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Experts can identify at least 500 fears people have–from the fear of cats to the fear of flying. Some are justified. Others are unfounded and can lead to horrible outcomes. Years ago, Pharaoh of Egypt had an unfounded fear. He was afraid of the birth rate of the Israelites. So much so, that he persecuted them. He did it despite the fact that one of them, Joseph, had saved Egypt from starvation. We read this in Exodus 1: “In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation. But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land. Eventually a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor.” Unfounded fear can lead to unjustified and hurtful reaction. May God help us overcome our unfounded fear, and treat others with fairness.

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