February 14
Exodus 1:1-11

Blessings as God planned

As the years went by, Joseph and his brothers eventually died in Egypt. However, their children and grandchildren continued to live there and their descendants, the Israelites, became a strong nation.

A new king had come to power in Egypt and he did not even know about Joseph. The king became worried and said, “These Israelites are becoming a threat to us.”

So the Egyptians made them slaves. Yet, even though they tried to make the lives of the Israelites miserable, they only grew stronger and more in number.

Does God’s blessing mean a life without difficulty?

God had made a promise to Abraham—to bless him and make his descendants a great nation. He had made the same promise to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and to Isaac’s son, Jacob. Now, Jacob’s twelve sons had become such a great nation that the Egyptians became worried. And so the Egyptians forced them to be slaves so that they would never be able to rise up and conquer them. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Surely God’s special favor includes His protection. Had God stopped blessing them? No, it was God’s blessing that made the Egyptians worried in the first place.

However, God’s promise to them was not complete. He had promised them a certain country to live in, and they were not in that country yet. If things had continued to go well in Egypt, they would have had no reason to leave.

Although you may only see a part of what God has promised, He may be using the struggles in your life to prepare the way for something even better later on.

Verse for today

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance” Hebrews 11:13.