“The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” – Exodus 1:12
It did seem to be a deep-laid plot, very politic and crafty indeed, that as the kings of Egypt, themselves of an alien race, had subdued the Egyptians, they should prevent the other alien race, the Israelites, from conquering them. Instead of murdering them wholesale, it did seem a wise though a cruel thing to make them slaves; to divide them up and down the country; to subject them to toil till their spirits were broken; to appoint them to the most menial work in the land, that they might be crushed down and their spirits become so base that they would not dare to rebel. Thus we may suppose it was hoped that their physical strength would be so relaxed, and their circumstances so reduced, that the clan would soon be insignificant if not utterly extinct. But God met and overruled this policy in various ways. “The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied.” The census proved the error of their calculation. The cause looked likely, but it was not productive of the consequence expected. Had it been another people, the tactics might have been successful; but they were God’s people, endeared to Him by their ancestry, ennobled in His sight by their covenant destiny, and encompassed with His favor as with a shield. No conspiracy formed against them could thrive. And so it came to pass, that like certain herbs which spring up when trodden down, or like certain trees that grow taller if loaded with weights, Israel rose superior to all her disadvantages. “The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” This cometh of the Lord of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working.
O friendless one, O Christless sinner! dost thou not want God to be thy helper, and Christ to be thy friend? If thou dost, then on the cross behold the Savior. Turn to Him thine eye: penitently trust Him: rely upon Him, and He is yours, and then henceforth the Lord of Hosts shall be with you, and God of Jacob shall be your refuge, and your afflictions also shall work your good. ~ C.H. Spurgeon