As Stupid As Ever
Sound vaguely familiar?
This is not part of a current news story or a tweet from some paranoid source. No, paranoia and the fear of those who are different is nothing new. This is the Pharaoh of Egypt several hundred years after Joseph died. The Israelites had prospered in Egypt since their migration from Canaan. But it didn’t matter how many centuries they had lived among the Egyptians, they were still “foreigners,” still suspect. Still sounds familiar.
The new Pharaoh, obviously not a student of history, knew nothing about Joseph, or the story of how the Israelites had happened to come to this land (Exodus 1:8).
The Pharaoh’s reaction was extreme. He made slaves of the Israelites in the hopes of killing them off through cruelty and privation (1:11). It is written that, “They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly” (1:14).
It didn’t work.
The next plan was to kill all the male children as they were born (1:15,16). We can only imagine what they had in mind for the female children! But the midwives valued human life. They also feared God (1:17) and found a way around the stupidity of those in authority (1:19). History records, “So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and become even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own” (1:20, 21).
The Pharaoh was not discouraged. If the midwives were incapable of carrying out his pogrom, others would. “Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: ‘Every boy that is born you must throw into the river, but let every girl live” (1:27). It’s amazing—and frightening—when we realize how many sick minds are ready to act on the slightest suggestion from anyone in authority and inflict violence on those unable to defend themselves. And again, it sounds familiar.
Solomon wrote: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). How right he was. As a society we can’t seem to learn the lessons of history. Education, technology, and even religion, haven’t helped. We’re still as stupid as we always were.
If there ever was a time when we, those who call ourselves believers, needed to get back to God, back to Word, back to following Christ and demonstrating His compassion, love, and sacrifice, that time is NOW. If there ever was a time when the Gospel was needed, not only in the far corners of the world, but right here in North America, that time is NOW.