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Monday, June 26, 2017

Expounding Exodus 1 — How to Overcome the Devil’s Snares

Expounding Exodus 1 How to Overcome the Devil’s Snares [Print Document]

In this article, we are going to expound Exodus 1, with God’s help. We will look at Pharaoh and his treatment of the children of Israel and see how this is symbolic of the devil and his oppression of people. We will look at what it means to stand up for what is right even when there is strong opposition. We will also see how to overcome snares of the devil.

Let’s read Exodus 1:5-12, and then discuss it a little.

Exodus 1:5-12
“[5] And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. 6. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 7. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.

8. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10. Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” [End quote]

Let’s look at verse 10. It says: “[10] Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.” This pharaoh wants to deal “wisely” with the children of Israel. This wisdom is the wisdom of the world, and it stems from fear. The wisdom of God is not based on fear: it is based on love (1 John 4:8,16). It comes from God’s mind. It does not come from the human mind. That is why we Christians must trust that God has what is best in His mind, and He will do nothing wrong by us (Romans 8:28).

Pharaoh was afraid that Israel would join to his enemies and become a major threat to him. Therefore, to keep this theoretical scenario from happening, Pharaoh ordered all the Israelites to be slaves and do hard labor. He probably thought that the heavy strain on them would cause them to have short lives and not have time to raise families. But, God was not going to let His people perish. He blessed them with more children and caused them to become a strong nation within Egypt.

The Devil Can Be Represented by Pharaoh.

The devil can be represented by Pharaoh. Like Pharaoh, Satan seeks to oppress human beings with fear, sin, depression, doubt, anxiety, hatred, and addictions. Like Pharaoh, Satan also seeks to kill people by having people harm their health, commit suicide, overdose on drugs, and live promiscuous lives. Sin is bondage (2 Peter 2:19). And, the children of Israel suffered in the bondage of slavery, building temples for the gods of Egypt.

Pharaoh himself did not actually whip the Israelites and yell at them. He delegated that to his Egyptian taskmasters. Like the taskmasters, demons oppress us and attack us whenever they can. They want to make our lives miserable, or to get us into sin, or to get us into working for favor. But, God said in His Word that He does not want us to work for His favor or for salvation.

Romans 4:3-5
“[3]For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. [4] Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. [5] But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Pharaoh Orders the Midwives to Kill.

Let’s now go to verses 15 and 16 in Exodus 1.

Exodus 1:15-16
“[15] And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: [16] And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.”

Pharaoh was ordering the midwives to murder children. Today, we would call it “abortion.” But, instead of following Pharaoh’s orders, the Hebrew midwives obeyed God and saved the children. Exodus 1:17 says: “But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.”

When the devil is tempting us to sin, should we obey him? Or, should we obey God and say no to the devil? There are many times when we can get attacked with thoughts and feelings that would have us think it would be “fine with God” if we committed some kind of sin. It could be harboring bitterness; it could be choosing to reject God’s will and do our own; or it could be giving place to another temptation that the devil attacks us with. But, what must we do to overcome temptation and to obey God?

How to Overcome Temptation

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. It will give us a powerful tool for overcoming the devil’s attacks.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“[3] For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

God has given us mighty weapons to destroy the works of the devil. We have God’s Word, the Bible, which God exalted above all His Name (Psalm 138:2). We also have the power to obey God’s Word or to disobey it. Verse 5 tells us to bring “...into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

The Greek word for thought is noéma. It means: “a thought, purpose, design; the mind; the heart, soul, feelings.” The definition of thought in Webster’s 1828 dictionary includes: “idea” [;] “something framed by imagination” [;] “purpose” [;] “opinion” [and] ”Inward reasoning; the workings of conscience.” This same dictionary’s definition of thoughtful includes “Anxious”. A couple hundred years ago, words had slightly (or very) different meanings than they do today. In the King James Bible, the word “thought” actually included more to its older meaning than the modern definition of thought. It included feelings and emotions.

The devil will seek to attack us in many areas of our life. So, when we bring every feeling, desire, emotion, imagination, and thought into Christ’s control (if they rise up against the knowledge of God and His Word), we will overcome the devil’s attacks. Since we need to bring these into captivity to Jesus Christ, it is certain that the devil attacks us through our feelings and imaginations.

God Blesses the Midwives

Getting back to the midwives, we can see that because they obeyed God rather than Pharaoh, God blessed them. Exodus 1:20-21 shows how God blessed them.

Exodus 1:20-21
“[20] Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. [21] And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.”

God gave these faithful midwives homes and families because they refused to kill the children. But, God did not want them to lie to Pharaoh. Why would God not want them to lie to save someone’s life? God wants to spare lives, but lying is against the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20:16 says: “[16] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Exodus 23:1 says: “[1] Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” Revelation 21:8 (b.) says in part: “...and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Out of fear, Abraham lied about his wife Sarah on two different occasions, and got in trouble both times (in Genesis 12 and Genesis 20).

If the midwives had simply told the truth and trusted in God, God would have delivered them like He did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (in Daniel 3). God saw that these midwives were not continuing in lying to people, and that they wanted to obey Him. But, God does not want us to lie. God’s ways are always best.

Our carnal minds are at war with God, and that is why they will not accept God’s ways. Romans 8:7 says: “[7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Let’s not follow the carnal mind, which leads toward destruction. Let’s instead follow Jesus Christ, and trust only in Him for deliverance through problems and trials. He will deliver us as we depend on Him.

If you are coming here as a non-Christian, I encourage you to read this. God desires to have fellowship with you, as you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.



Webster, Noah. American Dictionary of the English Language. United Books Press, Inc., 2009. (i.e. Webster's 1828 dictionary)

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