By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
In the Old Testament of the book of Genesis, Jacob's son, Joseph, is sold into slavery by his brothers and raised up to be 2nd in command next to Pharoah in Egypt. The Israelites traveled to Egypt for food during a famine and ended up staying and living there. They prospered in wealth and population even more than the Egyptians. This means God must have blessed them, and He wouldn't have blessed them if He wasn't pleased with them.
Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.
And he [God] said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed [descendants of his son Israel, ie Israelites] shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.
It's hard to imagine them doing this if they hadn't done it before. Their allegiance to God was short-lived. Therefore, I'm thinking it's most likely they had been corrupted by the Egyptians' culture and false religion to the pagan gods. Moses' brother, Aaron, led them in this corruption rather than reminding them of what God had done for them. How could God answer the prayer of people who were not faithful to him? The moment things didn't go their way, they turned to idols. The Bible says that the Israelites were a stiff-necked people. One would think after so many years of slavery, they would be broken, soft-hearted, and thankful. Their behavior showed none of this, instead we read about continuous disobedience throughout their 40 years in the dessert.
What are your thoughts? Why do you think the Israelites were enslaved to the Egyptians for so many years?