KAMIAH — It had been the best of times! Everyone was doing well. Many children were added to families as blessings, insuring the status and well-being of their clans. The stock market was up, their extensive cattle herds were growing by the day. Prosperity and flourishing characterized life.

But then, like out of thin air, it looked like the worst of times. Rulership of the country they had called home changed. The new leader did not know or care about them. All he saw was a threat. Immediately, he implemented steps to subdue the people he perceived to be the root of his problems. Taskmasters were assigned and the people had to do hard, forced labor. Strangely though, the harder the oppression became, the more they multiplied. Even tougher measures were needed. The ruler charged the midwives who assisted young mothers with the birth of their children to kill every male child as soon as it saw the light of day. In one of the first acts of civil disobedience, these two midwives determined they would have no part of such an abominable command.

During all this turmoil, a strong, beautiful, baby boy was born to a loving father and mother. As the midwives before, the mother determined to not let the child fall to the sword of the ruler. She hid him for months. When it was not possible anymore, she made a little basket in which she placed her little baby boy. The precious cargo drifted off into the river, only to be discovered and cared for by the very people who sought his destruction.

Perhaps you recognize the story as the one of the people of Israel in Egypt. I think it can be instructive for our times. Until COVID-19 hit, and with it one of the worst economic downturns, this country’s economy and stock market were at record levels. Unemployment was low, much seemed to go well.

The story of God with the people of Israel encourages us to keep our hope in Him, even when our world turns upside down. We need not despair or feel like the end of the world is near. While everything looked bleak for Jacob’s clans, God, the Most High, put His deliverer in place! Yes, he was just a baby. He would have a false start and spend 40 years at the backside of the desert—but then God empowered him to lead his people out of slavery.

When there is upheaval all around us, when the world doesn’t make sense, let’s put our confidence in the One who created, redeemed and sustains it. It may look like destruction is imminent at times, but if we trust Him, we will discover “our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (from Psalm 124)

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