In the Bible study I lead, we are going through the book of Exodus together. I chose to study this for multiple reasons:
- I think the Old Testament is wonderful, and so many people know so little about it.
- I see myself in the Israelite nation. A lot. And as convicting as this is, it also means that I see grace in action and a beautiful picture of the Gospel played out.
- I wanted to study the Word, not just read it, and I want to instill in my girls a desire to do that as well.
I am taking the “inductive” approach to studying the Bible: observation, interpretation, application. And, honestly, I rarely follow through with this method. But, as I have started this, I am keeping myself accountable to do it, and it has been really neat over the past few days to see what I have learned and what I have discovered from other sources.
In Exodus 1, I think one of the neatest things is seeing the Lord’s provision, even as the Israelite nation is just forming. This is where it all began: God gave Jacob the name “Israel,” and he had twelve sons. Those twelve sons formed the twelve tribes of Israel, and I knew all of this prior to reading Exodus 1, but it hit me that, before Jacob, the Patriarchs and their families weren’t “Israelites.” NOW is when they first became Israelites.
You can see the Lord’s provision starting in verses six and seven:
Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
Joseph was their “in” into this foreign land. He had earned the Pharaoh’s favor, and thereby secured Goshen for his family. Once Joseph died, though, and his brothers along with him, a new king arose “who did not know Joseph” (8). God gave the Israelites security in their numbers, as the Egyptians began to fear them. And God continued to take care of them; even when the Pharaoh tried to kill off the baby boys, God protected them by allowing the Israelites to multiply even more.
In the midst of adversity, we don’t always see the Lord’s provision. We just see the way things are hard, and we think that God has abandoned us. However, God’s hand of protection was over the Israelites even in the midst of slavery, and His hand of protection is over us, even in the midst of our trials.