January 29 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 4-6 and Psalms 28
Welcome to Exodus!
Most scholars agree that the nation of Israel was in Egypt for generations. They had “evolved” from the status of favoured people under Joseph, to one of captivity and slavery after Joseph passed off the scene. Scholars tend to agree that by the time of their “deliverance” at the hands of Moses and Aaron, they had multiplied to as many as 4 million people. The description of their “Exodus” contains a lot of encouragement for readers of this book but it should also be understood as a “type” or “parable” of our salvation – of God calling us from the dominion of darkness and bringing us into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13). This account paints a clear picture of how Jesus confronted the Devil and, through mighty deeds, set us free from the slavery of sin. As you read this book, keep this allegory in mind and you will be blessed as you discover the parallels.
I find it fascinating that no matter what the Egyptians threw at God’s people, they multiplied and prospered – so much so that the Egyptians were in dread of Israel. On the one hand Israel was groaning under the load of hardship and slave labor and at the same time, the Egyptians could plainly see that God was with them. The tougher things got for Israel the more they began to cry out for deliverance.
The grand theme of this book is that God heard their cry, and in His sovereign timing, sent a deliverer to bring them out of slavery. The deliverer, Moses, had a vision from God (perhaps encouraged by his mother) at a young age that this Exodus was going to happen. He even tried to make it happen outside of the timing of God, but ended up in the desert for forty years – a direct result of his mistake.
Can we learn something from all of this? Well, for starters – it really doesn’t matter which “captivity” we find ourselves in, if God is with us we can prosper anywhere – but we have already learned this lesson this from Joseph’s life. I also think that the Lord is on the lookout for people who are “groaning” to be set free. We all need to come to a point in life where we are ready for a deliverance or a revival from God but we also should be on the lookout for others who groan in their sin, wanting deliverance and change so that we can join ourselves to them. Finally, we need to be patient when we feel that a certain issue needs to be resolved immediately. God seems to have His own deliverance schedule and His timing is always sovereign. To me, this means that God keeps some things secret or keeps His people on a “need to know” basis. Get used to it – there are some answers that can only be found on the other side of death’s door.
1. What spiritual place did the Israelites come to before God sent deliverance?
2. What are some of the secrets God will reveal only when we get to heaven?