“Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. ” (Exodus 12:40, NASB95)
Now that is a long time to wait! 430 years have passed since Joseph brought his father Jacob and all his brothers into Egypt to be protected from the famine. The Israelites have been put into forced servitude and life has been hard. So what about those generations who lived and died in Egypt? What about those who never saw the mighty hand of deliverance? What was the purpose of their lives and how should they have seen God’s grace and faithfulness? These are important questions because many (even today) live hard lives. Not everyone sees the dramatic redemptive acts of God. Many live lives filled with hurts, suffering, hunger, and pain. The question they have a right to ask is, “Where was God in my generation?”
Let’s go back to the Israelites and apply what we learn there to our lives today. Even the generations that lived during the 430 years in Egypt lived with/in the promise that God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They lived with the certainty that God was faithful to their forefathers and would (in His time) fulfill all that He promised. They lived in Egypt where the Lord (even amidst their hard life) was blessing them in number and possessions. God blessed the Israelites who went into Egypt with 70 people and came out of Egypt 430 years later with 600,000 (and only the men were counted).
What I am trying to say is that, even in the midst of their very tough lives, God was faithful to them and to His promises. This is why it is so important that we walk by faith and not by sight! (1Cor. 5:7). It may not always appear to our senses that God is making sense, but He is and He always does! Don’t think that your hard life is in vain. Do not think that God can’t use the difficulties of your life to affect the lives of generations to follow you. Most of all, be certain that even in the midst of your suffering and pain God is faithful to His Word. He will be with you each and every step of the way. He sees your affliction and hears your prayers. Keep walking by faith and fulfill your role in His master plan for you and for His people.