One of the most well-known Bible stories from the Old Testament is that of the exodus. The Israelites had become slaves to the Egyptians. And their life was only getting harder. So God chose a leader, Moses, to get them out of Egypt. And to bring them to the land promised to Abraham. Moses helped prepare God’s people to leave their old lives behind for a new and better one. He wants to do the same for us. He wants us to prepare for the exodus, too.
A little background…
When we look back at the exodus story, we notice first the need for a change. The Israelites originally lived in Egypt in good conditions. Over the course of a couple hundred of years they went from honored guests of the Pharaoh to slaves.
Let’s review. In Genesis 37, we learn that Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers and brought to Egypt. After years of service to an Egyptian official, he was unjustly thrown into prison.
The Pharaoh pulled him out of prison after hearing of his ability to explain dreams. And because of the wisdom God granted Joseph, he was eventually put in charge. In fact, the only person higher in power was the Pharaoh himself.
So when the famine predicted in the Pharaoh’s dream took place, Joseph was well placed to save not only Egypt but his own brethren. Eventually, his eleven brothers and father Jacob all moved to Egypt. It is then they lived in prosperity as honored relations of Joseph, the right hand man of Pharaoh.
Jump forward a couple of hundred years and we see the Israelites (Hebrews) are no longer honored guests of the Pharaoh. It says in Exodus 1:7, “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.”
This new Pharaoh, whom the Bible says “knew not Joseph,” didn’t like this so much. In fact, it scared him. So he started making their life difficult.
First, he made them slaves. They built Pharaoh’s cities. When that didn’t make them less mighty, he made plans to kill all their male children.
This is where most people begin to be familiar with the story. Moses, of course, was one of the babies that should have been killed. But his mother successfully hid him and sent him down the river where the Pharaoh’s own daughter found him and raised him as her own.
Moses was in a unique position to know the language and culture of both the Hebrews and the Egyptians. And this is partly why he was chosen to lead God’s people out of Egypt.
God sees our struggles.
The people were so heavily burdened by this time that the Bible says “God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” (Exodus 2:24) And He began to put into motion His plan to save His people. And fulfill His promise to them.
Just like in Moses’ time, God’s people are beginning to groan. In many parts of Africa and Asia, Christians are being persecuted in large number. But even those of us in the West (where we, too, were once prosperous) are beginning to “sigh by reason of the bondage.”
Our leaders, once determined to rule according to the morals and values of Christianity, are now following their own desires and those of the world. As we see a rise in racial tension (provoked by the media and those in authority), gender confusion (taught and encouraged by teachers and doctors), and poverty (brought about by our business and government leaders), Christians are quickly becoming a minority. One that is silenced, mocked, and sometimes even jailed.
Less than a hundred years ago, living as a Christian in the West was easy. We were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with” us. (Exodus 1:7)
But no longer. And once again, we are crying out to God for peace and rest from the burdens of this life.
God keeps His promises.
And just like in the time of Moses, He is getting ready to bring us to the promised land.
But this time, our Savior is known. He came once to release us from the bondage of sin. And He will come again to bring us home for good. Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
And this exodus is no longer just for the Israelites, (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) with whom He made the covenant. It is with all people. “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:11
But here’s the thing…
We need to be ready.
Moses didn’t just show up one day and say, “hey guys, let’s get out of here.” This wouldn’t have worked very well. For a couple of reasons.
First, he had to establish his authority. Who was he to be leader? Why should they listen to him? And not just his own people, but the enemy, the Pharaoh needed to know this as well.
Second, the trip out would require preparation. Not just the physical preparation of gathering food and belongings. But the emotional and mental preparation of leaving everything they ever knew behind. Their entire way of life would be changed.
Remember, they had been living in Egypt for hundreds of years. The Israelites had most likely developed some habits and customs similar to those of the Egyptians. They had homes, families, routines. They had stability.
The Israelites needed not only to accept Moses as their leader, they needed to accept a new way of life. They needed to be willing to give up their stability. And they needed to be willing to give up the assurance of a bed to sleep in, food to eat, a future for the family. Even if that future was filled with burden and grief.
They needed to be ready to trust God with it all. Follow Him blindly. Give up control. Trust Him to provide.
And so do we.
Our modern leaders do not know Christ as they used to. Like the Pharaoh in Moses’ day, they see the prosperity and abundance of Christians and it hardens their hearts. They are fearful that we will rise up against them and they will lose their power. That we will no longer let them live so that “every man [does] that which as right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
So they are increasing our burdens. Some are asking us to compromise our faith to keep our jobs. Asking us to “follow the science” like it is some new savior. Even giving up our children on the altar of “science” and inject them with experimental drugs that have now been shown to have serious side effects.
So we are standing at the same point as the Israelites before leaving Egypt. Are we willing to give up our habits and customs? Will we give up our homes, routines, even families? Are we willing to give up our stability?
But God is merciful.
God didn’t expect the Israelites to make these changes overnight. In fact, we often think of the ten plagues as God’s show of power over the Egyptian gods. As a sort of proof to the Egyptians that God is sovereign.
But it was also to show the Israelites themselves that God is Sovereign. That they can trust the leader God had sent them to free them from their bondage. And it gave them time. Time to prepare the voyage to the new land. Time to change their attitude. And time to give up their old way of life.
Of course, they complained almost immediately upon leaving Egypt. Many wanted to go back to the security of slavery. They wanted the assurance of a roof over their head and food to eat.
And God added forty years in the desert. They were clearly not ready to make the change necessary to receive the gift of the promised land. So He gave them time. And He proved to them over and over for forty years that He is Sovereign. He cares. And He provides.
He will provide.
And He is doing the same for us. As we approach the end times, we know that it will get rough. That the mark of the beast will be required to buy and sell. That we will be persecuted.
And while I don’t believe the masks or the vaccine are the mark, I do believe they are precursors. And that God in His wisdom and mercy, is giving us time to prepare. Time to change our attitudes about this life. And time to put all our trust in Him.
And when we do. When we take that first step out of Egypt, He will prove to us again and again that He is Sovereign. He will provide as He has promised. And He will bring us home. To the real promised land that is eternal life in His presence.
So I urge you to use this time wisely. Start taking those steps of faith. Reject the comforts of this world for those of heaven. And let God show His Sovereignty in your life. He will provide as He promised in Matthew 6:33. “ But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Stay strong. Resist the mandates.
And above all, trust God. He is giving you this time to prepare for our own exodus.