God has heard your cry!

1. Conquered: The familiar historical account of the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, of Moses and the great plagues, and of the giving of the Ten Commandments by God gives every one of us clarity on where we are in life and where we need to go. We are all conquered people; either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:16), for “by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Peter 2:19). If we are not lovingly following Jesus Christ (and Him alone), then we are slaves to sin and, without calling on His name, can never be set free.

2. Bondage in Egypt: In the report of the Exodus, the children of Israel had turned their hearts from God and gave themselves to the god of their bellies, preferring to stop their inner cry for wholeness in God by relying on the vast provisions of the Egyptians and their false gods. As they grew fat, being spiritually dead, God lifted His presence from them those four hundred years, that they might seek Him and His life-giving words. Likewise, we are all “in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” (Galatians 4:3-4).

3. Deliverer raised up: Just as the Jews cried out to God in their chains, we too must first see that we are enslaved to sin if we are ever to be set free. God the Father already sent His Son to release us from captivity; we must now only cry out to Jesus, and the iron shackles of sin which bind us will become as dry grass – easily removed and burned! All praise be given to “our Lord Jesus, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age” (Galatians 1:3-4)! Let us therefore see our sin and hate it, that we would cry out for the Deliverer to free us that we might forsake our sin altogether.

4. Great signs and wonders: In the same way that God proved Himself to Pharaoh, He daily proves Himself to be personal and jealously desirous of our fellowship, for “what may be known of God is manifest in [men], for God has shown [the truth] to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20).

5. Pharaoh releases God’s people to worship the one true God: We know this to be true, because Jesus died for us before we were followers of Him, and “through death He [destroyed] him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, [that He might] release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). All we must do to be delivered is apply His blood on the doorposts of our life, and death will pass over us – we will have eternal life in Him and therefore no longer fear death!

6. Passover Prayer: “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the presence of all His people. … O LORD, truly I am Your servant; … You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:12-14, 16-17). If you are enslaved to sin, pray: “Jesus, I acknowledge that I am a sinner and believe that Your blood alone, shed upon the cross for me, can deliver me from death. Come and set this captive free! Amen (which means, Let it be so now).”

7. Exodus into the wilderness: But we cannot forsake our sins outwardly and yet still inwardly long for them. “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’ ” (Hebrews 3:14-15). The Hebrews who left Egypt were being led by God – appearing in a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night – through the wilderness. This wilderness is a picture of life in Christ on this side of eternity, where we have left our sins but have not yet received the promises. We must be diligent to obtain them daily by grace through faith, lest we become complainers.

8. Test of the people’s hearts: This is a faithful saying – “remember that the LORD your God [is leading you] in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, [that you would] know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2). The trials we face while following Jesus are not because He has forgotten us, but that we might seek Him all the more – that our salvation would be perfected, and our love for Him unhindered.

9. The fulfillment of the law: And just as Moses received the law on Mount Sinai, we have received the revelation of how to be like Christ – “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12-13). Apart from Jesus, we are still in bondage to sin and the fear of death, and so are unable to lay our lives down and pick up our cross daily. But we who are in Christ can fulfill the law by Christ’s Spirit living in us, because the Holy Spirit in us (who is the guarantee of our inheritance) promises us eternal life!

10. Manna from heaven: For strength on our journey through the wilderness, provision is made each day that we would be victorious. Jesus said, “I am the living bread which [has come] down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). As the Israelites needed to gather manna each day and consume it all on that day, so we too must crucify our flesh daily, that we would be raised to life daily, just as Christ was crucified and, three days later, was resurrected and glorified, never to die again.

11. Build and keep the tabernacle as priests: Know this – that our hearts are a temple, and the slaves of sin worship blind, deaf, lying gods in their temple; but we who have forsaken sin “are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. … I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the LORD Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 6:16, 18-7:1).

12. Rest is found only with God in the Promised Land: When God the Creator made everything in six days, He was building a house for Himself to dwell in, where man could boldly approach, communicate, and grow in love with Him. God rested on the seventh day, enjoying fellowship with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; the first two priests in the first temple. “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:10). Moses built a traveling Tabernacle and followed God; make your heart in like manner, and our Father will wipe away every tear from your eyes. If you are in the wilderness, pray: “Jesus, give us this day our daily bread. We will move where You move and settle where You settle, lest we die. Show me Your glory!”

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