Defying Pharaoh: Standing Up for What’s Right

Episode 450

June 21, 2024

Transcription

Connor:
You’re listening to The Bible Guys, a podcast where a couple of friends talk about the Bible in fun and practical ways.

Jeff:
Here we are, Chris.

Chris:
We are here.

Jeff:
Man, it’s good to be here.

Chris:
Yes. And it is Friday, which means that it is the last day of the week. People have to suffer through the weekend without us.

Jeff:
But it’s the best day of the week for Friday is the best day for most of our listeners, because the majority of time, this is when we get to find out what made Chris mad this week. It’s the most important. Yeah. It’s the most important segment we do. It’s so funny.

Chris:
Uh, yeah, so I do have one. I do have one.

Jeff:
You’re kidding! You’ve had something make you mad this week?

Chris:
Yeah, but it makes everybody mad. I never saw it coming. Yeah, out of all fairness, this makes everybody mad. Because sometimes, like if I say I’m really angry at returning shopping carts, that doesn’t make everybody mad. Yeah, it makes most people mad. Most people, but not everybody. But this right here makes everybody mad. Okay. So what happened this week, and I can’t tell you who it was or exactly the circumstances because it was personal within my family, but somebody texted me from my family and assumed the worst. And they didn’t approach it with a question, because the question should have been, hey, did you do this? And then my answer would have been, no, I didn’t do that. But instead, the assumption came with like, hey, you did this, and now blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And all of a sudden, this text comes with this really poor assumption, right, of assuming the worst. And yet, what should have happened is, assuming the best, right? Like, oh, he probably didn’t do that. Hey, Chris, did you do this? Right? And so let me give an example. So even though I can’t get specific about this, I can get specific about a time that this happened in my previous church. So we were doing this building campaign, and it was a large church, the previous church I worked at. And we had printed these really nice, full-color, high-gloss uh campaign books right now what i knew was these books were donated right so this this company who we used was owned by a person who uh who now comes to heritage by the way and uh but owned by a person who said hey this would be my gift to this capital campaign and i’m gonna like provide i’m not even kidding when i say this like I think probably tens of thousands of books, like 20,000 of these books, and they were just really nice. And they decided to give that. Well, that’s a big financial gift, right? So they give it, but we’re not going to stand up on the stage and say, hey, credit goes to this guy, right? We just don’t mention it. So this lady comes over to me after the service and she comes over and she goes, I’m not giving a dime. I’m not giving a dime to this capital campaign. I’m like, why? And she goes, because I can’t believe that you spent so much money on these books. She goes, why would you flaunt your money with this high gloss? Look at these books. These books must have cost, you know, tens and tens and tens of thousands in a church that’s going to waste that much money. I’m not going to give a dollar to. And then I, you know, of course, you know, I, I know it’s common, right? And I go, I said, actually, these books were donated, um, by this person who gave it as a gift. And she goes, oh, and she, of course you immediately, she felt so unbelievably dumb. Right. But then she goes, she didn’t know what else to say. So she goes, uh, well then why didn’t you say that from the platform? And I said, I have a better question. Why didn’t you just assume it? And she had no answer for it. I’m like, why didn’t you assume that we’re going to make good financial decisions, right? Of all the things that we’ve done for you as a church, why would you just assume something like that? Hey, they must’ve probably got a deal or they must’ve, you know, maybe even donated or something like this, right? Why didn’t you assume that? Why wouldn’t you assume the best? Instead, you assume the worst. And then all of a sudden you have this horrible conclusion, right? And I think that that makes everybody mad.

Jeff:
So what made you mad this week was you had a family member who assumed the worst.

Chris:
Yes! Instead of approaching it just with a question, at least give me the benefit of the doubt of saying, is this true? Right? Hey, can I confirm something before I get mad? Right? Just approach it with a question. Were they right? No, they were wrong. They were wrong? Yeah, they assumed the worst and it was wrong. Obviously, if they were right, they wouldn’t have made me mad. Right?

Jeff:
Well, no, it still makes you mad when people assume the worst, even if it is the worst.

Chris:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So Andy Stanley does a message where he says there’s always a gap between expectation and reality, right? So the expectation is, hey, my daughter’s going to be home at 1130. The reality is it’s now 12 o’clock and her phone’s not answering. So assuming the worst is, she’s avoiding means she’s staying out late on purpose. Assuming the best is, hey, something must have happened and her phone must have died, right? So when you come in through the door, here’s an idea. Ask the question first. Ask the question, hey, was your phone dead? And if it’s not, then you can get mad. But why would you assume the worst?

Jeff:
I told my daughter’s boyfriend, if I say be home at 11, I mean like 1030, 1045. That’s what I mean. Yes. And not 1101. Right. Right. That’s that’s when you stop getting to date my daughter. And he goes, oh, OK. I said, so here’s the thing. Two things. One, don’t have flat tires. Two, if you do, you should go home and practice right now how to change your tire really fast. Yeah. Right. And then, so if you leave a half hour early, so you know, you’re going to get her home a half hour early, then you have a tire, a flat tire. You should be able to, a strong young man, like you should be able to change a flat tire in less than 30 minutes. Right. So I said, you understand what I’m saying? There are no excuses. None. Come home early. And he started laughing, but then, yeah, we still have to do the same thing. Check and make sure. Why are you guys late?

Chris:
And the rest of the sermon is every time there’s a gap between expectation and reality, you as an individual have a choice of what to insert in that gap. So you could either insert, believe the best, or you could insert, assume the worst. That’s right. So anyway, that’s what made me mad this week. And I get mad when people assume the worst. And I think all of us get mad. Absolutely. I think so. I’m mad for the world.

Jeff:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We cannot thank you enough. Yes. For being irate for the rest of us. I’m here for you, Jeff. Vicariously angry.

Chris:
And I’m here for everybody else.

Jeff:
Thank you. So, here’s the story. We’ve gone all through the entire book of Genesis, and not every verse, but the major stories, and then through the book of Job. Job was a contemporary, probably, of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, right in that timeframe. There’s no evidence in the Bible that they knew each other, but Abraham was famous and Job was famously wealthy. And so perhaps they might have known of each other, but there’s no indication of that. Job also talks about things to the east.

Chris:
He was the Wizard of Oz.

Jeff:
Yeah, that’s true. Well, Job talks a little bit about things from the east. He mentions stuff mined in Afghanistan and some of those things. So he might’ve been further east than Abraham. But anyways, it was from about the same time. Then, remember, we ended the book of Genesis with the life of Joseph. Yeah, that’s how it is. And so Joseph then, from that point, remember Joseph’s family moves to Egypt to avoid the famine that was happening, and they wind up living there for 400 years. and somewhere near two million Jews, probably Hebrews.

Chris:
Joseph didn’t live for 400 years.

Jeff:
No, he did not. But the Joseph’s family and Jacob’s family descendants, their descendants lived there for 400 years. Eventually, they were enslaved by the Romans. At first, they were beneficiaries of the Romans, Egyptians. They were beneficiaries of the Egyptians generosity. And eventually they became slaves. And Here’s what the Bible says, it picks up in Exodus chapter 1, 400 years after the story of Joseph.

Chris:
Yeah, crazy.

Jeff:
And it says, these are the names of the sons of Israel, that is, Jacob, who moved to Egypt with their father, each with his family, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. In all, Jacob had 70 descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already there. In time, Joseph and all his brothers died, ending that entire generation. But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land. Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country. So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor, and they forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Ramses as supply centers for the king. But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields, and they were ruthless in all their demands. Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah. When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him. If it’s a girl, let her live. But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders, and they allowed the boys to live too. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives. Why have you done this? he demanded. Why have you allowed the boys to live? The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, the midwives replied. They are more vigorous and have their babies so quickly that we cannot get there in time. So God was good to the midwives and the Israelites continued to multiply, growing more and more powerful. Because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people, throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River, but you may let the girls live. That’s rough.

Chris:
Yeah. You want to talk about rough. So you ever seen the cartoon, The Prince of Egypt?

Jeff:
Yes.

Chris:
So there’s a, they communicated this through in like, cause you know, this is a horrible thing to put in a cartoon, right? You think? You think? And so they communicated it through when he was walking through the hallways and he saw all those Egyptian, uh, what do they call those? Uh, there’s a name, there’s a, not a hieroglyph, what is it called?

Jeff:
Hieroglyphics?

Chris:
Hieroglyphics. Is that what I’m thinking of?

Jeff:
That’s their, that’s their writings.

Chris:
Yeah. I was thinking of the singular, It ends with graph. Anyway, but the hieroglyphics, he was walking through the hallways and then he saw the history of the babies thrown into the Nile River just through drawings. And it didn’t say anything, it just showed it. And then he was like, dun, dun, dun, the music. Then he runs off and he cries and all that. And so it’s just, it’s just such an unbelievable thing to talk about, throwing babies into a Nile River. It’s just, it’s just, you can’t get any worse, right?

Jeff:
Than killing innocent babies.

Chris:
You can’t get any worse. So Herod did this in the New Testament, didn’t he? He was so threatened when he heard that a king was born of the Jews, and he thought it was maybe threatening his title when Jesus was born, so he had ordered all the babies, all the firstborns, what, two years and under? Yeah. Yeah, to be killed in all of Bethlehem. And then, ironically, Joseph and Mary fled to where?

Jeff:
Egypt.

Chris:
Egypt, which is where it happened in Egypt way back when, which is pretty crazy.

Jeff:
So the devil, this is one of the devil’s tactics, right? The devil always tries to kill babies. So the devil tried to destroy humanity in its infancy with the very first two humans. The devil tried to kill Israel in its infancy. The devil tried to wipe out Israel here through babies. The devil tried to wipe out Jesus As an infant, devil tried to destroy the early church as an infant, right? Devil loves to try to kill baby things. When we launch new ministries, when we have to be really, really careful, it’s those early seasons that the devil loves to try to, because they’re so vulnerable. Devil hates babies. I don’t think it’s a mistake that we kill millions of babies a year all around the world. The devil hates babies. And then the same thing with young Christians, new Christians. The Bible says that when you trust Christ and you’re a brand new Christian, you’re a baby in Christ. That’s what it says. And the devil tries to wipe out brand new Christians too, all the time. It’s just, it’s his tactic over. He keeps running the same play because it’s pretty effective. Right. Right. So he’s trying to kill, kill the, the Egyptian baby boys to stop them from going. I looked up on online. It seems like this Pharaoh was either Very likely it was Ramses II, which is one of the most powerful pharaohs. Or it could have been, who was the other one here? Seti I. Both of these guys. This is like near the peak of the Egyptian empire up to that time.

Chris:
Um, so in, in, um, in, uh, Charlton Heston’s movie, it was SETI who then gave birth to Ramses and then Moses ended up saying, let my people go with Ramses.

Jeff:
Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, it’s right there in that, that those two, that dynasty that they’re in, uh, and they were just on this building machine. Now they weren’t building pyramids then. Right. So it wasn’t the pyramids, uh, But what they did build, it mentions these two cities. It mentions, was it Pithom? I don’t know where that is. I don’t have any sense of where that is. There’s some archaeological sites in the eastern Nile Delta. So if you know, if you ever look at the Nile River, everybody along the Nile River for thousands of miles lives within like seven miles of the river. And then suddenly when you get north of Cairo, it splits way out, turns into this giant delta. And a huge portion of people, with Alexandria being up at the top of it, and a huge portion of the food grown and the Egyptian culture is in that Nile Delta. And so both Ramses and Seti had their capital up in the delta. Later on at the end of all of the Egyptian empires, Cleopatra, her capital was there in Alexandria. King Tut, his was way down south with his parents Akhenaten and all them down in Luxor. So they had different Each of these, we think of the Egyptians as one group, but it wasn’t. It was all these conquering groups would come in and take over and then they set up a new dynasty. And sometimes you had Nubians from Africa, you know, Southern, South of Egypt in Sudan, and they would come up. And so it was different groups of people would be the rulers of Egypt. And at this time they were ruling out of that Northern Nile Delta area. So it’s probably, Pithom was up there, and there’s a couple of archaeological sites, but this Ramesses city, Pi-Ramesses, we know where that is, right? And it’s up there as well in the northeastern, and it’s Qwantir is the name of the village where it was at. So, huge palaces, temples, extensive storage facilities, there’s all these things, and it was the Israelites that they forced to build all of that, right? And so it’s really kind of an interesting time in history that this is one of the spots you can time it exactly. Prior, it was more difficult, but here this is 1750 BC, right? The pyramids are already built at this point and they now have been enslaved and they’re going to be going through a pretty tough time. So then Pharaoh calls in two of the midwives and say, hey, ladies, we don’t trust these Israelites. We think they’re going to take over. So whenever you see a baby boy born, just kill it for us. Right. Infanticide right there. Now, that’s late stage abortion right there. Yeah. It’s infanticide. Right. Kill this infant.

Chris:
Well, it’d be legal murder.

Jeff:
Right. Yeah. So then, but the ladies refused. And that’s what I love about this, right? It just said, because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. And there’s something to that. There’s something to, you know, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had conversations with afraid of losing their jobs. So they go ahead and compromise what they believe God says over and over and over again. And these two ladies, they were willing to risk their lives because they feared God more than they feared Pharaoh. And you know, we just talked in the book of Job, that was at the beginning of wisdom is fearing God. So putting God first.

Chris:
And it’s a great lesson that says, you know, always obey your parents unless they tell you to do something that directly conflicts with what God says. Right? Which is maybe an unpopular view to the non-dedicated Christian, but I mean, seriously, we obey the laws of man unless they conflict with the laws of God.

Jeff:
Well, literally John and Peter said that, right? We obey God rather than man.

Chris:
That’s right. Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. Should we, should we, uh, what is it? Uh, if I, if I choose to be obey man over God, then I should not be the servant of Christ.

Jeff:
That’s correct. That’s what Paul says. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Right. So there is, I think a challenge. Jesus said in this world, you’ll have trouble because they hated me before they ever hated you. And so, uh, you know, we make our decisions based on comfort, what’s going to be best for us. And, uh, God calls us to stand for what’s right. And it’s always, it’s always right to stand for what’s right. So, in this situation, these two ladies chose to stand against him. Look what the note says. I love this note in the Life Application Study Bible. It says, In this situation, disobeying the authority was proper. God does not expect us to obey those in authority when they ask us to disobey him or his word. The Bible is filled with examples of those who are willing to sacrifice their very lives in order to obey God and save others. Esther and Mordecai. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and Daniel are some of the people who took a bold stand for what was right. Whole nations can be caught up in immorality, racial hatred, slavery, prison cruelty. Thus, following the majority of the ruling authority is not always right. Whenever we’re ordered to disobey God’s word, we must obey God rather than any human authority. That’s that verse I quoted in Acts chapter 5, right? Yeah. And so I just think that that was a really great thing. Now, the question is the lie.

Chris:
The what?

Jeff:
The lie. These two ladies lied to Pharaoh. He said, he said, what’s the deal? How come you haven’t been killing the babies? And the two ladies are like, oh man, the Hebrew women are very vigorous and they have their babies very quickly. We don’t get there in time.

Chris:
That was a lie?

Jeff:
Do you really think the Hebrew women are more vigorous than the Egyptian women? So a midwife could not possibly make it to deliver all of the Israelite babies.

Chris:
Well, see, this is interesting that you pointed this out, because I took that comment to mean that, because didn’t earlier it said that the Israelites were having babies, right there, it says the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more Israelites multiplied and spread. and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. So what I was taking that to mean was the millions of people that were there, or the hundreds of thousands, so many people were pregnant at one time that they couldn’t possibly keep up with all the people that were pregnant.

Jeff:
That’s not what that means? Just the ones with the baby boys?

Chris:
Yeah, what I’m saying is they slip through the cracks because they can’t possibly govern that many people. They can’t go around and just check them. So there could be thousands of babies born, but we can’t get to them.

Jeff:
That’s certainly their claim. That’s their claim here. And it seemed believable to Pharaoh.

Chris:
You think that was a lie?

Jeff:
I think it probably was. Really? Yeah. So were they having trouble before? Before he told them, kill the baby boys, were they having trouble? It doesn’t say they were. And very likely these ladies were the supervisors of the midwives, right? It’s very unlikely that if you have, you know, a couple million Israelites that two women are delivering all the babies, right? So they’re probably supervisors of the midwives and these are the two getting hauled in. And then, uh, you know, so we were able to deliver the babies last week, but now this week we just can’t get to them all.

Chris:
I see. So you’re saying, you’re saying, you’re assuming that this statement meant that an Egyptian midwife was there for a Hebrew birth.

Jeff:
No, I’m saying, I’m saying that they were claiming that they didn’t actually deliver the babies when they did.

Chris:
Huh. Interesting.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Chris:
Yeah.

Jeff:
Well, either, either way though, it’s, it’s a, uh, yeah, the note here does kind of acknowledge the note for that passage says, did God bless the Hebrew midwives for lying to Pharaoh? God bless them, not because they lied, but because they saved the lives of innocent children.

Chris:
Hmm.

Jeff:
This doesn’t mean that a lie was necessarily the best way to answer Pharaoh. The midwives were blessed, however, for not violating the higher law of God that forbids the senseless slaughter of innocent lives. This would be like Schindler. hiding, you know, cooking his books and changing his books so the Nazis wouldn’t discover that he was rescuing and, you know, buying Jews. That’s what they’re doing, is they’re misleading the Pharaoh in order to save a life.

Chris:
You know, I think there’s another sermon hidden in here too that talks about, that you could use it to talk about how God’s going to use even the most wicked of kings for his purposes. Right? So like, you know, here comes, you know, we’re about to see that God’s going to choose Moses. Moses is going to come, you know, there’s going to be a big deliverance and it’s going to have a spiritual significance and all these different things. And yet God is still working in the midst of even the most wicked king. It reminds me of like, when we read the Christmas story every year, and it says, you know, that Caesar Augustus put a census over the whole world that they should be taxed. And then from the king’s decisions, from the Caesar’s decisions, comes Jesus being born in his hometown Bethlehem to fulfill the scripture. Right? So God’s going to use somebody like Caesar Augustus, you know, just through his decision of wanting more money to fulfill the scriptures. And it reminds me that even the most wicked of kings, you know, God’s going to have his way and use and work amongst even the worst of these guys. So, you know, it just goes to show you that God is not thrown off by ungodly leaders. So therefore, we don’t need to fret, right?

Jeff:
That’s right.

Chris:
We don’t need to fret no matter who our political leaders are, because it doesn’t trump the fact that God’s always going to continue to work and have His way and fulfill His purposes regardless of the leaders. Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff:
I also think it’s interesting, you know, he finally comes to the end, verse 22 there and says, throw every new newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River, right? And they worship the Nile as a source of life, but they’re killing here now. So they’re sacrificing these Hebrew children to their God. or the Nile River there. And it’s interesting because the rest of the story of Moses is God squares off with all the gods of Israel, I mean of Egypt, right? By the end of Moses’ life, we’ll get to that, but he squares off and every one of the, at the end of this story, every one of the plagues was challenging another one of the main gods of Egypt, right? So it starts off with kill the babies. No, we won’t kill the babies. Okay, now take the newborns. So newborn is different from the baby. you know, infant, the, the, so kill the newborns that it says. Yeah. Every newborn Hebrew boy. So now I think that that expands it. Now, if you just find a little boy, you know, a tiny boy, throw him in the water, drown him. You got Nile crocodiles out there. You got all kinds of crazy stuff.

Chris:
I’m sure the crocodiles were raging.

Jeff:
So it would be, you know, in his mind, then look at my power, I’m a God, and I’m demanding that you, sacrifice these babies to another powerful God that we recognize. And, you know, I think a lot of times we’re tempted to sacrifice the most important things to the gods in our own lives, right? We worship our jobs so much that we’re willing to sacrifice our family. We worship our ability to make money. We’re willing to sacrifice our integrity, you know, all those things. And so a lot of times, if you’re wondering where you’re willing to sacrifice the most important things, look at what you’re spending most time on and the things that you worship. Those will those arise up like that.

Chris:
So there’s a lot of little sermons.

Jeff:
Yeah, there’s tons of here and next this one Well, it’s gonna get crazy from here.

Chris:
Yeah Yeah, could tune back in on Monday because we’re gonna be talking about Moses. Yeah, cuz it’s gonna it’s gonna go from here So hey, thank you so much for tuning in and hopefully we will see you next time on The Bible Guys.