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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Monday, May 14

Exodus 1:1-7 opens our story with the "Sons of Israel," that is, the 12 brothers of Jacob. The writer assumes a familiarity with Genesis, especially the story of Joseph, whose influence allows the family safe entrance and a continued presence in Egypt.  Israel is prolific to the extreme.  Most likely, the term "land" refers not to all of Egypt, but to the eastern part of the Nile Delta.

At first there are only 70, but the Israelites are prolific to an almost supernatural extent, confirming God's promises to Abraham that He would make of him a great nation (Genesis 32:12).

This motif of greatness arising out of weakness runs continually in the Bible.  For example, take our Lord's story of how the church will begin and grow from the most humble of origins (Matthew 13:31-32Acts 1:15).  Both paradigms, whether it be Israel's humble beginning with only 70 in Egypt or the early church beginning with just 120, illustrate how God's promises and power cannot be overcome for His people. 

That truth is fully revealed in Revelation 7:9, where we see a future vision of the final and great purpose of God that comes to pass despite all outward weakness and oppression.  Never despise what seems small and weak in your life.  It just might wind up being the thing that brings the very best out of you when used for His glory!

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