Plight of the Persecuted

23 Then Israel entered Egypt; Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24 The Lord made his people very fruitful; he made them too numerous for their foes,
25 whose hearts he turned to hate his people, to conspire against his servants.
26 He sent Moses his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They performed his signs among them, his wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness and made the land dark—for had they not rebelled against his words?
29 He turned their waters into blood, causing their fish to die.
30 Their land teemed with frogs, which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers.
31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country.
32 He turned their rain into hail, with lightning throughout their land;
33 he struck down their vines and fig trees and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came, grasshoppers without number;
35 they ate up every green thing in their land, ate up the produce of their soil.
36 Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their manhood.
37 He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered.
38 Egypt was glad when they left, because dread of Israel had fallen on them. Psalm 105:23-38

This passage is a fairly succinct description of the Israelites living in and leaving Egypt.

Even though they were slaves in Egypt, they were fruitful. When they left, the Egyptians were glad to see them go because of all the problems that the Lord had rained down on them.

As we saw in the previous verses about Joseph, so we see here too. Despite being in captivity, the Israelites were a blessed people. They were foreigners in a foreign land but God had his hand on them.

We too are strangers on this earth. When we’re doing our jobs by standing up for righteousness and preaching the Gospel, others will disagree strongly and do what they can to prevent us from continuing. Not all people, but those who want to silence the Gospel. This is all to be expected.

In fact, millions are being persecuted like this – and much worse – throughout the world right now. They are, as the writer of Hebrews said, “the world was not worthy of them”:

They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were put to death by the sword. They went around in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, oppressed, and mistreated.

38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and hid in caves and holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. Hebrews 11:37-39

Consider the plight of the persecuted. Consider their families in your prayers. Pray for the churches they are involved with. We can learn great lessons about faith and courage by reading some of their stories.

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