Today's Verses

Exodus 1:

1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; each man came with his household:
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
5 And all the persons who came forth from the loins of Jacob were seventy persons, but Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 And Joseph died, and all his brothers, and all that generation.
7 But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly and multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, and the land was filled with them.
8 And a new king rose up over Egypt, who did not know of Joseph.
9 And he said to his people, The people of the children of Israel are now more numerous and stronger than we.
10 Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and, when some war occurs, they also join themselves to those who hate us and fight against us and go up from the land.
11 So they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built storage cities for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses.
12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out so that they came to dread the children of Israel.
13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with harshness,
14 And they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and in brick and in all kinds of labor in the field; all their labor with which they made them serve was with harshness.
15 And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one whose name was Shiphrah and the other whose name was Puah;
16 And he said, When you act as midwives for the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.
17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them but let the male children live.
18 So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, Why have you done this thing and let the male children live?
19 And the midwives said to Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous: before the midwife comes to them, they give birth.
20 And God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very strong.
21 And because the midwives feared God, He established households for them.
22 And Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, Every son who is born you shall cast into the River, but every daughter you shall let live.

  1. The World:
    1. According to the Bible, the world has at least three aspects: the aspect of rebellion and idolatry, signified by Babel; the aspect of sinfulness, signified by Sodom; and the aspect of enjoyment and pleasure, signified by Egypt:
      1. Babel is a symbol of the rebellious and idolatrous world; in the Bible rebellion is related to idolatry, the worship of anything other than God. Gen 11:1-4.
      2. Sodom represents the sinful aspect of the world; whenever Sodom is mentioned in the Bible it always refers to her sinfulness. Gen 13:13, 18:20, 19:13.
      3. Egypt in the Bible symbolizes the livelihood and enjoyment of the world; Egypt also represents the aspect of hard labor and slavery under the dominion of the world. Gen 12:10, 42:3, 45:9-11; Exo 1:11-14.
    2. The background story of Genesis and Exodus:
      1. God’s creation; man’s fall through Satan’s corruption. Gen 1-11.
      2. Jehovah’s calling; The good land of Canaan. Gen 12-50.
      3. Being enslaved in Egypt. Exo 1.
      4. Brought out of Egypt into the wilderness; building the tabernacle. Exo 2-40.
      5. Entering into the good land to build God’s house. Josh – 2 Kings.
  2. Slavery in Egypt:
    1. Exodus begins with a poor situation, giving us a detailed record of the activities of God’s people in their situation of slavery and death in Egypt under Pharaoh’s usurpation; people are firstly enslaved by the world and then they are deadened and killed by it. Exo 1:6-14:
      1. Because of their need to maintain their livelihood, the children of Israel fell into Egyptian tyranny. Exo: 1:10-11.
      2. Because of their need to maintain their livelihood, the children of Israel fell into Egyptian tyranny. Exo: 1:10-11.
      3. Pharaoh was wise in his dealing with God’s people; in the same way Satan deals with people to usurp them, to occupy them, and to enslave them. Exo 1:10.
      4. The Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with harshness; this word indicates that the children of Israel had no liberty, no rights, and no rest. Exo 1:13.
      5. Pharaoh made the lives of the Israelites bitter with hard labor in mortar and in brick and in all kinds of labor in the field. Exo 1:14.
      6. As slaves in Egypt, the children of Israel built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses. Exo 1:11.
    2. Discussion questions:
      1. How does the world have a hold on people today, even enslaving them?
      2. How about us? Are we enslaved?
      3. How would you apply this word “harshness” to your life situation? Does the enjoyment of the world keep us from enjoying the Lord by making us serve with harshness? How?

Download the reading: Enslaved by the World