From You Version
Read Exodus 1
Between the time of the patriarchs and Exodus, Israel truly becomes a nation. Unfortunately, that takes place during over 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Somehow the people went from privileged guests in Egypt to slavery, but the Bible doesn’t give the details of how that happened. Now Pharaoh, the Egyptian king, has started a slow process of genocide. It seems strange that Israel would be treated like this, but had they not been oppressed, they probably would have been absorbed into the Egyptian population and never would have had a separate national identity – a harsh way for God’s promises to Abraham to come true.
Our story also raises an interesting question. It appears God is pleased that the midwives lied. One way of resolving this is to assume God was pleased that the midwives saved innocent lives, but not with their lying. Another is to see that lies are almost always connected to injustice. The Ten Commandments forbid false testimony, which would cause the wrong person to be punished. Lies often result in either allowing a guilty person to avoid punishment or causing an innocent person to be blamed. In this case the midwives lied, or at least misled Pharaoh, in order to prevent an injustice. Perhaps God finds this type of deception acceptable.
We’re only capable of having a short-term view in life. God has a plan that goes beyond today, beyond our lifetime and beyond the lifetime of the nation of which we are a part. Difficulties today could be setting things up for God’s later solutions. We need the faith to trust he knows what he is doing.