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God's Molding & Crafting of A Great Nation
Now we find, that Israel was now transitioning from being seen as simply being a household of their forefathers, to now entering into the early stages of becoming a great nation.
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In the last couple of articles, we've been taking a closer look at the new Pharaoh that had risen to power, after the reign of the Hyksos kings had ended. Remember (thanks to Joseph) it was the Hyksos kings that the Israelites had gained favor with, and not with the traditional Egyptian family dynasties, that had ruled Egypt before them. And when it came to this new Pharaoh, the Sacred Record makes it clear, he did not know, or cared to know, when it came to the great contributions that Joseph had made towards the Egyptian kingdom.
We also learned that this new Pharaoh did not know, or cared to know, about the God that Joseph served.
But things wouldn't end there, when it came to this Pharaoh, for the Sacred Record also points out, he'd saw the Israelites as a threat:
"And he said to his people: 'Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.'" -- Exodus 1:9,10
However, this new Pharaoh would do more, than just talk about how he'd felt, when it came to the Israelites, for he decided to do something about it as well. So he sent forth a decree that had ordered the Israelites to be dealt with. And the Egyptians would begin to carry out this decree, by assigning taskmasters over them: "Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses." -- Exodus 1:11
Now understand, that when it came to these taskmasters, know that they would force the Israelites to do what would be considered, hard and rigorous labor. Pharaoh had the taskmasters do this, with the hopes of being able to break the spiritual will of the Israelites. Remember that I'd ended the last article, by making the claim, that through Israel's appointed oppressors, God was in actuality, protecting the Israelites from far greater dangers. And when it came to these dangers, know that they were unseen by the Israelites at the time.
I also made the claim, that with our natural limited perceptions, it would be hard for any rational human (especially if they were in the midst of this affliction) to not be able, to see beyond their unfortunate, afflicted, environment. And if one were to have personally found themselves, going through what the Israelites were going through at the time, might think to themselves: "Where is the God of my fathers? And why is He allowing such a thing to happen against us?"
And honestly, can you really blame people who would think in such a way? And quite frankly, what should we expect from those who look around, and see so much hurt in the world? Can we really blame them (after they've seen, what they'd seen) for questioning God's love, or existence? Now if one's perception of God is limited, then how can we truly expect them to be able to understand, or see beyond the world's (or a person's) current dire situation? How can we expect them to know, that sometimes it's better to suffer now, than to perish later?
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Thank You God!
Now this is why I hold true to the notion, that we as Christians, shouldn't scoff, or look down at the those, who may find themselves shackled to a natural limited perception and mindset, when it comes to God and the personal relationship that He seeks to have with us. I mean after all, if we weren't able to see no further, than the Israelites could during their dire situation, than perhaps, we too, would be asking the same questions: "If there is a God that loves us so much, then why is there so much pain and suffering going on in the world today? Why is God allowing it happen?"
And it's for this reason, why I thank God for the Sacred Record (Bible) that He has left for us to learn from. For it gives us a tremendous advantage, by giving us the ability to see beyond the natural; to be able to see things that we normally wouldn't have been able to see, without it. For I truly believe that the Sacred Record shows us God, and not only in a spiritual sense, but in a natural way as well.
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Don't Condemn but Pray for People
Now I'll tell you this, there's no way a person that claims to have study the Word of God, continues on believing that God is invisible and that He can't be known. And it's also easy for us to shake our heads, when people become frustrated, and begin to doubt the existence of God. But we have to remember, that we must continue to pray for them. Trust me, God hears the prayers of a faithful person. And from within those prayers, let's us not forget to ask God, to not give up, when it comes to showing them the truth, and the right pathway to eternal life.
Oh how I pray, that we'll learn to pray for them, instead of condemning them to an eternal death. For I also pray that one day, the Lord will allow those with limited worldly mindsets, the privilege of seeing beyond the limitations that the world has placed on them. Heavenly Father let them see into the realm of great expectations. The great expectations that You have set before us.
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Israel In a State of Transition
Nevertheless, let's get to the bigger picture, you know, the one that goes beyond the natural, and into this realm of great expectations that the Lord have promised us. Let's begin by using Israel's situation as an example. First off, we have to understand, Israel as a nation, was in a state of transition at this time. Keep in mind, that up to this point, there had always been a person that the Lord was able to use, when it came to Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.
Now we find, Israel transitioning from being seen, as simply being a household of their forefathers, to now entering into the early stages, of becoming a great nation. Also remember, there was no spiritual leader (that was working hand in hand with the Spirit of the Lord, or at least, we know of) during this time, for one could easily assume, they had all passed. And because of this spiritual void, we're now dealing with a generation of Israelites that did not know God personally.
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Israel Didn't Have Enough Faith
Now think about this for a moment, when it comes to the Israelites not knowing God, the way that their forefathers had done, before them. One could easily adopt the notion, that the Israelites did not have the faith, nor the strength in numbers, when it came to trying to survive, from within the treacherous land of Canaan at this point. Now stick with me, as I try to shed some light on this viewpoint.
For such a viewpoint, would become clearer, right after God had used Moses to lead the Israelites from out of their Egyptian captivity. And they still didn't have enough faith, when it came to conquering the land of Canaan; and this was after their numbers had grown substantially. And their lack of faith played as a major factor, when it came to keeping the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty straight years. And this is with the Israelites, knowing that God had promised them the land of Canaan, and yet, they needed more convincing.
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Jericho for the Sake of Argument
So let's say, for the sake of argument, that Pharaoh would have played nice, and the Israelites would have been able to leave Egypt at this point, you know, before Moses came along. One would think, they probably would have ventured back to the land of Canaan, so that they could have kept the promise that they had made to Joseph:
"And Joseph said to his brethren (the Israelites), 'I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.' Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, 'God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.'" -- Genesis 50:24,25
And after keeping their obligation, they would have tried to settle from within the land that was promised to them. Now remember that at this stage, their numbers were still small, they were still just a small band of people. And because of this, one couldn't honestly say that the Israelites would have been able to conquer the civilizations that inhabited the land at this time.
Seriously? Would the Israelites been able to conquer the great city of Jericho that had already been established from within the Jordan valley at this point in their history? Understand that the city of Jericho, was a great city that was known to be a well fortified stronghold. Not only that, but during that time, it was the most important city, and strongest fortress from within the entire land of Canaan.
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The City of Ai for the Sake of Argument
And what about Ai the city of the Ammonites? Could the Israelites have taken that city at this point in their history? Now later on in our journey, we'll learn what happened at the "city of Ai" when the Israelites had finally felt confident about themselves as a nation. But for curiosity sake, here's a little bit of it:
"And they returned to Joshua and said to him, 'Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.' So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water." -- Joshua 7:3-5
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The Five Amorite Kings for the Sake of Argument
Now after reading that little bit of info, what about the five Amorite kings? : King Adoni-Zedek of Jerusalem, King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, and King Debir of Eglon. Would the Israelites have been able to withstand their great alliance? What about the capital of Hazor? Could it have been possible, for the Israelites to defeat their king Jabin, and his coalition during this time? Well let's see what the Sacred Record had to say about Hazor:
"And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor heard these things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph, and to the kings who were from the north, in the mountains, in the plain south of Chinneroth, in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west, to the Canaanites in the east and in the west, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite in the mountains, and the Hivite below Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
"So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. And when all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel." -- Joshua 11:1-5
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Make No Mistake God Was Keeping Israel Safe
Understand, these are the unforeseen dangers that I'm speaking of. These are the unforeseen dangers, that God kept the Israelites from having to deal with, at this point in their history. And this is why I hold true to the notion, the Lord used the Egyptian kingdom, to help mold and craft the Israelites from within the beginning stages, when it came to them becoming a great nation, He had promised they would be. But at this point from within our journey, they simply weren't ready yet.
So instead of the Israelites possibly being eliminated by one of the many civilizations that I'd mentioned above, God had them suffer for a moment, giving them time to grow in strength and faith. And with that being said, one should be able to now see, thanks to the Sacred Record, God did not abandon the Israelites when they were in a time of great need, as it would initially seem:
"But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage -- in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor." -- Exodus 1:12-14
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Israel Was God's Spiritual Crown Jewels
Now I want you to notice how the Scriptures pointed out, that the Israelites had grew in the midst of their ordeal: "But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew." No, no, no! ... this is not a curse, or a punishment, or abandonment by the Lord, as most would suggest. No my friends, this is God simply building, and crafting Himself a great nation, just like He had promised.
And yes, they would have to go through the process of having to deal with a fiery season of affliction, and persecution for a moment. But just like all precious and invaluable metals, it takes an extremely intense heat, to be able to mold them anywhere near perfection. Know that Israel is God's crown jewel at this point from within humanity's history.
I also want you to know, and be reminded, that we too (thanks to Jesus Yeshua Christ) are also crown jewels, who have now been given a place from within God's eternal divine treasure chest. And I don't know about you, but I like to think, when it comes to being able to be apart of such a priceless collection, is simply a privilege that can't be explained from within the finite capacity of the human mind.
In the next Bible Study Online Article:
In our next article, we'll take a look, and see if God had already told Abraham that Israel would go through such a season, when it came to Egypt. Now I didn't forget about the false contradiction claim, that the Bible critics are bellowing about either. I will definitely cover that in the next article as well, please forgive me for not doing so, in this one.
For we need to know why the Bible critics insist on trying to say that this prophecy that God had told Abraham, is some sort of contradiction, and even worse, that it wasn't fulfilled. Well let's see if their contradiction claim holds any water in our next article. Until then, may God continue to smile on all that you do, especially when it comes to His glorious kingdom
May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support
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