Transitions are a part of life, like taxes, traffic, toll roads, and lines at Starbucks. With life comes change. Even our planet is in motion around the sun at a speed of about 67,000 mph. To get around in 365 days, we must move at a decent clip. Cosmologists tell us the universe itself is still expanding. Thanks to the Hubble telescope Astronomers have figured the rate of expansion to be about 44.7 miles per second. Everything God made is in process. The rocks on the ground slowly change. Down below hot melted lava constantly flows through the caverns of the earth.
We may try to control our surroundings, but we can’t stop the train of transition. Our hair is turning. It’s either turning grey or turning loose. Our children’s feet that fit so nicely under their covers now dangle off the ends of their bed frames. Friends move in then move away. As we’ve said, transitions always begin with an ending. Something dies. A door closes. An opportunity dries up. A season shifts. Sometimes it’s good, like when your child finally sleeps without a pull-up. But the transitions we notice most are disruptive and painful.
Let’s take a pause for a moment in our journey with the Israelites in the wilderness and look back at the early life of their leader Moses. Exodus 1 sets the stage for his birth. Here we see change on a cosmic scale for the People of God. The cloth on the beautifully set table of their lives was suddenly jerked out. Their daily routines and beloved rituals were thrown into chaos.
Exodus 1:6 says, “Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died…” About 450 years before, during a terrible famine, God raised up Joseph to save Egypt, but also his chosen people. Joseph made a place for Jacob, his 11 brothers, and their families in the Egyptian town of Goshen where they put-down roots. But now that entire generation had died.
Over the years they were busy working, but also making babies. They believed fully in God’s command to be fruitful and multiply. Goshen overflowed with young families, new housing developments, new schools, playgrounds, businesses, and excitement. All of this was spilling out into other areas of Egypt. Demographically, the birthrate of the immigrants was far outpacing the Egyptians.
The new Pharaoh, one who didn’t know Joseph, became paranoid. In Exodus 1:9 he looks at the projections and says, “Look, the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them…”
When all of life suddenly changes, we can take heart in this. We serve a loving God who never changes. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” When the world around is thrown into chaos, we can rest knowing our lives are built on a firm foundation. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” His promises are timeless. His care is constant. His presence is always available. We can turn from the turmoil, and fill our minds with his peace. When the enemy comes against us like a flood, God will raise up a standard.