The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis is one of my favorites. How he was spoiled and hated, sold as a slave, honored, betrayed and then honored again. When he finally reveals himself to the brothers who hate and abused him he says an interesting thing.
“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:4-8 MSG)
God meant for their time in Egypt to be a salvation for many. So why is it that it turns into slavery for them? What happened over the years that made them, allowed the people of Israel to accept the position of slavery.
Exodus tells us, “A new king came to power in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. Exodus 1:8 MSG)”. So why didn’t the people leave? I guarantee this didn’t happen overnight. I am guessing that there were political, economic tremors that had been felt and discussed for years. And I’m betting that the Israelites knew about it, saw it in the way they were treated, felt it in the stares of their neighbors.
So why didn’t someone remind them that this was never intended to be a permanent solution, this place was never supposed to be their home?
How about you and me? Are there things in your life, habits you’ve developed, places you go, a job that you took that at first helped you, at first provided comfort and help, but now you are a slave to it? Now you feel you can’t get free.
The people in Egypt had to be set free in amazing, miraculous ways. They went through 400 years of misery before they were free. You don’t have to wait for a Moses. You don’t have to wait for miracles, and you don’t want to.
You have a choice.
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Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
(Philemon 1:7 NIV)