Ralph's Daily Devotional - Wednesday, May 16

Four hundred years prior to this time, the then reigning pharaoh had extended to Joseph and his family a gracious welcome (Genesis 47:5-6,11).  But much had changed (Exodus 1:11-14).  This "new" pharaoh (the word meaning "ruling house") is not identified by name, making precise dating and identification of him impossible.  The locations of Raamses and Pithon were within Egypt's Northern Delta, built in honor of Raamses, but exact locations are unknown.

What we are dealing with here is a demonic and corrupted system of state slavery; the degrading and brutal conscription of people forced to work for an indefinite time under the most oppressive conditions with absolutely no rights of their own or compensation.  Organized in work gangs, they received neither pity nor individual recognition.  They were used in part to maintain the irrigation ditches of the Nile, often working waist-deep in mud.  The Israelites also worked in the fields under the most inhumane of conditions.  Records of slaves reveal their merciless beatings and deaths suffered under the hands of their relentless tormentors.

One discovered inscription from a disgruntled slave states, "Are we never to have rest?  Even with their barns filled to overflowing, they still force us to make haste and work."

At the burning bush, God stated, "I have seen the sufferings" (the word means extreme hardship) "of my people and have come to deliver them."  Injustice is sadly a present fact of life, but there will be a day of reckoning.

Slavery still exists in parts of the world where slave trafficking and the selling of young girls for sex brings in huge business and profit.  It stands against the dignity afforded all human beings created in the image of God.

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