As I look around the world today, I am sure I am not the first one to see similarities between what is taking place in the USA and what we read about the children of Israel who were in Egypt. Just think about the USA with all of its faults and imperfections that exist because we are a country made up of imperfect people.
The nation was started by men and women who held to biblical values with the intention of starting a nation based upon biblical principles. But it seems that we now have many leaders who "know not Joseph." These are leaders who do not seem to remember why our nation has not only survived but prospered to become one of the most blessed nations in history.
As we begin, let's take a deeper look at the first chapter of Exodus and what we can learn from these words. The children of Israel were in Egypt and were prospering by every metric of success—so much so that the Egyptians began to fear being defeated by the Israelites. In truth, this is what we have been experiencing over the past few years in the USA. For the last few years especially, believers in our nation have been prospering.
Pro-life, pro-family and pro-faith legislation has been passed, and we as believers have prospered in many ways. Yet, our prosperity became a threat to the leaders of "Egypt." So, to make sure people of faith do not become the majority, the "Egyptians" began to add burdens to our lives. Politicians began to push for laws that violated our biblical values, especially over the past year during COVID-19 when these leaders deemed religious observance as non-essential.
But, before we begin to lay all of the blame for our country's problems on our political leaders, I want us to look at a couple of things.
First, while the children of Israel were prospering in many ways, they were not impacting the Egyptians with their faith. We do not read about the Egyptian leaders being concerned about Egyptians becoming like the Israelites. Just read Exodus 1:9-10 (TLV):
"He said to his people, 'Look, the people of Bnei-Yisrael are too numerous and too powerful for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them, or else they will grow even more numerous, so that if war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and then escape from the land.'"
The Egyptian leaders were not concerned that the Israelites would affect the Egyptians. They were only concerned that the Israelites might join with their enemy to fight against them.
Second, the Israelites had become so comfortable in Egypt that even after the Egyptians began to add burdens to their lives they chose to remain in Egypt, as we read in Exodus 1:11-14:
"So they set slave masters over them to afflict them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Raamses as storage cities for Pharaoh. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread. So the Egyptians dreaded the presence of Bnei-Yisrael. They worked them harshly, and made their lives bitter with hard labor with mortar and brick, doing all sorts of work in the fields. In all their labors they worked them with cruelty."
As we read on, we find that while the cruelty was pressing on, the Israelites continue to have children and grow in number. So, the Pharaoh instructs for all of the male babies born to Israelites be killed. What a horrible thing the murder of innocent children is! This whole story is tragic as we read about the slavery of Israel and, ultimately, their freedom from slavery, which brings the destruction of Egypt.
So, if we are seeing that the USA is in a similar situation to the children of Israel in Egypt, what can we learn from them, and what can we do to change things before the slavery and ultimate destruction comes? The answer is simple: unlike the children of Israel who prospered without affecting the Egyptians, we need to make every effort not only to have children physically (grow our congregation from within), but we need to become active in bringing forth children into the kingdom while among the "Egyptians."
Yes, I believe we still have time to change our nation, but we won't do so primarily through political means. We need to increase our efforts to share the message of Yeshua (Jesus). We need to pray until the Egyptians become grafted into the Israelites. Just imagine if every politician was to become a true and real follower of Yeshua today!
What would happen if they all suddenly remembered Joseph? Everything would change because they would no longer fear us, and we would no longer fear them. Instead, we would all fear G-D together.
Eric Tokajer is the author of Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?, With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians and Galatians in Context.
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