When God told Moses to bring Israel out of Egypt, He revealed His purposes. I say purposes because He had many planned for Israel.
“And the Lord said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.” Exodus 3:7-8
The first purpose God revealed to Moses about why He wanted to bring Israel out of Egypt was to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians. God knew their sorrows. The Hebrew word for “know” in Exodus 3:7 is yada. It translates as “to see, to perceive, to recognize.” The word “sorrows” is makob. It translates as “to have pain, to be sore, to grieve, to sorrow.” God saw and recognized the pain and sorrow the Israelites were experiencing at the hands of their cruel masters in Egypt. He heard their cries for help. What did God do about it? “So I have come down to deliver them.” Think about the depth of those words. God came down from Heaven to “deliver” His children. What an amazing picture that is of the Almighty God coming from His Throne to His footstool (Isaiah 66:1) to “deliver” His people out of the hand of the Egyptians. The Hebrew word for “deliver” here is nasal. It means “to pluck out of the hands of an oppressor or enemy, rescue, deliver from danger, preserve.” The word implies exertion, tumult, and bursting of bonds with power and courage. That’s a great picture of what God did for Israel.
God told Moses that delivering the Israelites from the hand of Pharaoh would not be easy or quick – and that was for another purpose – that Egypt and Israel would see the “mighty hand” of God.
“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob —appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ ‘The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.” Exodus 3:16-20
The method God used to save Israel from the hand of the Egyptians is the same way He saves people today. Everyone on earth is born a slave to sin (Romans 3:23). They will remain a slave to sin unless God delivers them from sin. How does He do that? Through blood.
“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13
Only God’s chosen people were saved from the death plague that covered Egypt. The only people who will survive the death plague that covers our world now are those who are covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:8-10
God delivers us from the bondage of sin by justifying us through the Blood of Christ and reconciling us through the death of Christ. The power of deliverance was in the “blood” and the “death” of Jesus Christ, the Spotless Lamb of God. Praise God for His wonderful gift!
Deliverance also includes protection. What happened after Egypt’s king let the Israelites leave? He changed his mind and pursued the Israelites to bring them back into his service.
“When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, ‘What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!’ So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops —pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.” Exodus 14:5-9
The people of Israel were not a trained army. They were a slave nation. How could they protect themselves from the elite army of Egypt? God promised Moses that He was going to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Egyptians and bring them up from that land to a good and large land that was flowing with milk and honey – and that’s what He was going to do. Deliverance includes protection.
“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. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.’ Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east windand turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, ‘Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.’ Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.” Exodus 14:13-28
God does the same for us today. His deliverance includes His protection. He delivers us from the penalty of sin and will lead us to the Promised Land.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39
What is the second purpose God had for Israel? We’ll see in the next part of our study.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”