Insanity has been defined as “doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results”.  I have been studying Exodus for our Sunday morning worship service and I am enjoying the privilege of that study.  In Exodus 1:12 we read, “But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they were spread abroad.  And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel”. Pharoah was a racist and an oppressor.  He saw a bunch of immigrants, hated them, and decided to use them for cheap labor.  He approved of great violence in order to keep the people in line.  His fear that Israel would one day rebel or join forces with his enemy was founded in his racism and oppressive spirit.  In reality, if he would have left them alone, they would have probably assimilated themselves right in to the Egyptian culture.  His sinful hatred only served to do the exact opposite of what he intended to do.  Knowing the great violence that was against Israel, it is hard to find any humor in any of this, but Moses, the writer of Exodus, wrote verse twelve with a kind of tongue in cheek, snarky attitude.  His word choice created a pun that pointed out the weakness of Pharoah against the almighty plan of God.  Moses also made it a point not to give us the name of Pharoah.  Pharoah is a nobody who is trying to be somebody but who, in the end, was nothing compared to God.

Not recognizing his foolishness, he threw more of his supposed weight around by demanding that the midwives kill all the Israelite baby boys.  Once again, God made Pharoah look foolish.  Two women stand up to Pharoah.  They get a good jab in at Pharoah when they explain that Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women.  They are not pampered nobility, they are vigorous and give birth quickly.  God then blessed the brave midwives with families (more Israelites!). Again, showing Pharoah that nothing would stop his promise of multiplying the seed of Abraham.  If you stop and think about it, these brave women truly were the catalyst for the beginning of the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt.  Might Pharoah, taken down by two immigrant midwives.

Pharoah, doesn’t quit.  Insanity! He demands that all Hebrew baby boys be thrown to the god of the Nile. He brings everyone into his sin.  This is a pattern we will see repeated all through history.  It is not enough that Pharoah hates the Hebrews personally.  He takes that private hatred and he brings it publicly.  He hates them in public without any shame.  When that is not enough, he brings others into his sin and violence against those he hates.  How many Egyptians now turned in some of their Hebrew friends who were hiding babies?  Think about our history of killing babies.  It was not enough that some killed babies privately and secretly.  They wanted to do this publicly without shame.  Now they seek for everyone to approve and rejoice in the right to kill babies.  Back to Pharaoh.  His attempt to kill all Hebrew males will also be thwarted by God.  God will once again be more than victorious.  Not only does God raise up a deliverer for Israel but he uses Pharoah’s own household to raise him up!  Pharaoh pays for his upbringing (by his own mother), pays for his education, teaches him all things Egyptian, and then teaches him how to lead the very people that Pharoah feared the most.  

At the end of chapter 2 God is poured into this story.  We are told that God hears the cry of the sufferers, he remembers his promise, he sees the affliction, and he knows.  God was not silent.  Pharoah never stood a chance.  While those suffering might have thought that God had lost control, victory was never in doubt.  Their suffering was used by God to multiply them.  It was also used by God to loosen their grip on Egypt.  They could not wait to leave.  As I look at the difficult times we live in, it is easy to believe that Pharoah is in control.  Violence and sin permeate every aspect of our culture.  But truth be told, God is in full and complete control.  Pharaoh doesn’t stand a chance.  Every move made by those who desire to defeat the Lord is used by God for the good.  Do not lose faith.  Do not lose hope.  
God hears, he remembers, he sees, and he knows.

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