God has a plan. Here is his plan – to select a 75 year old man who is married to a barren woman and make that man into a great nation (Gen. 11:30; 12:1; 12:4). Hmmm. Do you see any flaws with this plan? Praise be to God for his indescribable gift because Abraham and Sarah have a son. Then God commands Abraham to sacrifice this son (Gen. 22). Hmmm. But, God delivers the son. The son, Isaac then grows up and takes a wife of his own – Rebekah. She too has this bareness issue (Gen. 25:21). Hmmm. Nevertheless, by God’s mercy they have a child. Praise be to God for his indescribable gift. Isaac and Rebekah’s child, Jacob, marries a woman named Rachel. Rachel the one he loves has this issue the Bible identifies as barrenness. (Gen. 29:31).
So the plan seems to be off to a slow start. Someone better start making better choices if there is any chance for this great nation plan to succeed. Genesis can be characterized by the difficulty of birth, the apparent fragility of God’s promise (that Abraham will have many descendants).
Genesis ends and Exodus begins. Our minds need categories so at one point in history the books were divided into chapters and verses. But what if there was not a page to turn as we went from Genesis to Exodus? Exodus begins in Hebrew with the word “and”. The Exodus story is a continuation of the Genesis story. In Exodus God shows his power to those of us who ever doubted his plan. The new king sees that the Israelites have become too numerous (Ex. 1:7). I hope that makes you smile. From this frail old man comes a nation ‘too numerous’. There was in Genesis a theme of the difficult to give birth. Now we learn that God’s chosen women are having children at the speed of light (Ex. 1:19). As Shiphrah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives insinuate there is no stopping these ladies from procreating. They are having children in epidemic like proportions and no one seems to be able to do anything about it.
What a great God we serve. Who are you going to give credit to for all this? I hope not Abraham. He tried his own way and it failed miserable. But, God – there is Someone to praise. I guess we should learn that when God comes up with a plan (regardless of how poor it seems to us) it will succeed. If I have a choice to stand inside God’s plan or outside, I pray that he will always give me the strength to be operating within God’s plan.