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"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him." Romans 12:1

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Advent 5

Posted by on in Advent 2015
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Read Exodus 1.

With verse 8, all the hope that was building at the end of Genesis seems to die.

It seems to die in verse 8 when we read, "Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt."

With that statement begins the forced slave labour of the Hebrew people. There are too many of them Pharaoh reasons, and if their enemies attack the Hebrew people will join with their enemies and leave the country. And they can't have that. Not with all the free labour available through them. And so slave masters are put over them and the Hebrew people are forced to do the grueling work required to build cities and their lives were made increasingly difficult and hopeless. 

But they kept multiplying. No matter what kind of power Pharaoh exerts over them to keep them from multiplying (and from increasing their threat of leaving), it didn't do any good. He's powerless in the face of God, although he doesn't know it yet. He even desperately orders the Hebrew midwives to kill the baby boys but, since they fear God, they refuse and lie to Pharaoh about it.

And so here again we see that God is at work. This time through the Hebrew midwives who fear God and stand up to Pharaoh. And it seems that hope will win the day.

But that final verse casts a shadow on all that: 

"Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people, 'Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.'" (Exodus 1:22)

With all of Egypt turned against God's people, will hope remain? Can the God who has sustained them so far keep them in His care? As we'll see tomorrow (or if you keep on reading) God comes through in the most surprising of ways. And hope, as always, will remain.

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