Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Saturday, May 1, 2021

2021.05.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 1:8–14

Read Exodus 1:8–14

Questions from the Scripture text: Who arose over what in Exodus 1:8? Whom did he not know? To whom did he speak in Exodus 1:9? What did he say about the children of Israel? What did he say they needed to do, in order to stop what (Exodus 1:10)? What did he say would happen if they multiplied? What did the Egyptians do to stop the Israelites from multiplying (Exodus 1:11)? What did the Israelites build for whom? What was the result of Egypt afflicting them (Exodus 1:12)? How did the Egyptians feel about the children of Israel now? Now what did the Egyptians do (Exodus 1:13)? What did this make the Israelites’ lives like (Exodus 1:14)?

The wicked live for their own glory. Why is it any surprise that they do things like collaborate to build towers or cities to their own praise? Why is it any surprise that they seek to oppose Christ’s church and make her life bitter?

There are echoes of Babel here. “Come, let us…” they had said in Genesis 11:3, putting themselves in the place of God Himself from Genesis 1:26. The mortar and brick of Exodus 1:14 are the same words as used in Genesis 11:3. And, the building project here is in order to “make a name” for the Pharaoh, who actually names one of the supply cities after himself (“Raamses,” Exodus 1:11). 

This king refused to acknowledge Joseph (Exodus 1:8), just as the later Pharaoh would refuse to acknowledge Yahweh (cf. Genesis 5:2). His opposition to God and His glory put him at direct odds with God’s people and God’s anointed. This is the way that it always is (cf. Psalm 2; John 15:18–25; 1 Peter 4:12–16; 1 John 3:13). 

So, let us not be surprised. And let us also not despair. Yahweh frustrated the work at Babel. And here in our passage, the more the Lord’s people are afflicted, the more they multiply and grow. When they gathered against Christ, they could only accomplish what God had planned (cf. Acts 2:23, Acts 4:23–31; Psalm 2). And though the rage of the serpent is great in his frustration at Christ’s exaltation and his own being cast down (cf. Revelation 12), God’s providence continually neutralizes the effect of his attacks (cf. Revelation 12:13–17). 

Whether in our text, at Babel, at the cross, or throughout church history, the devil and men who are like him have always acted the same, so let us not be surprised. And the Lord has always turned it all for their humiliation and the church’s good, so let us not despair (Exodus 1:12). Christianity has always spread most when it was persecuted. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

For Whose name are you living? What are you willing to endure for that Name? For whose name do worldlings live? What are they willing to do to you for that name?

Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage?” or TPH2B “Why Do Heathen Nations Rage?”


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