Multiplication and Fruitfulness from Exodus 1

One of the things we like to do is whenever … about every five episodes, go deep into a passage of the Bible maybe you haven’t thought of before. It seems to talk about a family or multigenerational family. One of the ones that I’ve thought a lot about over the years is Exodus, chapter one.

I want to talk about that there is a type of enemy of multiplication. God said to … over and over again in the book of Genesis, “Be fruitful and multiply.” He says it to Adam and Eve. He says it to Noah. He says it over and over again to the different patriarchs. But then you get to Exodus 1, and an enemy rises up to stop the multiplication of God’s people. And that is the Pharaoh. If you guys know a lot about the way the New Testament interprets the Old Testament, a lot of times these characters become sort of types of spirits. There’s a spirit in every kind of culture that usually rises up to stamp out multiplication, because multiplication is a natural part of fruitfulness.

I’m going to read a little bit about what Pharaoh did in Exodus, chapter one. It says: “Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, less they multiply, and if war breaks out, they join our enemies.'” But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied, and the more they spread abroad. The Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.

Later on, it talks about … So, then he came up with this idea of killing the first born son through the midwives. Then the story goes on. The midwives said to Pharaoh … because they wouldn’t do it. Their excuse was, “Well, because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them …” So, God dealt with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very strong. Because of the midwives fear of the Lord, he gave them families as well.

A major theme in the Bible, you guys, is multiplication. I think it’s really important just to sort of call out there are these kinds of really hard spirits against multiplication that can arise. Things like what happened with Pharaoh. Things like what happens in China. But there’s also a lot of these sort of subtle messages that we get that really are trying to stamp out multiplication. The kind of idea that just says, “It’s a good idea to sort of have fewer children just culturally.” We want to talk about the forces that deceive fathers, that demean motherhood, that tells us that we’re hurting the environment by having too many children. Things like that that just sort of rise up in a culture. They create a spirit that basically tries to stop the process of multiplication.

I know this is probably new or a little bit challenging to hear, but I think it’s important to actually think about the idea of being fruitful through multiplication is in Genesis 1. It’s throughout the Torah. It comes up over and over again in the Bible, and that there’s always going to be a sort of a cultural force that’s going to come out and try to stop this sort of … the multiplying movement. Because if God’s people multiply, and they are amazing at discipling the next generation, then that is an enormous way in which God’s kingdom gets built. Just wanted to call that out, and curious, Jeff, what that stirs up for you. What your thoughts are about that.

Yeah. One last thing I’ll add there is when you were reading, I was just struck too with the metaphor of … yeah, the Old Testament is real, but the metaphors of it … the themes, or the ethos of it are so impactful on so many regards. Right? One of the ones I was thinking when you were reading is how actually it was clear in the Old Testament, or even any kind of … the ancient Near East, to kill the first born was actually to stamp out against multiplication, but also kill an entire family line. I think that’s a really, really apt metaphor too. That your firstborn, making sure that you can kind of … like, the firstborn goes, so the rest go type of thing.

So, if the world, or if Satan’s agenda, or if some things can kind of get or attack at your firstborn, then a lot of times that’ll trickle down to a lot more kids in the family. That’s just another way that I was thinking of that too. That I think that’s super, super pertinent. That that will threaten multiplication. That at some level, your oldest can really, really help be a bridge between the parents, and the kids, and kind of a captain of the team like we’ve talked about, and really understanding that that’s true.

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