Learning from God's Word: Exodus 1-2
Circumstances change. God does not change. Joseph was no longer there. God was still there. Joseph had become part of the past. God was making plans for the future. Joseph had been a highly significant man within the history of Israel. Now, the scene was set for the emergence of a new spiritual leader, a man of even greater importance within the history of God’s people. That man was Moses. It was a new situation. There was to be a new spiritual leader. Joseph’s time had ended. Moses’ time was about to begin. It was a new situation, a situation which required a new leader. The arrival of Moses was not immediate. Nevertheless, the perfect plan of God was in process. God was at work. He was preparing His people for Moses. He was preparing Moses for his God-given work of leadership.
Why was Moses’ life preserved at the time of his birth? Was he just lucky? No! There is something else here. The hand of the Lord is at work. God looks upon this newborn baby and says, ‘This child must not die. I have great plans for him. I have a special purpose for his life.’
The times were difficult for the people of Israel. The loss of Joseph was a great loss (1:8-11). It was not an insurmountable loss (1:12). When things get tough, the Lord’s people rise to the challenge. They do not rise in their own strength. They go to God in their weakness. They look to Him for His strength (2:23).
What was happening at this time? God was preparing His people for a new situation. He was also preparing Moses to be the man who would lead them into this new situation. Oppression was to be replaced by redemption. The people needed to be prepared for this. They needed to become a prayerful people. They needed to become a people who were learning to call upon the Lord. They needed to learn to look to the Lord for His help. God was preparing His people. He was leading them to pray for and for and expect His deliverance. God is bringing His people to an end of themselves. He is bringing them to the point where they long for His deliverance. When God’s people pray, God’s purpose moves forward (2:23-25).
The stage is set for a mighty work of God. The Lord’s people face a crisis-situation. They are being oppressed by the Egyptians. God sees what is happening. He is making His plans. He will give His people a better future. It seemed like God was doing nothing about Israel’s problems – ‘a long time passed’ (2:23). God was not standing back, paying no attention to what was going on. He was busy, preparing Moses to be the leader of His people. He was taking steps towards the great event of deliverance from the oppressors. God was looking ahead to the Exodus and the journey from the land of bondage to the land of promise. Remembering ‘His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’ (2:24), God was about to fulfil this promise with a mighty demonstration of His saving power. When nothing seems to be happening, we must not give up. God has not given up on us. He waits for us to call upon Him. He waits for us to pray for His blessing.