“As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.” (Acts 7:17-19)
After Joseph died, a new king (Pharaoh) came into power. He and future Pharaohs enslaved the Jews for about 400 years. They were forced to build cities and work in the fields. The Jews multiplied greatly as God had promised, and the Egyptians were scared of their numbers and kept them oppressed. Pharaoh ordered that every Jewish baby boy be thrown into the Nile River.
People in authority have power to do awful things. The Pharaoh ordered that all Jewish babies be drowned, and the men of the Sanhedrin, whom Stephen spoke to in this Scripture, had Jesus killed. They could easily step into the shoes of the Jewish men whose sons were drowned and feel the pain, but would they stop solving their own problems using violence?
How do you solve your problems? Do you pray and trust God? Do you ask Him for wisdom and the right words to say to your adversary? Or do you not involve God and yell words you’ll later regret. In our world violent problem-solving is often excused for races who have been persecuted as the Jews were persecuted in Egypt. God often gives us problems. He wants to draw us to himself; he doesn’t want us to act with violence. Violence leads to death and gloom. Letting God solve our problems leads to joy.
Heavenly Father, I praise you for your history of solving problems—the problems of the people in the Bible and my problems. Remind me to ask for your power and wisdom every day and trust you to solve my problems so I can attack life with love. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.