4, Job 18, 1 Corinthians 5. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Exodus 1.
Four hundred years have passed between Genesis 50 and Exodus 1. In that time, Joseph and his brothers all died but their children continued to marry and bear more children until, verse 7: “the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.” Fearful of losing their land and their ethnic identity, the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites and attempted to restrict their population growth through infanticide (vv. 8-16). The Hebrew midwives who assisted in the birth of these Jewish babies ignored the command of Pharaoh to kill all the boys. Verse 17 tells us they did this because they “feared God.” When they were held accountable for their disobedience, however, their excuse was “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive” (v. 19b). There may have been some truth to this explanation, but it was not the real reason for their civil disobedience. Verse 17 already told us they allowed all the babies to live because “they feared God.” Verses 20-21 tell us that God blessed the midwives for their civil disobedience, so clearly he thought their actions were righteous. What do we make, then, of their excuse to Pharaoh? God is truth and those who fear him should speak truthfully, right? So, why were they blessed for what they did despite the fact that they lied about it to Pharaoh? What are the implications of a passage like this for us when it comes to telling the truth?
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/calvarybiblechurch/. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.