God's Desire is to Set Us Free from Oppressive People, Addictions, and Activities
As we continue our journey through the Book of Exodus, we encounter a very important paragraph in Exodus 6:1-9. Moses and Aaron are now with the Israelites in the Land of Goshen in Egypt. Moses and Aaron have asked Pharaoh to let the Israelites go into the wilderness for three days to celebrate a festival to Yahweh--to sacrifice to Yahweh. But Pharaoh denied their request, and require that the Israelites increase their harsh labor (Exodus 5).
Now, as we enter into Exodus 6, Yahweh speaks to Moses.
1. First, Yahweh assures Moses that Pharaoh will let the Israelites go out of Egypt and drive the Israelites out of Pharaoh's land by Yahweh's "mighty hand"--Exodus 6:1.
2. Second, Yahweh reminds Moses that Yahweh has done three things with God's people in the past.
a. Yahweh appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as "God Almighty," but did not make himself known to them as "Yahweh [the Lord]." Exodus 6:2-3.
b. Yahweh established his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give them the land of Canaan, where in their lifetime were aliens. Exodus 6:4.
c. Yahweh heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians were holding as slaves, as Yahweh remembered his covenant. Exodus 6:5 [note Exodus 2:23-25].
3. Yahweh declares to Moses now:
a. I will BRING YOU [PLURAL--THE ISRAELITES] OUT of the burdens of the Egyptians. Exodus 6:6a [the same verb is repeated in Exodus 6:7c].
b. I will DELIVER you from slavery to them. Exodus 6:6b.
c. I will REDEEM you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. Exodus 6:6c.
d. I will TAKE you as my people, and I will be your God. Exodus 6:7a.
e. I will BRING YOU INTO the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will GIVE it to you for a possession. Exodus 6:8.
Focus on three important biblical truths.
First, the Bible consistently and predominantly presents Yahweh [God] as the SUBJECT of ACTION VERBS. God "brings out" [of Egypt], God "delivers," God "redeems," God "brings into" [the promised land of Canaan]. THIS is the way God works through history--then and now!!! The first three verbs used here are synonyms using different metaphors. (a) "Bring out" in this context signifies "free from" slavery. (b) "Deliver" signifies snatching or rescuing people from danger [see Exodus 2:17]. (c) "Redeem" refers to the action of a kinsman who acts for the honor and well being of a wounded or abused member of the family [see Ruth 4:1-12]. The last verb, "bring into" affirms that Yahweh will lead his people into the promised land. We will study additional verbs declaring that Yahweh brings his people out of Egyptian slavery and bondage in later blogs.
Second, Exodus 6:7 is central to the biblical relationship between Yahweh and his people: I will be YOUR people, and you will be MY God. This is marriage language. The husband belongs to his wife, and his wife belongs to her husband. God is like a husband, and Israel is like a wife. This expression occurs very often throughout scripture. See for example, Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 7:23; 11:4; 24:7; 30:22; Ezekiel 11:20; 14:11; 36:28; 37:23, 27; Zechariah 8:8--this is just a start. Look these terms in your concordance. Read these passages.
Third, Exodus 6:8 contains the promise that Yahweh will GIVE the land of Canaan to the Israelites for a possession. Yahweh is the great giver of gifts. One great gift of God is the land of Canaan. What gifts has Yahweh given you? Is there ANYTHING, really, that God has NOT given you?
After Moses hears Yahweh's promises, Moses tells the Israelites what Yahweh has promised to them through Moses. But they would not listen to Moses BECAUSE OF
1. Their broken spirit, and
2. Their cruel slavery. Exodus 6:9.
Like the Israelites in Egypt for 400 years, all around us there are people in our city, in our state, in our country, throughout the world, who have broken spirits and endure cruel slavery. Oppressive, self-centered, dominating, insensitive, aloof "movers and shakers" of society--like Pharaoh and his taskmaster--so dictate the lives of those they control, they break their spirits and demand cruel slavery from them. Such oppressed people are so beaten down that it is virtually impossible for them to function as humane people.
YET, God assures the oppressed that he CAN and WILL set us free. God does this miraculously and powerfully and definitively!!! PLEASE, lift up your hearts and spirits to God. There IS hope. God can overthrow the powerful, and exalt the humble. Praise God for the kind of God he is.
What is YOUR situation right now? Share your burdens, your anxieties, your fears. God will deliver you, redeem you, set you free--in his own way and in his own time. BELIEVE!!!