Thursday, September 4, 2014

Peace in the Middle East- Will it ever Come/6

Jewish people claim their heritage back to the age of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Jacob is the father of twelve sons. His son Joseph was despised by most of his brothers and their hatred led to his slavery. Proving his wisdom Joseph finds favor and becomes the second in command of all of Egypt. Famine strikes the lands and Jacob sends his sons to find refuge in Egypt. Unbeknownst to the son's of Jacob their evil scheme was to be used by God for the salvation of their entire family.

In a scene of great emotion and reconciliation Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. After hugs and tears Joseph asks of his father. Soon the family finds safety and food to see them through the seven years of famine. The family of Jacob finds a welcome place in Egypt due to the power and popularity of Joseph. Due to their good standing the Son's of Jacob stay in Egypt past the time of the famine.

When the Pharaoh who has promoted Joseph dies the new leader does not recognize the Son's of Jacob. They are enslaved and given heavy and burdensome jobs. The enslavement of the Twelve Son's of Jacob lasts for close to four hundred years. In all of their trouble God has been preparing them for deliverance. Even in the midst of slavery and non-stop labor their numbers increase.

Alarmed at the growth of the Hebrew people Pharaoh demands the murder of all Hebrew male newborns. Again, God intervenes and a specific male child is saved. His name would be Moses and he would be raised in the house of Pharaoh. As a young man Moses kills an Egyptian who is mistreating a Hebrew and he flees from Egypt into the wilderness.

Exodus 3  - We find the remarkable story of God's plan of deliverance coming to life. Through the passionate act of Moses he finds himself standing in front of a bush that appears to be on fire. The Lord appears to Moses from within the bush. To state that Moses was afraid would be an understatement. Waiting, with bare feet, Moses hears the voice of God. He clearly, and in unmistakable words identifies himself as, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Moses resists the commands of God in representing Him before the Hebrews and Pharaoh. After making excuses, God commands him to identify him as, The Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the presence of the Hebrew leaders Moses tells of his encounter and how God identified Himself.

Moses and Aaron present themselves to Pharaoh and demand the release of the Hebrew people. The Pharaoh is incensed at the request and demands that the workload of the Hebrews be increased. Under God's directive Moses pronounces plagues upon the Egyptian people. Each plague is resisted until the final plague claims the life of every firstborn male Egyptian child.

At this point a few things to remember. For more than four hundred years the oral tradition has kept alive the hatred between Ishmael, Esau and Isaac and Jacobs descendants. Springing from the posterity of Ishmael and Esau the twelve princes of Arabia become a great nation, just as God promised. Their land encompasses the entire lands east of the Sinai to modern Yemen.

God promised that the entire world would be blessed through the descendants of Jacob. The separation of the families and the animosity will ultimately lead to bloodshed and a continual hatred.

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