Then announce to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you, “Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness.” Until now, you have refused to listen to him.” –
Exodus 7:16 NLT
I love the Exodus narrative. The theme of liberation is pervasive. The deliverance of the people of Israel was such a centrifugal event in Judaism. As an African American and someone who studies history, I identify with this theme of liberation because of the close parallels one can draw from America’s history of slavery and oppression. The Exodus narrative was used by slaves in the antebellum south to hope that one day God would deliver them from their oppression.
When black slaves read…
The Lord said, “I 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…And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. -
Exodus 3:7, 9-10
…their hearts raced, infused with hope, that one day they and they’re descendants would live to see the bright day of freedom.
Exodus literally means exit. This book is all about the deliverance of the Israelites from the oppression of the Egyptians. Like many of you, I’ve always been so captivated by God’s display of power through the plagues, the personality of Moses, and the obstinance of Pharaoh. However, for a long time I failed to realize the true purpose behind their deliverance.
Upon closer look, when we read Exodus 7:14 the goal wasn’t just to get them out of Egypt. It wasn’t just about freedom and liberation. God demands Pharaoh to, “let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert.”
God desired to bring them out of Egypt so that He could bring them in.
Bring them where? Into His presence, to a new identity, and to a new way of living. God brings them into His presence that they might hear His voice and worship Him. It wasn’t just about their deliverance from Egypt, but their deliverance into the arms of God.
How does this practically relate to you?
So many times in life, we’re just trying to get out – out of the pressure of bills, relationships that have gone south, jobs where we have bosses that don’t treat us right, etc. We often want out, but what if we’re missing the grander picture of God grafting you in?
What would it look like if you spent less time worrying about how to get out your situation and more time trusting that God is going to bring you in to something marvelous, something that is difficult for your imagination to grasp? I want to encourage you to keep trusting God for your deliverance, but believe that He is bringing you into deeper intimacy, revelation, and conviction in His compassion.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.