Many times when we discuss the land of Egypt within the confines of the Bible, our minds automatically track back to the time when the children of Israel were in bondage there. We see them under the weight of the taskmasters, dealing with oppressive circumstances that are beyond their control. They stand by and watch as some are beaten, others are killed; lack and degrading situations run rampant throughout their time there. Fear, hatred, and jealousy by others drove them to the place where they are residing; a place where tough days seem like they will never come to an end.
Often times, when people find themselves in a hard spot of life, or when they find themselves coming up short and just not happy with the way things are turning out at this particular time, they refer to that circumstance as their place of “Egypt.” This is where heartbreak and troubling times lie. This is the place where it seems everything is fighting against them and no matter what one does it just doesn’t appear that they will ever come out on top. People may not have taskmaster’s whips to deal with, but other things just lash and lash out at them, making it hard to get back up again.
As hard as this may be to believe, I assure you your Egypt will not last forever. I’m sure the children of Israel had doubts about this. After all, their time there lasted about four hundred years. Yet, even before this family of seventy ventured into the land and grew to the astronomical numbers we see in Exodus, God knew all about their time there before they were even there.
In Genesis 15:13 God told Abram, “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.” Outside of that prophecy God also said, “And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance,” (Genesis 15:14). In this we see, there was a promise before they even set one foot in Egypt; before they even encountered a problem, God already had a blessing lined up for when they came out.
Today, we fight against so many unknowns. We deal with all the this and that’s of life that it simply just weighs one down. One might not find themselves in a literal state of captivity, but something just sits on them heavy, becoming an almost unbearable burden, that they just don’t know what to do. With a feeling of exasperation, some just give up, content just to go through the motions of life, without grabbing hold of the feeling of hope because of the fear of being let down again, just to drift back into that state of uncertainty once more.
But, I am here to tell you today, continue hoping and never give up. Your “Egypt” is not lost on God. God knows what you are facing. He knows every disappointment you are dealing with. He knows every struggle you are battling. He knows every thing that you are fighting through and that’s fighting against you.
It may be hard to see the proverbial silver lining in a dark cloud at times or the light at the end of the tunnel, but we have something better. We have a promise! God told Abram when his people came out, they were coming out better than when they went in. God was going to judge those who did them wrong, and God was going to bless them greatly.
Another promise Abram received was in a few verses prior to those noted above. God told him, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be,” (Genesis 15:5). Not only were they going to be blessed, but they were going to come out increased in the people they were. To go from one individual to the millions they would come out to be, they were going to grow not only in number but in experience through their troubling times. For as Robert Schuller put it, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” (Quote Source: Goodreads) They would have to learn to endure some stuff in order to be the people who would eventually be fit to take on the Promised Land.
While it may at times seem like the hard times are breaking you, they may be actually making you. So remember, before there was Egypt, there was a promise. And, I don’t know about you, but I will take a promise of God over a so-called silver lining any day. The promises of God are sure. Through our relationship with Jesus Christ, we are told, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us,” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
In other words, no matter what you are facing today, Jesus has you covered. No matter the obstacles or hard places that make you feel like you are in Egypt and you just want to give up, God has an unfailing promise of His love, grace, mercy, peace, and deliverance through even the most difficult circumstances.
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