These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. 5 The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7 but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
8 Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. 9 “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” Exodus 1:1-10
God blessed the Israelites who followed the patriarchs with more Israelites! Having too many, however, was a problem, and the Egyptians seized on that notion quickly. The new leaders didn’t care about Joseph or his family. Self-preservation was their only care.
So, why didn’t the Israelites go back to Canaan where their ancestors were from? They stayed long after the seven-year famine had ended. Now, though, the Egyptians feared that they would be soon be outnumbered. They knew they were in a foreign land and didn’t know anything about the new Pharoah. They were clearly complacent and trusting of the new Egyptian leadership. In a word, they were comfortable.
Are you comfortable? Are you complacent? Obviously those are broad questions, but chances are good you have in mind what you think I mean by it. In other words, you have areas – we all have areas – where we are complacent and comfortable. We’ve lost the will to “fight” and so we just drift. Again, these two questions aren’t meant to point fingers because I truly don’t know where you are comfortable or complacent.
Does it matter whether you’re complacent and comfortable? To some it might, but to others, eh don’t worry about it!
Think about those two (actually three) questions and let me know your results.
The Lord’s blessing on each of you.