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Bible Story: God’s People Enslaved in Egypt
Bible Text: Exodus 1:5-14
- God blessed Israel and increased their number.
- God promised to deliver His people from slavery.
- Israel’s slavery was real, but is also a picture of the slavery all people suffer to sin.
Story: In Exodus 1, Joseph and his brothers, the sons of Israel, died in Egypt, but their families grew and grew. God blessed Israel and increased their number. They became so numerous, that they filled the land of Egypt.
When the new king of Egypt saw the strength of Israel, he was afraid. To keep Israel’s family from partnering with Egypt’s enemies, the king of Egypt put harsh task masters over them and made them slaves. The Egyptians forced God’s people to build storage cities by carrying heavy bricks and working in the fields under the threat of a whip. The work was hard, and the people suffered as Egyptian slaves. Their lives were filled with bitterness, but God continued to bless His people.
Israel’s slavery was not a surprise to God. Hundreds of years earlier, God told Abraham, “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be foreigners in a land that does not belong to them; they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years. However, I will judge the nation they serve, and afterward they will go out with many possessions.” (Gen. 15:13-14 HCSB). Long before Joseph was taken to Egypt, long before God’s people suffered in slavery, God promised Abraham to deliver His people from slavery.
As Israel suffered as slaves, they held on to God’s promise to deliver them. God did not forget them, and He wasn’t blind to their suffering. For over four hundred years, God was at work growing and strengthening Israel as He set them apart in Egypt… and God would keep His promise. One day, the Lord would deliver Israel in a mighty way.
Israel’s slavery was very real, but is also a picture of the slavery all people suffer to sin. Like them, all people need a Savior to deliver them from the bitterness of living under the bondage of sin… and like them, God provides a way to freedom through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.