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In the last article we'd took a look at the possible unforeseen dangers, that Israel would have had faced, if they had been allowed to return to the land of Canaan, without having to endure a very long season of captivity from within the Egyptian kingdom. For I'd pointed out, that at this point from within Israel's history, they didn't have near the numbers that they had as a nation (nor the faith in the God of their forefathers), when the Almighty had finally used Moses to deliver them from their captivity.
Now I'd like to think that this is very important to note.
For it's these types of details and perspectives, that helps to give us some deeper insight...
When it came to why the Israelites had to endure a very long season of captivity, from within the Egyptian kingdom to begin with.
And this also why I'd used that article, to mention some of the very powerful civilizations that were existing at this time from within the land of Canaan.
For I hold true to the notion, that with Israel's lack of numbers as a nation, and their tremendous lack of faith, when it came to the God of their forefathers, it would have been near impossible for the Israelites to defeat these very powerful civilizations on their own. And honestly, the absence of faith alone (in regard to the God that they were serving) would have kept them from having the courage and the obedience, when it came to following the specific instructions (for these instructions were crucial, when it came to them defeating their enemies) that had came from that very same God.
Yeah sure, we could assume that God would have stepped in to help them, and that God would not have allowed them to perish -- I mean after all, He had a covenant He was beholden to, when it came to them. But since they didn't personally know the Lord at this moment in time, and with there probably being good chance that weren't any spiritual leaders that the Lord could have used (being that they all had passed around the time that Joseph did) God would not have risked stepping in, only to see His credit of giving them victory -- be given to themselves, or even worse, to be given to some false god.
And this is why I believe, that God allowed them to go into a season of captivity. And even though the Israelites for the time being, had lost their freedom, and had now found themselves dealing with an unfortunate season of captivity -- I want you to know, that the God of their forefathers, was still with them: "But the more the Egyptians afflicted them, the more the Israelites multiplied and grew. And the Egyptians were in dread of the children of Israel." -- Exodus 1:12
So what this Scripture basically points out -- is that even though through one's natural perception, the Israelites may have seemed to be broken, and weak -- they were in actuality (thanks to the God of their forefathers) growing stronger as a nation. For I want you to know, that God was setting the stage so to speak. For it would be on this particular stage, that God would pit the Israelites against all they ever known.
For we must not forget, that the Israelites at this point from within their history, would be seen as a new generation -- which would be a generation, that did not know the God of their forefathers personally, like their forefathers had done before them. And in reality, if one were to be honest -- all they knew at this time, were the false gods that the Egyptians were serving.
Now don't get me wrong, the Israelites didn't make the fatal mistake of falling into the Egyptians false idolatrous practices, when it came to their false gods. For what it's worth, they did hold strong their traditions, which included them staying as faithful as they possibly good, when it came to the God of their forefathers.
But if we were to think about their situation for a moment -- one can't help but see, how the Israelites were able to see daily, and naturally, just how great the Egyptian kingdom was becoming, in spite of their false idolatry. For they were able to see, how the Egyptians were steadily growing as a nation, and how they were constantly becoming more powerful, as they constantly gave the credit to their false gods.
Now keep in mind, that this is what one would try to call "having physical evidence" and it's this type of so-called evidence, that could have easily led one to question, if these deities that the Egyptians were serving, were truly for real: "Oh my, look at how the Egyptian gods are blessing their people" Now if we were to be honest with ourselves, could we truly blame a person (or a group of people) for thinking a thought such as this, based upon what they were seeing daily?
Now I know that there are some Christians, who hate this type of rhetoric -- but in reality, it's a fact, that humans are more confident in believing in the things that they can naturally see and touch. Perhaps this is why the majority of us, always fall for one's outside public image, instead of taking the time, to see the "inner contents" (or one's true character) that's taking place from within the person, that's projecting that very same public image. But I digress...
Now I want you to remember -- that at this point from within Israel's history, keep in mind that the Israelites didn't have a Sacred Record that they could fall back on -- like we have today with the Bible. Understand that Moses (the author of the Pentateuch -- which is the first five books of the Bible) wasn't even born at this point.
Know that all the Israelites had at this point in time, when it came to their spirituality -- were the repeated telling and the reassurances of the covenant that God had made with their forefathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Which was a promise by God that was initially given to Abraham -- which basically dealt with the future of Israel. And I guess we can also throw in the repeated tellings, that dealt with the life of Joseph (and his personal relationship with God) -- being that he was the very person that had brought them down to Egypt to begin with.
Nonetheless, I'd like to think, that this was in no doubt, a challenge for the Israelites -- seeing that they didn't have the knowledge, or the understanding, to be able to recognize the tremendous amount of true physical evidence, that the God of their forefathers had constantly surrounded them with.
But in spite of all this, know that all is well, for I hold true to the notion, that God is setting the stage for a divine showdown. For this will be a showdown that will take place against the very gods, that the Egyptians took pride in, when it came to serving them.
Now let's take a look at a few things real quick when it comes to a particular contradiction that Bible critics insist on spewing out of their mouths. So bear with me, as I quickly walk you through this. For I pray that God will bless you with the much needed insight, to be able to understand what I'm about to bring before you.
Now for starters, keep in mind, that even though this season was considered harsh for the Israelites -- know that, if everything would have stayed well and peaceful from within the land of Egypt, know that the Israelites would not have wanted to leave the Egyptian Empire, when it was time for them to leave. Remember that God had already foretold to Abraham, that Israel was going to be strangers in a land.
And on top of this, the Lord had also foretold to Abraham, that his people were also going to be afflicted, while being held in bondage for 400 years. Remember that the Word of God will always reign true, no matter what: "Then He said to Abram: 'Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved, and afflicted for four hundred years. But also know, that the nation whom they serve, I will judge -- and afterward, they shall come out with great possessions.'" -- Genesis 15:13,14
Also on a quick note, why we're here. I want to point out the possible start date for these "400 years" that's mentioned from within the Scripture in reference above. For I want you to know, that these "400 years" deals basically with the Scriptures, that spoke about what God had told Abraham, when he had first entered Canaan:
"Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said: 'To your descendants I will give this land.' And it would be there, that Abram built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And Abram moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east. And it was also there, that he'd built an altar to the Lord, and it was at this time that he'd called on the name of the Lord. So Abram journeyed forth, in which he'd continued to travel toward the south. Now at this time, there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land." -- Genesis 12:7-10
Now these are the Scriptures that dealt with God's promise, and the point of reference, which begins the 430 year countdown that's mentioned here: "Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was 430 years." -- Exodus 12:40
Now did you notice that? "430 years" instead of "400 years." Please stay with me, I'll try to explain further, for this particular Scripture is also backed, and confirmed by the apostle Paul:
"Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say: 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one: 'And to your Seed,' who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was 430 years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect." -- Galatians 3:16,17
Now keep in mind, that when it comes to the "430 years" reference that's mentioned. Know that this is basically dealing with the first promise that God had given to Abraham, when he'd first entered into Canaan. But later on, we find that God would renew, or confirm this promise with Abraham almost thirty years later and it would be at this time, we find that God would mention the remaining time that would be left for Israel, when it came to being strangers in a foreign land, from that point forward.
Understand that when the Scriptures talk about being strangers in a foreign land, this doesn't deal with only Egypt, this also includes Canaan. And although Canaan was eventually promised to them -- at that point in history, the land was not officially theirs, as of yet. So therefore, they were still strangers in that land as well. Remember the earlier Scripture:
"Then He said to Abram: 'Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved, and afflicted for four hundred years. But also know, that the nation whom they serve, I will judge -- and afterward, they shall come out with great possessions.'" -- Genesis 15:13,14
Now I know that I jumped ahead for a moment, but like I'd mentioned earlier, this is another one of those Scriptures that Bible critics try to use, when it comes to their outrageous "Bible contradictions" claims. But once again, the timeline plays a very important role. And once again, it's either ignored, or simply not known.
Please understand that I just want you to be able to stand in the upmost confidence, when it comes to the Word of God and our Lord and Savior: Jesus (Yeshua) Christ. And this is why I take the time to point out the little things -- for they may seem to be small in detail, and might not seem like much -- but in actuality, I truly believe that it's information that needs to be known and digest.
**YOUR CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE SERIES - WOULD BE HERE**
128) Moses the Historian
129) The Exodus Stage
131) A New Pharaoh Rises
134) <-CURRENT BIBLE STUDY ONLINE PAGE->
140) Moses the Exiled Son
145) The Call of Moses