40 Days - Day 3

40 Days to Jerusalem

The New Exodus Begins – Day 3

Moses – the Deliverer

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” (Exodus 14:13)

            After centuries in bondage to Pharaoh, things were going from bad to worse for the twelve tribes of Israel. Not only was their labor increasingly intolerable, but, in order to control the growing population of the foreign prisoners, Pharaoh ordered that the first born males were to be thrown into the Nile (Exodus 1:22).  Like never before, the Israelites needed a deliverer!  God was not unaware of their misery. In fact, God had a plan all along, and he had a deliverer in mind!

            When Moses was born, his mother Jochebed devised a plan to save his life. In order to prevent him from being drowned in the Nile, Jochebed placed her baby in a papyrus basket. The Hebrew word used here can also mean ‚Äúark‚Äù (Exodus 2:3, Genesis 6:14). Imagine that, Moses was saved on an ark. This is clearly an echo from salvation history. As Moses‚Äô story unfolds, we will see that there are also glimpses of the future. For instance, consider the evil intention of Pharaoh to kill the male children. This is not the last time we will hear of a despotic dictator ordering infanticide for males!  It is no coincidence that Pharaoh‚Äôs daughter discovers the boy in his boat. From that day forward Moses was not only saved, but he was raised in the royal household as a Prince of Egypt. To make the deal even sweeter, his mother Jochebed was enlisted to care for the baby as a nurse maid (Exodus 2:5-10). God had a plan, indeed!

            After Moses had grown up, he witnessed an Egyptian beating an Israelite. He was so angered that he murdered the Egyptian slave master (Exodus 12:11-12). Fearing reprisal, Moses fled from Egypt and took up residence in Midian. Once there, Moses took Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, to be his wife (Exodus 2:21). After spending a great number of years in Midian, one day, Moses had an encounter with God. On Mount Horeb, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. God said to him, ‚ÄúDo not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.‚Äù 6 Then he said, ‚ÄúI am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.‚Äù At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, ‚ÄúI have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey‚Ķ9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt‚Äù (Exodus 3:7-10).

            God was sending Moses to deliver His people. Why do you suppose God identified Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? It was because God was about to fulfill His covenant promises to these fathers in the faith. God vowed that His people would have a new land, a great name, and that the family lineage would be a blessing to the whole world (Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 15:7, 17:8, 22:17-18). Though 400 years of bondage was horrific, it had prepared the Israelites for what lay ahead. God was about to fulfill His covenant vows by delivering them from bondage and giving them a new land ‚Äì the Promised Land!

            One scholar said, ‚ÄúHistory may not repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme!‚Äù Moses was the deliverer of the Israelites from their bondage to Pharaoh and their Egyptian oppressors. But, there would be a greater enslavement and a more severe bondage to be dealt with. This would take a different kind of deliverer and a New Exodus. If the past teaches us anything, it is this: God is aware of the needs of humanity, and He has a plan! Tomorrow, we will begin to see it unfold. 

Prayer for Today

 

            Praise the Lord for knowing our every need

 

          Give Him thanks for sending us a deliverer to free us from our bondage

 

          Pray for those who are enslaved to sin and know not the Lord‚Äôs deliverance

 

          Ask the Lord to deliver them from whatever has ensnared them

 

          Pray for the needs of the world, our country, our Church and our families

 

          Thank the Lord that He hears our prayers

 

 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt‚Äîto Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:10)

Oh, but a greater One would come…

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