Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
One of the strangest anomalies of history is the fate of Israel held in Egyptian slavery. That was something that was not supposed to be! How could it ever have happened?
The Lord told Abraham that his descendants "will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. ... [And] afterward they shall come out with great possessions" (Gen. 15:13, 14). Yes, they were to be slaves all that time! But was it the Lord's will for them?
The Lord had made those seven glorious New Covenant promises to Abraham (Gen. 12:2, 3), which applied not only to him, but to his descendants after him: "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. ... The law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect" (Gal. 3:16, 17). God's promise is always firm and solid!
Why then should Israel be slaves in Egypt? Jeremiah was shown that it should never have been: "Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why is he plundered?" (Jer. 2:14; the Good News Bible renders it, "Israel is not a slave, he was not born into slavery"!).
There can be only one answer: Abraham's descendants forgot the New Covenant promises that God had made to their father Abraham. Even the patriarch had trouble believing how good the Good News is when he agreed to take that second wife, Hagar, and thus to doubt and disbelieve the Lord's promises that "in Isaac your seed shall be called"! (Gen. 21:12).
Have you forgotten those promises? Then confess that you are in that distraught father's place when he begged Jesus, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24). That should have been Israel's prayer all during those 430 years! Let it be ours now.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 8, 2006.
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