"Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years." Genesis 15:13
Text: Exodus 1:1-7
A PROPHETIC WORD
God gave a special prophetic word to Abraham. Though He promised that He would bless his descendants, they must go through a dark period! They would dwell in a foreign land and there suffer for a spell before they would be brought to inherit the land of Canaan!
The prophetic word given to Abraham proved to be absolutely correct. Through means that were difficult to trace and fathom, Israel and all his children found themselves in Egypt! Joseph was then a prominent Egyptian official serving in the court of Pharaoh! All had happened according to God’s divine plan!
THE SOJOURN IN EGYPT
The Book of Exodus is the necessary sequel to Genesis! The writer covered some four hundred years of history in the following short text.
“Now these are the names of the children of Israel
who came to Egypt; each man and his household
came with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah;
Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin;
Dan, Naphthali, Gad and Asher.
All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons
(for Joseph was in Egypt already).
And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation.
but the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly
multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land
was filled with them.”
1. From “seventy persons” to “the land was filled with them”
There is no mistaking the point made in this text! The text must evoke powerful memories of the Lord’s frequent promises made to the patriarchs of old. The Lord had promised that Abraham’s descendants would one day become a “great nation” (Cf. Genesis 12:2). That promise was literally fulfilled!
2. The blessing of the Lord
The writer carefully chose his words in describing the growth of Israel as a nation. “The children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly…” (Exodus 1:7). These words were reminiscent of the promises God gave through Isaac to Jacob.
“May God Almighty bless you,
And make you fruitful and multiply you,
That you may be an assembly of peoples…”
Hundreds of years may have passed, but that did not diminish the significance or the power of God’s promises! What encouragement to the heart this truth must bring!