We have made it to Exodus! We start with a recap of who went to Egypt with Israel. One large group grew into a mighty nation.
Exodus is one of the books of the Old Testament that I enjoy reading
AND it makes me shake my head in wonder. I love watching how God orchestrates the release of His people. I shake my head in wonder at Pharaoh’s stubbornness. I want to yell at him “Don’t you get it!!! What is it going to take before you recognize God’s hand in all this?!” Pharaoh isn’t the only one who gets the head shake. The people of Israel certainly get it too. But their behavior includes a jaw drop! How could they be so STUPID! After EVERYTHING God does to free them, all they want to do is complain. “My feet hurt.” “I’m tired.” I want meat.” “God brought us here just to die.” “We want another god. This one might be broken.”
I literally want to smack them about the head with a 2×4! Maybe that would knock some sense of gratitude into them, or at least knock out some attitude. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Today we are just recapping the basic information of who came to Egypt in the beginning.
Upon entering Egypt, Israel was not a nation. It was a large extended family. Jacob came in with his sons, grandsons, and some great grandsons. I’m CERTAIN there were other daughters besides Dinah who accompanied this group. Missing also are the wives of all of these men. In Exodus the only ones mentioned are Jacob’s sons but Genesis 46 lists down to grandsons living at the time. The number of MALES was 70.
I was thinking about this number and wondered how my family related to that number. I had to call my mom and do some calculation. From my parents to their great grandchildren there are 60.5 (one family is currently expecting) people in our family. Sorry to say that because of divorce and remarriage this number is constantly in flux. My parents only had 5 children where Jacob recorded 12. Also I’m counting the girls as well as the boys. If I were to go back and count from my dad’s father our number would GREATLY increase. My dad is one of eleven kids. We would have to factor out girls and drop one generation back, but I would guess that our family would rival Jacob’s at that time. I wonder what the FULL count of people were that made that fateful trip.
Jacob’s/Israel’s family were prolific! They knew how to multiply and not just on paper. This family was blessed by God in this area. “The people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them” (verse 7). I’m going to hazard a guess that they multiplied faster than the Egyptians did. Not all of Jacob’s children had huge families but their average outpaced Egypt’s norms. If in doubt look at Benjamin’s family in Gen. 46. He had 10 sons by the time they went to Egypt. This puts those pictures of him being a “young boy” when Jacob wouldn’t let him go to Egypt on the first trip right out of your head. Dan was only recorded to have one son by that time. I wonder how many daughters he had by then. Unless God made his wife barren for a period of time, I would venture to guess that he had a larger family that was actually counted. I’m going to have to ask God how many ACTUALLY made that trip. I can just picture Jacob trying to make that count! Makes me smile just thinking about it.
Father God, thank You for each and every one of my children and grandchildren. I haven’t gotten to the great grandchildren yet but I can see it in the not too distant future. Jacob’s family was unique in more than just name and size. They were dedicated to following You. Israel instilled this imperative into them. No, they didn’t ALL walk in Your ways every day but that was the foundation of their lives from the beginning. I wish my family would have that same cohesion in relationship to You. I know. I HAVE to leave them in Your hands. So hard to do when I want them to know the truth of who You are and to have a future with You. Get them God! Whatever it takes.
Thank You for giving me the opportunity yesterday to share Joseph’s story with Damion and Jared. I think I need to ask them if they know WHY that Hebrew slave eventually ruled Egypt. THAT is the open door I want to walk through with them.