"But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly." Exodus 1:12-13
The book of Exodus is about oppression. The Egyptians oppressed the Israelites after Joseph and his brothers died. However, the book of Exodus is also about redemption. God loved Israel, and God rescued them from slavery in Egypt. God blessed Israel, even in captivity. In Exodus 1, we see that even in slavery the Israelites grew. Their growth was a problem for the king of Egypt because he saw it as a threat. He made the labor as harsh as he could make it for the Israelites, and he even wanted the Hebrew midwives to kill the babies being born if they were boys. Exodus 1:17 says, "The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live." Exodus 1:20-21 says, "So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own." God had a plan to redeem Israel, and even the most powerful man on the earth at the time could not stop God's plan. Pharaoh would continue to put pressure on the Israelites. He would do everything he could do to oppress them. But God loved His children! God was redeeming the oppressed!
I love how God used the midwives in this passage. The midwives were an important part of the redemption process. How is it that these seemingly insignificant women could play such a big part in the redemption process? THEY FEARED GOD. Proverbs 19:23 says, "The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble." These women are proof. God gave them families of their own; He gave them life, life untouched by the troubles of Pharaoh. Pharaoh was upset, but God protected the midwives, and He blessed them with life...children of their own! They may have seemed insignificant, but they were extremely significant in the plan of redemption that God was unfolding. God was redeeming the oppressed! Today, you may be facing oppression. Maybe you are oppressed physically or emotionally or spiritually. Maybe today you are oppressed due to a life of sin. Sin separates us from God. Sin leads to death...both now and eternally. You need to know that God loves you! God can and will rescue you from your oppression! Cry out to Him. Fear the Lord and surrender to His plan for your life. Even in oppression you can grow and live a significant life. He has already redeemed you through the blood of His Son, Jesus! When you trust in Jesus with your heart, you are embracing God's redeeming process in your life. He will rescue you from the oppression, the bondage and the penalty of sin. He will give you life...both now and eternally. Believe it! Claim it! Live it!