Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 4 - Exodus 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Exodus 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • God promised Abraham He would give him many descendants.  We see this coming true as the Hebrews multiplied greatly.
  • A king comes to power in Egypt who knows nothing about Joseph, and he forces the Hebrews into slavery.
  • Pharaoh attempts to kill all the Hebrew newborn males, but the midwives saved the babies.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God uses ordinary people.  Many people believe that Exodus begins with the story of Moses.  While he is certainly the main character (and we'll be introduced to him in the next chapter), Exodus begins in a different place.  A surprising place.   With two ordinary people:  Shiphrah and Puah.  He uses them in great ways to save the lives of the male Hebrew babies.
  • Courage comes from a healthy fear.  These two ordinary women said no to a king.  That's courageous.  Where did that kind of courage come from?  Because they feared God.  They had a conviction that while there was a Pharaoh, there was a God over Pharaoh.  While they must give account to the human authorities and powers, they must give account to one over all human authorities and powers.  They feared God and they said no. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • God has a history of taking ordinary people and doing extraordinary things through them.  Think God can't or won't use you?  Think again.  Your life can make a difference in God's kingdom.  So be quick to obey God's commands so that He can use you just as he used the two midwives (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-27)
  • Do you fear God?  While God is loving and very much our friend, we often forget that God is also holy and just and He says if we love him, we will obey him.  When we no longer fear God and we're faced with a big decision we tend to ask, "What's in it for me?  What will I gain?  Can I get ahead?  What can I get away with?"  Whereas the best question to ask is, "what would please and honor God?"  Shiphrah and Puah honored God.  And He, in turn, honored them by giving them families of their own.  Consider a situation you are now facing at home or work.  What would it look like for you to honor God in that situation?  How might God bless you for obeying Him?