17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.
23 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24 And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.
25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
The Twofold Deliverance of Israel
The eventual nation of Israel, the sons of Jacob vied for the favor of their father. One among them earned it unmerited and this angered the others. In hatred of the one who had found favor in their father’s eyes, they sought to crush him beneath their fury. The eldest, Reuben, convicted of spirit devised a plan to spare his brother’s life and bear the weight of the others’ anger upon his own back. But in a twist when Rueben was not present, the sons of Jacob saw opportunity in a caravan and sold Joseph to a life of slavery in the land of Egypt.
Through this, God brought a salvation for the son’s of Jacob. Joseph grew in power in the land of Egypt and by a stroke of wisdom and divine clairvoyance, he stored wealths of grain for seven years guarding against an impending famine the world over. Thus the sons of Jacob sought the stores of food in Egypt to sustain their starving nation. God delivered Israel by their own evil devices and they found a resting place to birth their nation in the land of Goshen on Egyptian soil.
The Slippery Slope of Slothfulness
Sloths are not the brightest of animals. Often they fall out of trees from falling asleep while hanging at odd positions. When a sloth becomes comfortable where it’s at, even if that place is close to danger, the sloth will fall asleep, it’s the nature of the animal to be lazy and unaware.
Just likes sloths, the nation of Israel fell asleep. As they grew in size and power through the decades, they grew lazy in Goshen, too close to danger, too close to Egypt. Once that happened, Egyptians took advantage and enslaved the Israelites. The Bible says that:
And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies. He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
As they waxed greater than their enemies, which were not their enemies until they began to wax great, God turned the hearts of Egypt to hate the Israelites and deal subtilly with them. The Israelites grew apathetic, comfortable, complacent; they weren’t aware of the subtlety of the Egyptians slowly enslaving them. Thus comes the second deliverance.
The Cry for Deliverance
The generations that received the curse of servant hood as an inheritance from their slothful ancestors, they were born into bondage. They were not responsible for their circumstances, they were simply a part of them. Thus the cry was raised for a deliverer to be raised, and from among them came such a deliverer, yet they hated him as the brethren of Joseph hated him. It took many more years, but through Moses, God brought about the second deliverance of Israel. God doesn’t want to hold you responsible for the slothfulness and complacency of your ancestors. He will hear your cries and send a deliverer in your bondage… and He already did.
But, the more important thing here is that you would not live too close to the danger too comfortably for too long. You will get trapped and it won’t only effect you, but your descendants, your family, and your friends. Israelites teach valuable lessons. God’s people don’t always have it easy. They are the focal point and the target for all of God’s lessons to every human. Remember them, learn from them.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist