Monday 05 July 2021

Bible Book:

Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labour. (v. 11)

Exodus 1:1-11 Monday 5 July 2021

Psalm 11:1-5


The people of Israel have been brought to Egypt at the end of the story recounted in the book of Genesis. God’s providence, and a plot with many twists and turns accomplished this to save them from famine in Canaan. Now generations have passed and the situation has changed. The people of Israel are living out God’s initial providential promise to Abraham and growing in number. However, this makes the new Pharaoh feel threatened. We do not fully know, but we can guess, there are also other internal Egyptian politics at play to result in the oppression of the Hebrews which follows. The building of the supply cities at Pithom and Rameses indicates a deliberate shift in the Egyptian economy and, as the essential workforce, the people of Israel become a problem for Pharaoh when they begin to question their enslavement later in the narrative.

The Israelites are oppressed in a way similar to so many other people throughout history – they are victims of imperial power, prejudice and exploitation. The book of Exodus is the account of their escape and their progress towards a promised land.

This is the beginning of one of the most significant book of the Bible, an experience through which the people of Israel’s identity is formed. They are the people chosen by God and brought out of slavery – they are God’s people and are continually learning to rely upon God’s guidance and protection.

To Ponder:

  • The book of Exodus demonstrates clearly that God cares for the victims of injustice and remembers promises made over generations. Which people in today’s world is God especially concerned for?
  • Again and again in history, one group of people has oppressed another, and this has been justified and rationalised by the dominant culture. Who is at risk from oppression by your society?


 Gracious God, help us to see the needs of people around us, and help us to see injustice and know how to challenge it. Help us to see ourselves honestly, as your people learning to rely upon you. Amen.



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