All the while the Hebrew people were enduring misery, God was aware of their plight. “I know their sufferings,” God said.
How often do we feel alone and wonder if God really sees and knows about our situation? The reasoning is that if God sees the pain we’re in, then our Compassionate Father would act to bring relief. But instead, sometimes we suffer a little longer, and bad times never seem short or “little” in that sense. Time flies when you’re having fun; but seems to linger while you suffer.
At suffering time, we may even forget the past times of gladness, forget what God has done in the past to work to our advantage. No doubt, the people who accompanied Jacob to Egypt had known some privilege; they “were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong; so that the land was filled with them” (1: 7).
It was not until a new king, who knew nothing about Joseph, came on the scene and their oppression started. From time immemorial, migrants have become a problem when they enjoy privileges and a standard of living that seems threatening to the people into whose land they have come. People may not be unwelcoming until you make good on the welcome they extend. It is true, many find more ease in weeping with those who weep, than they do in laughing with those who laugh. People often have difficulty celebrating those who seem to outdo them in prosperity.
So, it shuld be no surprise that the Hebrew people had to provide slave labour and build the cities of Egypt. Their bosses were ruthless, Pharoah wanted to get rid of them. Well, not really? Only a bad parasite kills its host and deprives itself of food to live on!
What Pharaoh came up with was a plan to continue permanent provision slave labour. Hebrews without Hebrew male parents would not be real Hebrews; and certainly, there would be children borne to the Hebrew women. Who and whose would they be? That would depend on the inequitable system that determined which would continue in slavery and which would be favoured.
That would also be undermined by the power of God that saved Moses and brought him up knowing the privilege of Pharaoh’s court. That would be undermined by the future plans that God had in mind for the Hebrew people. Already, sights were set on the lands of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites and the Jebusites- “a land flowing with milk and honey.” They were ging to be better off even if it meant that others were going to lose to them.
And the Egyptians would lose the most- little did they expect it. The very Hebrews were going to plunder their personal possessions as they prepared to leave, and God was going to get Moses to get Pharaoh to let God’s people go.
Who can fathom the ways of God? Do we know when the immediate future holds our deliverance or is about to move a redress to balance the inordinate advantage we have enjoyed?
Let us live humbly since we don’t know what’s around the corner.