Exodus 1:8-10, 17-18, 22 records, A new king came to power in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. He spoke to his people in alarm, “There are way too many of these Israelites for us to handle. We’ve got to do something: Let’s devise a plan to contain them, lest if there’s a war they should join our enemies, or just walk off and leave us.”………..But the midwives had far too much respect for God and didn’t do what the king of Egypt ordered; they let the boy babies live. The king of Egypt called in the midwives. “Why didn’t you obey my orders? You’ve let those babies live!”…………So Pharaoh issued a general order to all his people: “Every boy that is born, drown him in the Nile. But let the girls live. MSG
Joseph dies, the last page of Genesis, and a new king of Egypt comes to power, the first page of Exodus, who fears the Jews who live among him because there are so many of them. We turn a page and it seems a day in history passes. Yet the distance between the pages is 400 years!
God’s blessing was upon Israel but His presence appears to have been absent. Nothing is recorded of God’s being among Israel. The blessing of God is recorded as the people grew and increased in number, but to the dismay of their rulers.
The liberal left fears the conservative right. They speak of reeducation training and passing laws limiting their freedom to express their different ways of thinking and the education of their children to that thinking. As government and media pressure mounts upon the conservatives, it is easier to feel the absence of God’s presence because of the apparent absence of God’s blessing. Yet the very opposite may be true.
The presence of God for Israel, was coming through Moses and the deliverance. The prequel to His arrival and powerful work among them? Civil disobedience by two servants. Women who refused to follow the edict of the king putting at risk their own lives. God protected them and blessed them for it pleased Him that they honored Him more than they feared for their own lives or sought their own personal welfare. The result?
Greater persecution so that the whole nation could serve the king in his goal to persecute and harm the Jews. For awhile, it would appear neither the presence nor the blessing of God was on Israel but soon, in 80 more years, the plan of God would be revealed. Initiated by the allowance of a key boy to be born due to the disobedience of His servants, God would soon be present and bless Israel with the fulfillment of His promise.
God appears absent from us but He has richly blessed this country. Yet our country makes clearer by the day our lack of God’s presence and now, with the threats of reeducation from conservative beliefs and loss of established constitutional freedoms, His blessing seems to be leaving as well. Is He planning something new and better for us? Is He planning to demonstrate His presence to us in new and more wonderful ways? Will His planned blessing, that we hope comes back, be more wonderful than ever before?
His blessing and His presence may return. It will if those who call upon the Name of the Lord persevere in doing what pleases God, even if it means risking their own lives. And by persevering, in prayer and obedience, while waiting for God’s appearance and blessing, as it may still be 80 years away!