While reading in Exodus 1 – 3 today about the horror of the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt, the truth that the Israelites originally were invited into Egypt as honored guests, really struck me.
“So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed.”Genesis 47:11 NIV
Often we see in the Old Testament that peoples were enslaved because of bad behavior, but the Bible doesn’t ever even hint at disobedience being the cause for the Israelites’ bondage. It simply says this:
Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh.Exodus 1:8-9, 11 NIV
If you find yourself in a place of oppression not brought on by anything sinful that you have done, keep looking to God. Remember that even in their oppression, the Israelites were blessed:
But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the IsraelitesExodus 1:12 NIV
God is concerned about you.
So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.Exodus 2:25 NIV
And He will eventually rescue you.
That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians.Exodus 14:30a
Why did God allow the Israelites to suffer so horribly for 400 years? The Bible never specifically says. But maybe it has something to do with this declaration in the New Testament:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Roman’s 5:3-5
So should we find ourselves suffering even when we are doing things the right way, we can claim this promise of hope. Remember, God promises to use everything to bless us if we love Him.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.Romans 8:28
If you are in bondage because of something you did, just agree with God that it was wrong and accept His forgiveness because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. Then claim the promise of hope in the above verses for yourself, too!