Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Daily Bread: Prosperity
The children of Israel, all 70 of them, came to Egypt to escape the famine in the land of
Canaan. (Exodus 1:5). Joseph, as you’ll recall was already there. (Exodus 1:5). In any
event, as time went on the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and
multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was full of them. (Exodus 1:7).
Pharaoh, this king which knew not Joseph, was uncomfortable with their number. (Exodus
1:8). He worried that if there was a war; that the children of Israel might side with the
enemy against Egypt. (Exodus 1:10). So he says, “Come on, let us deal wisely with them.”
You know what happens next. The Egyptians set up taskmasters over the children of Israel
to afflict them with their burdens. (Exodus 1:11). But still the children of Israel continued
to multiply. (Exodus 1:12). So Pharaoh recruited the midwives to get rid of the male
children when they were born (Exodus 1:15-16). But the midwives, because they feared
God, would not cooperate. (Exodus 1:17). And the children of Israel continued to multiply
and waxed mighty. (Exodus 1:20).
A few thoughts about this:
1. The children of Israel, who were basically refugees, were prospering in the land of
Egypt. When you prosper people start to notice. Not everyone who notices your
prosperity will have your best interest at heart. They will try to devise schemes to
bring you down. They will try to deal wisely with you to make themselves feel more
comfortable with your success.
2. Multiplying was a blessing given to the children of Israel by God. God tells Abraham in
Genesis 12:3, “I will make of thee a great nation” and in Genesis 17:2 “And I will make
my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” God tells Isaac
in Genesis 26:24, “fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed
for my servant Abraham’s sake”. God tells Jacob in Genesis 28:14, “And thy seed shall
be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east,
and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the
earth be blessed”. The point is that the children of Israel were fulfilling their blessing.
No wise dealings can stop, block, or undo a blessing that God intends for you. It doesn’t
matter who is uncomfortable with your prosperity. It doesn’t matter how they try
to limit your success. If God has promised it to you and you hold up your end of the
bargain, you will inherit your blessing.
3. When I read Exodus 1:10 “Come on, let us deal wisely with them…”, I could help but
think of Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together saith the Lord of Hosts..”.
The ability to think wisely and reason well is a powerful tool and can be used to achieve
both good and bad results. Pharaoh reasoned with bad intentions and the end result
was that, in spite of his “wise thinking” he could not overcome the blessing God had
bestowed upon the children of Israel. Compare that with what happens when you
reason together with God. When you use your rational mind with the intention of being
who and what God called you to be, when you infuse His word, His commandments, the
guidance He has given us for daily living, the result is salvific: though your sins be as
scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
Final Thought: Don’t be ashamed of your prosperity. Be determined and confident in
the blessings you have been given. Adversity will only serve to test and strengthen your
determination. So it doesn’t matter who is trying to deal wisely with you, as long as you are
reasoning together with God.