"Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun; and look! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter..." Ecclesiastes 4:1
Text: Exodus 1:11
The affliction that God had spoken about to Abraham was now coming to pass! It is doubtful that the children of Israel ever understood this prophetic word, or they might have drawn some comfort from it! It would appear that they were totally unprepared for the new policy implemented by the Pharaoh!
“Therefore they set taskmasters over them
to afflict them with their burdens…”
AN APPRECIATION OF THE PLIGHT OF THE HEBREWS
The Hebrews were in a desperate plight indeed! Let us ponder the terrible situation they found themselves in!
1. No rights to speak of
They were aliens or foreigners in the land of Egypt. They had no “rights” to speak of! Who would redress the wrong done to them?
2. Cruel brute force
The Egyptians played their hand skillfully! They used brute force to compel submission and obedience! Soon fear would take over the victims, and they would become compliant! Cruel taskmasters saw to instant and complete obedience!
3. No where to go
The Hebrews could not flee Egypt! Where would they go? They had been in the land of Egypt for so long that if they tried to escape, they would fail miserably in their attempts.
4. No significant leadership
Israel did not have a patriarch to lead them. Neither did they have a leader of the caliber of Joseph! No one stood out as a leader who could rally the people together!
5. No great faith evident
Neither did Israel, at this point of time, possess the kind of faith that would stand them in good stead! This is not the same as saying that they did not possess faith at all. Rather, the faith of Israel at this juncture was at best nominal. No one seemed to possess a faith that was dynamic enough to give hope and encouragement to the masses!
ONLY GOD COULD REDEEM THEM
If Israel were to be redeemed at all, it would take nothing short of a mighty miracle! Only the great power of God could save and deliver the whole nation from the mighty hand of Pharaoh. Egypt at that time was one of the mightiest nations in the region! Could God, for that matter redeem a people who had become slaves?