In the four centuries that transpired between Genesis 50 and Exodus 1, the condition of the children of Israel degenerated from one of privilege and protection to one of prejudice and bondage. The descendants of Jacob multiplied so rapidly that they became a threat to the Egyptians, who reacted by plotting to exterminate their male children. The oppression reached such a pitch that the people of Israel lost all hope because of their forced labor and complete insecurity.
Reading of Exodus 1
Prayer: Lord, I realize that You often have to bring us to the end of ourselves before we will acknowledge our desperate condition and call upon You for deliverance. May I learn to respond quickly to You rather than resist You through my stubborn pride and autonomy.
Meditation passage for today: verses 8, 12
Taken from "Handbook to Scripture—365 Key Chapters of the Bible"