Exodus 1:1-15 He that is in us in greater than he that is in the world
Exodus 1:1-15 He that is in us in greater than he that is in the world
Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt. 6 Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. 7 But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.
8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. 10 Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.” 11 So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel. 13 The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; 14 and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.
While Genesis records the emergence of the blessed family (from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to his sons and their families). Exodus picks up where Genesis has left off detailing the emergence of the blessed nation Israel while it struggles to free itself from the clutches of slavery to enter the promised land. During that time, evil manifested itself through Egypt to enslave the Israelites. But in the age of the New Covenant, evil is manifested through the spirit of worldliness and lawlessness to enslave and rob believers of God’s kingdom. Scriptural knowledge by itself can do nothing. And it is only by the Christ within through which we defeat the devil. Today’s devotion teaches us: He that is in us in greater than he that is in the world.
Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household:…
In this section, the author recaps genealogical details in Genesis (see Genesis 46:8) to facilitate a continuity towards a new setting. The original members (70 of them) have now become a mighty nation, which is a fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant: But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.
Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
That said, the beginning of a new age was marked by the rise of a king who did not know Joseph. It was here that Israel experienced a change from a position of privilege and prosperity to one of lack and oppression. The new king ostensibly employed an imagined threat as an occasion for his own wickedness. Indeed, the Hebrews had done nothing wrong to warrant such suspicion. The accusations were purely hypothetical: “Should they continue to multiply, the Hebrews might rise up to join with the enemy in the event of war and escape the country.” For the alleged threat was nothing more than an attempt to exploit the Hebrews’ vulnerability for the king’s pleasure.
But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.
At this point, the king’s attempt to suppress Israel’s multiplication by hard labour backfired. For their multiplication accelerated in proportion to their oppression so much so the Egyptians dreaded the Israelites even more: they were in dread of the sons of Israel.
He that is in us in greater than he that is in the world
Because the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, the Egyptians feared that they might one day lose their grip. Therefore, in hopes of suppressing the Israelites’ expansion, the Egyptians turn up the heat. As we know it, their plans backfired as the more the Israelites were afflicted, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out. Indeed, the Abrahamic covenant is effective in neutralising the powers of Egypt making the sons of Israel unstoppable. If the Old Covenant is effectual in prospering the Israelites of that time, even more so, the New Covenant is effectual in today’s believers causing us to rise above the devil’s oppression.
How does the anti-Christ enslave believers today?
In the days of Exodus, the devil to a larger extent sought to enslave the sons of Israel by imprisoning their physical bodies. Today, the anti-Christ or the devil enslave believers by imprisoning their spirits through the lure of worldliness and lawlessness. Even as Christendom at large live as freemen, their spirits are enslaved to do the devil’s bidding.
The anti-Christ oppresses believers by the following means:
- By discouraging our attempts to uphold justice and mercy. And by continually attacking and making us miserable through waves of unfortunate events. The devil’s purpose is to pressure us into turning our backs on God and taking the road of lawlessness.
- By planting doubts and causing us to lose interest in the scriptures. The devil purposes to plant falsehoods into our minds causing our hearts to grow cold.
- By causing us to become passive on the pretext of rest and full dependence on God. The devil purposes to stop us from growing in Christ-likeness and from using Christ’s authority to actively engage and defeat the devil.
- By imprisoning us by a myriad of vices and fleshly addictions. The devil purposes to destroy our ability to think, to act rationally and faithfully.
- By planting seeds of distrusts, hatred, and unforgiveness when people hurt us. The devil purposes to destroy us from the inside.
- By surfacing negative and depressing memories. The devil purposes to hinder us from fulfilling the call of God.
How do believers defeat the devil?
Paul said, “where (the power of) sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (see Romans 5:20b). Even as demonic oppression increases, the grace of God increases all the more. Indeed, Christ has defeated the devil through His resurrection (see Colossians 2:15). Therefore, believers can now access Christ’s authority to defeat the devil by dwelling on the word of Christ within. The apostle John said,
“This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:3-4
By regularly coming before God with our weaknesses, addictions and sins, we allow the Christ within to arise and defeat the devil and his agents. Scriptural knowledge by itself can do nothing. But it is only by the Christ within through which we defeat the devil.
Whenever the devil makes our lives miserable, we take hold of Christ’s authority by sending out the warring angels to destroy him. Indeed, Jesus said, “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do” – John 14:12.
Whenever the devil plants doubts against the truth of the word, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness and His promises. Indeed, “All the promises of God are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And amen to the glory of God” (see 2 Corinthians 1:20).
Whenever we are entrapped by a myriad of addictions and vices, and having received divine forgiveness, we invoke the grace of Christ to destroy the power of sin (see Romans 5:20).
Whenever we are bombarded with thoughts of vengeance and hatred, we dwell on the perfect love of God that overcame the world of hate. Jesus overcame the powers of the devil by forgiving those who persecuted Him.
Whenever the devil haunts us with memories of traumatic events, we invoke the blood of Christ to cleanse our conscience of negative memories and notions (see Hebrews 9:14).
Dear Lord, I thank you for giving me your authority by which I defeat the devil and his agents. I am confident that by Christ’s wisdom, love and authority vested in me, I can overcome the world and fulfill my calling. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.