[Feb 01]--Don’t Trust in Princes

Exodus 1:1-14

As stated before, I thoroughly believe that Christians should be eternally grateful to the Lord for this country in which we live that has (with a few exceptions) treated us very well. However, we must be cautious not to fall into mindless patriotism. Stephen Decatur, Naval Commander, once famously declared, “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.” I love my country, but to say that no matter what you'll always stand with it, even if it's wrong? I submit that this is not biblical.

The opening verses of Exodus give a good illustration why this is so. The children of Abraham have rarely been treated better than in Egypt under Joseph’s administration. For hundreds of years, they had been watched over and protected by the government. Then everything changed, and their sanctuary became a prison and a slaughterhouse. No matter how good we have it here in America, we should never forget that this nation (nor any other) is not our real home.

The amazing thing about the quick turnaround in attitude towards the Hebrews is the story behind the scenes.  Hundreds of years after Exodus, a Psalmist tells us the Lord himself turned the hearts of the Egyptians against his people. Why would he do this? Here's the theory that makes sense to me: Egypt was not the Promised Land. He had to make the people want to leave Egypt, so he had to make it extremely unpleasant for them. Also, later on in Exodus he makes it clear that that the ultimate purpose of his plan was to display his power and “that [his] name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” We have it very good here in America, but the Lord could easily decide that we need to be driven out of our comfort zone for the same reasons.

Does this mean I expect any day now for the government to start rounding up Christians and herd them into camps? Of course not! But we should recognize that this era of tolerance towards biblical Christianity is the tiny exception in history, and it could change anytime. Another Psalm says that “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes,” and this is good advice in any age and under any circumstances.

Lord Jesus, you are my only refuge and safety. Help me to remember that, no matter what my circumstances.

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