Summary: This is a look at the opening pages of Exodus and God redemptive work from slavery to redemption looking at the circumstances that brought it all about and its application for us today.
The Book of Exodus: From Slavery to Redemption (Key verse: Ex 6:6)other texts for guidance Ex 1:8 – 17 2:23 – 24. 11:1-5 12:29-30
The book of Exodus theme is one of redemption out of slavery and divine guidance through the provision of God’s law and His guidance through the wilderness to the Promised Land. Today on our Bible overview we are going to focus on the theme of slavery to redemption.
Background : The Israelites were in slavery, oppressed in Egypt : Exodus 23 – 25.: Four hundred years had passed since Joseph had moved his family to Egypt as a result of the famine. These descendants of Abraham , Isaac and Jacob had grown to over two million strong. These Israelites were growing day by day v7. Here we begin to see the partial fulfilment of Gods pledge to Abraham Gen 12:2 about him having numerous descendants. But as yet not fully fulfilled yet from Jacob we have the twelve tribes of Israel and from the tribe of Judah a lion would rise King Jesus – who would fulfil that promise adding the spiritual descendants from every corner of the world to Abrahams line. God was certainly blessing them, But somebody else was out to bring them into slavery and oppress them.
• In our lives isn’t it true that God indeed desires to bless us with redemption and keep us yet there is another seeking to keep us in slavery to the bondage of sin and the world.`1 Peter 5:8 The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
a. Oppression leads to pain Ex. 1:11-14 - Ex.2:23
To the new Pharaoh the 2 million populations of Israelites was a serious threat. They were illegal immigrants as far as Egypt is concerned even though they are born and bred in Egypt they were 2nd class citizens (we get concerned about a few eastern European migration levels to the UK) Pharaoh who knew nothing of the past economic good Joseph had done for his nation, as far as he is concerned they are a serious threat to national security Ex 1:8 - 10.
So Pharaoh calls for them to be oppressed to have slave masters put over them making the Israelites into slaves v11 and consigns them to forced labour they build two cities v 11 Pithom and Rameses . The scriptures tells us they were worked ruthlessly (There was no company pension plan for these guys) V14 Their lives were bitter and full of hard labour it was painful work. V16 This oppression has no limits it goes as evil as desiring all future Israelite boys to be killed at birth – thankfully the midwives feared God and refused to aid him in this atrocity.
• I pray that a few more doctors in our nation would fear God in our generation...
Pharaohs actions are a chilling reminder to us how one man can change the whole course of a nations actions by seeking to dominate and exploit others: history is scattered with examples past and present : Hitler in Germany - eradicating the Jews: Stalin in Russia with the oppression of communist , Sadam Hussein in Iraq with the genocide of northern Kurds - Kim Il-sung in North Korea with present human right atrocities against Christians. Oppression against Gods people is still taking place today in Muslim countries and it is painful;
April 18th 2007 In Turkey a nation soon joining the European Union - you may even go there for your holidays... Three Christians two of who were converted Muslims from Christianity who in the morning kissed their wives good bye to take a Bible study at a Christian publishing company with five young Muslim men who were showing an interest in Christianity only to have their bodies ripped apart because of their faith.
But the blood of the martyrs is the seedbed of Gods Church: Oppression will always take place and oppression will always been painful 2:23 they groaned to God How we need to pray for our brothers and sisters all over the world... that they will stand under the bondage of oppression ....
• And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write. “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” (Rev. 2: 8-11)
b. But oppression leads to growth v12.
Notice what happened under the oppression? The more they were oppressed the more they grew. God continued to bless them . And so it is in the world today, where Christians are being oppressed and even martyred for their faith – it is deeply painful but the Church is growing .