In the many plagues God brought upon Egypt, it was not the people of Egypt who were the problem. It was Pharoah.
The book of Exodus tells us, “Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike” (Exodus 11:3). It was to these citizens of Egypt that the soon-to-be-released Israelites would go to and ask for articles of silver and gold. These were not forced gifts. The gifts given to the Israelites out of an existing relationship helped prepare them for their coming departure right after the death of the firstborn.
In times of war, it is too easy to label an entire group of people as the evil ones to dismiss them in total. We are given derogatory names to label an entire group of people to dismiss them as the source of the evil coming our way. Most of the time it is like the verse I quoted above. The innocent Israelite slave workers worked in and around the homes of the everyday Egyptians. They got to know each other.
We need to be careful about believing a blanket statement about the cause of war against a whole group of people. God’s word regarding how the Israelites and the Egyptians related to each other denotes the relationships of respect and honor that defined their relationship.
When evil leaders rule us, they take us to places of conflict and despair we would not choose. While we need to have a blend of common sense and reality in the world in which we live, never allow a leader to define for us the entire people we are trying to reach with the Gospel. When evil leaders rule, evil enticements will come our way. It will affect us all, even the message of God’s Kingdom we are called to speak.