Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. (Exodus 1:11-12)
If Jewish tradition is to be considered in this story, then the Hebrews willingness to be viewed as Egyptians ended up working against them. Commentaries suggest that Pharaoh used this inclination against them by inciting them to show their patriotism for Egypt. Thus they were coaxed into building treasure cities like Pithom and Raamses to safeguard the nation’s wealth. These commentaries go on to say that even Pharaoh joined the work force in order to demonstrate that all must help in a time of need. Everyone was encouraged to give their fair share because it was the patriotic thing to do.
Again, his primary objective where Israel was concerned was to destroy them, albeit incrementally. He didn’t want them to expel them from the country because they were too valuable when it came to their labor. Instead, he opted to isolate and restrain them even as he devised plans to destroy them. In textbook fashion, Pharaoh followed the Adversary’s tactic used again and again against God’s people — to steal, kill and then destroy (John 10:10). Yet, the more Pharaoh came against them, the more they grew in numbers and strength to the point that all of Egypt began to dread them.
This demonstrates to us that, while the Adversary is at times allowed to pursue his agenda against the people of God, our Father’s agenda is not disrupted. Furthermore, just because the enemy moves against God’s people doesn’t mean that he is allowed to overcome God’s people. The Almighty can and will cause His people to prosper and multiply even in the worst of circumstances. Therefore, let us be of good courage as we see the darkness descend upon this world and take hope in the fact that our God has never and will never abandon His people to the designs of the enemy. To the contrary, through us, He will frustrate, and eventually, terminate all the plots and schemes of our enemies.
Blessings and Shalom,