From Genesis to Exodus….Pharaoh’s Birth Control

We are using the Narrative Lectionary at St. John, I think I am really going to like it, it follows the grand sweep of scripture by focusing on one lesson each week.  It’s not reading the whole bible through, not like that is a bad thing, but it uses the lens of each one of the Gospels to see and tell God’s big story.


The only trouble is that some times it takes big leaps that can leave you hanging.


Granted, you can read the book any time you’d like, its all there.  But we are also publishing portions of scripture to help fill in the blanks between our weekly worship texts to broaden out the story some more. I am going to attempt to blog the daily texts as part of my devotional time and maybe that will help a little too?


Today’s reading brings us out of Genesis to Exodus.


To catch up, God created, people sinned, God is merciful, and off to the races we go… Abraham is chosen to be the father of a great nation, and promises, big promises were made. Exodus continues the unfolding of God’s promises, because of and often in-spite of his chosen people.


So, the children of Abraham find themselves in Egypt, and that part of God’s promise that his children would out number the stars, well, they seem to pretty good at that, as Exodus 1:7 states, “ the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.”


So Jacob dies, and so do his sons, and yet they grow, but there is also a new king over Egypt, we know him as Pharaoh, Pharaoh. whoa…. oh… oops… that comes later… anyway the Pharaoh is a little freaked out by the shear numbers of these Israelites and even though he owes his very kingdom to them, he seeks to limit them.  But not even slavery will slow the production of the children of Abraham, so he orders the death of Hebrew boy.


Now basic biology seems to dictate that if you want to slow down the production of babies, um… the males are not the ones you need to limit.  But, this has more to do with power and control than basic biology… so let it be written, so let it be done…


Since figuring out the part about the basic biology of reproduction, I have gotten a little giggle out of Pharaoh’s tactics. But how often do we when trying to control our own little kingdoms make choices that are equally silly either biologically or spiritually?  As one of my wife’s coworkers states, “I refuse to accept your reality and substitute my own.”  The reality is Pharaoh isn’t going to change the promise of God to Abraham, but that doesn’t stop him from trying as we will find out!


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