Oppressed. Humiliated. Fearful. Exhausted. Oppressed. Enslaved. Beaten. In pain. Tempted to sin. Ruled by tyrants. Tempted to turn their back on the One True God.
These words describe the conditions and mindset of the Israelites living in Egypt during the time of Moses. Their cries were heard by the Lord, and it was now time for Him to set His people free.
The Burning Bush: God is the Great “I AM”
After a series of events, an Israelite named Moses who grew up in Pharaoh’s household fled from Egypt and went into exile for 40 years. He became a shepherd, and one day while tending sheep on the back side of the desert He had a life-changing encounter with God. God spoke to him from a burning bush, a bush that was on fire but never consumed by the flames.
The Lord revealed His plan to Moses. He was sending Moses back to Egypt to lead the Israelites out of slavery. Moses was overwhelmed with the assignment. He felt inadequate to speak and unable to lead. He asked God to send someone else.
14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”
God is the Great “I AM.” He is everything you need Him to be. He is not everything you WANT Him to be, but He is everything you NEED Him to be. He was Moses’ leader, teacher, miracle-worker, provider and more. He is truly God-in-the-present-tense. He is the Great “I AM.”
Are you tired? He is your strength. Are you afraid? He is your courage. Are you in turmoil? He is your peace. Are you held captive by sin? He is your deliverer. As He was for Moses and the children of Israel, so He will be for you. He is the Great “I AM.”
The Passover: God is Merciful and Just
Moses journeyed back to Egypt to fulfill his God-given, God-sized task: to lead about 2 million people out of Egypt. His brother Aaron joined him as he stood before the Pharaoh to deliver God’s message. God sent nine plagues upon the land of Egypt to demonstrate His power over the false gods of that nation. Several times Pharaoh almost let the people leave.
The time had come for the final and most devastating plague: the death of the firstborn of every household. Because each person who died was a sinner (we all are!), the punishment was just. Because God is merciful, He provided a way for the firstborn of each household to be saved.
God gave clear instructions and Moses delivered them to the people: sacrifice a lamb and put blood from the lamb on their doorposts and above their door. When the Lord came through the land, He would show mercy by passing over those households. The blood of the lamb would save them. They blood of the lamb would give them life.
12 “I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night and strike every firstborn male in the land of Egypt, both man and beast. I am Yahweh; I will execute judgments against all the gods of Egypt. 13 The blood on the houses where you are staying will be a distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
And that is exactly what happened. Death came by the millions throughout Egypt. All of those who trusted in the Lord and obeyed Him (Israelites and Egyptians) experienced His mercy, while those who ignored Him experienced His justice. For those who were saved, they were saved by the blood of the lamb.
The Red Sea: God is the All-Powerful Deliverer
When the Israelites fled Egypt, God led them and protected them. Back in Egypt, after the shock of the tenth plague wore off, the Egyptian army began to pursue Moses and the children of Israel. Soon after their escape from slavery, with the Egyptian army in hot pursuit, the people found themselves at the banks of the Red Sea. They were truly between a rock and a hard place. They had no place to turn, except to the Lord.
Their All-Powerful Deliverer did not let them down. God instructed Moses to raise his walking stick, and when Moses obeyed God sent a mighty wind to part the Red Sea! The children of Israel walked across the Red Sea on dry ground, with the waters as a wall on their left and their right. The Lord was their Deliverer!
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back with a powerful east wind all that night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with the waters like a wall to them on their right and their left.
After the massive group of people crossed the sea, the Egyptian army began to pursue them once again. When the Egyptians entered the sea, their chariots began to get stuck in the mud. And then the Lord caused the waters to crash back down upon them. The Egyptians were destroyed. God saved His people.
Jesus and The Exodus
The Exodus is when God’s people were delivered from slavery and set free by the Lord. This historical event for the nation of Israel pointed to the One who would become the Deliverer of all who would put their trust in Him. Jesus is that Deliverer.
Jesus is the Great “I AM.” He is merciful and just. He was the perfect sacrificial lamb. By His blood we are saved. He is our all-powerful deliverer. On the cross, He died for our sin. By His resurrection, He guarantees our eternal life. Power over death. Power to live a forgiven, faith-filled, free-from-sin, righteous life. Jesus is our Deliverer.
Is He yours?