- The leaders/forefathers died, but the Israelites: 1. Were fruitful and increased, 2. Multiplied, 3. Became exceedingly mighty, and 4. Filled the land. This pattern follows throughout chapter 1. It is very similar to the Great Commission: 1. Go and Make Disciples (be fruitful and multiply), 2. Of all the Nations (fill the land). And it reminds me of when Jesus said it’s to our advantage that He go. When the leaders step out of the way, it makes room for greater fruitfulness, multiplication, strength, and reaching out.
- You will have enemies who want to oppress and oppose your multiplication simply because you’re doing it. It’s a perceived, but unfounded, threat.
- A 2-sentence decision from the mouth of someone with influence/power changes the course of world history. What fodder for application here in the world of Washington, D.C.! This verse underscores how important it is for us to reach the decision-makers of this city and pray for them and their decisions.
- The oppressive tasking on the Israelites was needless–it all was surplus that had to be stored rather than to address a current need. So, too, our afflictions/sufferings often are needless. And that makes it so much more unjust and so much harder to bear. If we were afflicted for things we had done wrong or because there was a legitimate need for which we had to sacrifice, then the afflicition/suffering would be just, warranted, or necessary. But when it isn’t, it adds insult to injury.
- This is an extremely powerful spiritual truth: because of the affliction, the Israelites multiplied, filled the land (spread out), and grew in strength, and Pharaoh became more afraid. Oftentimes, our affliction and suffering is the very means God uses to accomplish the Great Commission through us. Had the Israelites not been afflicted, they would not have grown (in numbers and in strength), caused Pharaoh even greater fear, or needed to be delivered by God. It’s possible “Israel” would still be within Egypt!
- A 2-person ministry team fears God more than the world, follows Him first, and results in even greater multiplication and might for the Israelites. Our work in ministry matters!
- Here we see well-intended people lying for the sake of God. How does God respond to lying? He shows them favor. The intent behind the lie is what matters.
- A delicable bit of randomness in v. 21: the “rest of the story” of the midwives’ lives is totally irrelevant to the exodus of the Israelites. But here we see that to God, their story matters. Because they feared Him, He established households for them. So from this we can deduce that they were not married and did not have children before they lied to Pharaoh. They must have been on the older side of marriageable — after all, they were old enough to deliver hundreds of other women’s babies, and women customarily married fairly young in these times. So they were “older” single women, probably without much hope that they ever would marry or have kids of their own. How hard it must have been for them to experience other people’s joy of childbirth day after day, but believe in their hearts that they would never experience that same joy for themselves! Yet, they did get all their hearts desired because they feared the Lord first. Nothing is impossible with Him. And if we seek Him first, He promises to add everything else to us. It’s a promise, not a lottery. Fearing the Lord –> establishment of a family.