The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them. “Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you. Deuteronomy 7:7-13 NKJV
For the longest time, I have wondered why the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh when dealing with the Israelites in Exodus. After reading Exodus 14 today, it became clearer. The Egyptians did not worship God. They believed in their own gods and it was in them that they placed their faith. Their culture was also deeply embedded in those beliefs. Their hearts and minds belonged to that culture.
Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” And they did so. Exodus 14:4 NKJV
The Lord was looking to gain honor over Pharaoh, the leader of the Egyptians. He was after the hearts of the Egyptians, that they may know who He is. When Pharaoh pursued the Isrealites, they called out to the Father of Heaven and Earth. The mightiest army was pursuing the Isrealites. It caused the children of Isreal to even question why the Lord had brought them out of Egypt – to die by the hand of the Egyptian army? They even question who they serve.
Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:12 NKJV
Moses provides the answer. It is the salvation of the Lord in which he delivers us from death. It is in Him that we can have peace.
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14
I absolutely love the story of Pharaoh’s Dreams. It is so intriguing to me that Pharaoh had dreams from God and Joseph was used to interpret them. Joseph knew who the dreams were from and who could interpret them. He knew that he could not interpret them without God.
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.” So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” (Genesis 41:15-16, NKJV)
No one could explain Pharaoh’s dreams to him, not even the “magicians” that they trusted. Joseph knew that God was trying to tell Pharaoh that there would be 7 good years and 7 years of famine. God delivered the dream to Pharaoh twice because these events were established by God Himself. Joseph followed the interpretation with a plan that would allow them to not only survive the famine, but make a profit as a thriving economy. They were to collect one-fifth of the produce during the seven plentiful years for use during the 7 years of famine.
Pharaoh acknowledged that the “Spirit of God” was with Joseph and entrusted him with power over Egypt. Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife, Asenath. His children were named with very special names: Manasseh (For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house) and Ephraim (For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction) – both names giving credit to God. The events took place, just as God had told them and all countries went Joseph to buy grain because of the famine.