WHAT DID GOD SAY IN HIS WORD?

1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 All the descendants of Jacob were seventy persons; Joseph was already in Egypt. 6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. 7 But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. 13 So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves 14 and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

15 Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. 18 So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” 19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” 20 So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. 22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”

Recall from Sunday:

We belong to God’s people and promises (1:1-7), despite opposition (1:8-14), so we fear God and overcome (15-22).

Reflect:

What stood out to you during the sermon?

What did you learn about God and his plans for his people from the Bible passages?

WHAT DID GOD SAY TO ME THROUGH HIS WORD?

God promised Abraham that He would give him innumerable descendants (Gen. 13:14-16), and that promise begins coming to pass in earnest in Exodus 1:7. If we have been grafted into God’s people Israel (Romans 11:11-24), does that mean God’s promises to Abraham extend to us? In what way? How do these promises impact your relationship with God?

Pharaoh did his best to stop the Israelites from multiplying (Ex. 1:11-16), “but the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied” (Ex. 1:12). Was there anything Pharaoh could have done to stop God’s plans for his people? Are there opponents of God’s plans today, cultural trends, personal hardships, that make it seem like God isn’t going to be able to do what he promised? What does this passage have to say about how we view those things?

Shiphrah and Puah fear God instead of Pharaoh (Ex. 1:17), serving as examples of faithfulness despite great personal risk, and they receive God’s blessing in return (1:20-21). How have you had to choose to follow God recently? Were there any costs or risks involved? How did you handle the fear in that process?

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO ABOUT IT?

Spend some time sharing what fears you are each facing in this upcoming season/year. Ask the question, “how might that fear lead you to disobey God?” And then spend some time praying for God’s help to stand firm despite the challenges you are facing. If there are additional ways as a group that you can support each other in these fears this year, make plans to help each other.