A few weeks ago, we ended our study into characters of the Bible. I felt led to take a small break, but this week, I feel like we should get right back into it. So far, we have gone through the entire book of Genesis, so today, we’ll start in Exodus. But first, I decided to rename this blog series—instead of Bible characters, it will now be called People of the Bible.
Today, we’ll take a deeper look at Pharaoh from the first chapter of Exodus. A bit of history facts here, there were actually at least three different pharaohs throughout the story of Exodus and Moses’ time. Most movies or depictions show one, or two at the most, but the truth is that the entire account took place throughout 3 pharaoh’s reigns. Historians don’t know who the pharaohs all were—most believed it was Set or Rameses but there is evidence of other pharaohs who could have been the ones during this story. For the sake of this blog series, we’ll just call them Pharaoh 1, Pharaoh 2, and Pharaoh 3. Pharaoh 3 is the one who is most popular—the one who ruled during the ten plagues whose heart was hardened, but since we’re staring at the beginning, we’re going to look at Pharaoh 1 from Exodus chapter 1.
Chapter 1 starts with the names of Jacob’s sons who came to Egypt. Verse 6 explains that Joseph died and the children of Israel “were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.”
Verse 7 says, “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, ‘Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.’ Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.”
So, Pharaoh 1 saw that the Israelites were growing numerous. God blessed them and increased them so that they had more and more children. Not only did Pharaoh 1 see this and grow afraid of them rising up against him, but he also seemed jealous of their increase. Because of this, he enslaved them. Verse 13 and 14 say, “So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in which they made them serve was with rigor.”
After he enslaved them, Pharaoh 1 made their lives harder. But he still wasn’t satisfied. Even though they were now his slaves, he wanted to ensure that they wouldn’t be able to rebel against him.
This is when Pharaoh 1 does something unthinkable.
He orders the Hebrew midwives and ordered them to kill any newborn sons that the Hebrews have. Verse 17 says, “But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.” When Pharaoh asks them why, they said that the Hebrew women “give birth before the midwives come to them” (end of verse 19). God blessed the Israelites once again and allowed them to have more children.
That didn’t go over well with pharaoh. He was determined to kill the Israelite children. Verse 22 says, “So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, ‘Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.’”
Pharaoh ordered the birth of all newborn sons. And then, when he didn’t get his way, he commanded it of all his people to ensure they obeyed.
An entire generation of Israelite boys, murdered in cold blood. What was his attempt to justify this horrific act? That they were growing numerous.
“There are too many children in the foster care system.” “There are too many people in the world.” “Overpopulation is an issue.” “There are too many children who are poor or who don’t have good lives.”
As a result? People have and support abortions—the murdering of innocent babies. “Because if the babies are born, they won’t have a good life, anyway.”
A good life, huh?
All of these Israelite boys would have been born into slavery, yet they still would have been alive—they were humans too, who deserved the chance to live. Moses’ mother hid him for three months—as long as she could—in order to try to save him. Then, rather than risk him getting discovered and murdered, she put him in an “ark of bulrushes” and sent him down the river. His sister watched to see what happened to him.
Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him. And we all know who Moses grew up to be and what God blessed him and helped him to do—
He became the one who set the Israelites free.
That’s one thing that people don’t consider when it comes to abortion. How arrogant someone must be to think that they know what’s going to happen in a baby’s life. Yes, he or she may be born poor or to a horrible family. Moses may have grown up in the palace, but there were other Israelite boys born to Hebrew women who had them before the midwives came and they were all born into slavery. Moses’ own brother Aaron was born and raised as a slave. He no doubt must have endured many hardships in his life. But it was Aaron who used the staff to do many of the plagues that were eventually what helped set the Israelites free. Then, he went on to become the first High Priest and after that, it was only those born of Aaron’s bloodline who could become priests to the Tabernacle (and later on, the Temple once it was built).
You see my point?
You and I don’t and cannot ever know how a child’s life will turn out. Countless children have started off poor—and even abused—and yet grown up to do amazing things with their lives. God brings good out of bad, so He uses people who have endured much hardship to go on and do much good for the people around them, and the world as well.
What right to we have to take that away? To take a child’s life and end it before its even begun?
When I was a child, I used to watch this animated version of the story of Moses called The Prince of Egypt. The first pharaoh in that movie who ordered the death of every son born to an Israelite seemed like one of the worst villains in history to me at the time. It was always an exciting and dramatic scene to see baby Moses narrowly escape death.
Now? The morals of the world and especially our country have flipped so much that they are completely backward. Every day, common women are having abortions and every day common people, including men, are saying it’s a good thing. They’re praising people for doing it and hating people who say its wrong.
I will say it, then: Abortion is wrong. Aborting a baby today is no different than what Pharaoh 1 did.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, you and I cannot remain silent on this issue any longer. Men, you do have a right to speak up, to stand up for the innocent children being murdered every second of every day. We have to speak up and stop this from happening—to do what we can to save as many babies as possible, just like Moses’ mother saved him. We cannot just stay silent for fear of offending people, not when it comes to babies’ lives.
And if you’re thinking about abortion, don’t listen to all the fear and the rhetoric of what people tell you—that the child will grow up poor, or that it’ll have a horrible life. You may be homeless and not have even a penny to your name, but God promises in His Word to provide. He cares for the lilies and the birds, how much more will He care for you and me? Just because you can’t provide a good life does not mean that murdering your baby is an answer. It isn’t. That’s just murder—cold, blooded murder, no different than pharaoh 1. There are other options for you and many organizations who seek to help stop abortion and help mothers provide by giving mothers alternatives. Read all about them here.
And if you’re a mother who has already had an abortion, it isn’t too late to seek forgiveness. God promises to cast our sin as far as the east is from the west, and Jesus died and rose again to save all of us. You have a chance to be forgiven, to heal from your grief (which is very real). You are not alone; many mothers struggle with grief, guilt, and shame after an abortion, and what you’re going through should never be ignored. If you have had an abortion—or are a man who either went along with the abortion, insisted on it, or didn’t know about it—there is a Christian organization called Focus on the Family who has helped many others who have gone through the same thing you have. Visit their website to find out more information.
Just a short disclaimer here: I am not including these links to promote anything and I’m not making money from affiliate links or anything like that. I genuinely want to help those who are considering having an abortion or women and men who have already had one.
Don’t be like Pharaoh 1. His legacy is, what? The murder of countless innocent Hebrew infant boys. The legacy of this country is over 30 million babies aborted this year alone.
You and I need to speak out and to whatever we can to stop this.