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 .

• "The Voice of the Martyrs’ New Book, IRAN: Desperate For God, Released June 28, 2006: For decades, Iran has been a hotbed for terrorist activity. Little do most people know that Iran also houses the fastest-growing Muslim movement in the world: Muslims converting to Christianity. In IRAN: Desperate for God, seven Iranian Christian converts from Islam unveil their testimonies of courageously sharing Christ in a nation ranked among the top 10 persecutors of Christians in the world.

Doctors, students and housewives are leaving their empty lives governed by Islamic oppression and coming into the fullness of Christ. The ruthless and radical Islamic president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, angrily declared that 500 to 600 Muslims were converting to Christianity monthly, but the numbers are actually much, much higher. Many risk everything? Their homes, jobs, families, freedom and even their lives? To follow Christ, and IRAN: Desperate for God brings these stories to light."

c. Pain leads to prayer v23.

This oppression appears to be Pharaohs big mistake, he oversteps the mark, because, the people under this oppression begin to cry out to God Exodus: 2:23.

Friends what do most people do in a tight spot? They pray even when they don’t even know God – they pray – Ive experienced it in my own life at the birth of Farley. You see it at funerals – With people who live their lives with no thought for God. You see when tragedy strikes with the outpouring of prayer that has gone out this last couple of weeks for little Madeline McCann being abducted in the Algarve her family at prayer - people up and down this nation in Leicestershire praying to God in pain.

look at the Biblical precedence for painful prayer, this is just a few: O.T 1Sam 1:10 Hannah who has suffered much torment and ridicule who is barren, in her pain pleads with God in prayer and her prayer is answered. 2 Sam 12:16. King David who has sinned and Nathen the prophet brings God Word to him, he will lose his son - David pleads in prayer but God doesnt answer it takes place the son dies our pleading is not always answered, yet David goes own with the Lord. Nehemiah 1.4, Wept, fasted and prayed for a nation and God used him as a result and answered his painful prayer Job 1:13 - 22. Job lost everything his buissness his children, if you’ve lost chldren you will know this painful prayer yet through it all he praised God still. And what about the Lord Jesus in Gethsemmane? We cannot begin to concieve what he entered into here,it was painful beyond our comprehension the anguish, the swweat of blood, the cup of Gods wrath N.T Luke.22: 44.

• A Fortnight ago I meet a family Louise and Jason in a very difficult and heart moving position and what is their desire its to draw close to God through marriage and the reason a beautiful little 5 month old boy called Alfie with Leukodystrophy who has a very short life expectancy is causing them to cry out to groan to God. Their pain is leading to prayer.

Friends are not our families our friends, our neighbours , our communities in a tight spot? Shouldn’t we be praying for them? Consider those who are suffering under the bondage of sin – under the oppression of all that sin brings with it - disease - divorce – depression – despair - death - and destruction that it brings into people’s lives... How we need to be groaning in painful prayer for others and yet so often we are so prayer less - so unmoved - so heartless towards the plight of thousands of people in our own community. Should we as a body of Christ be groaning together in prayer for the hearts of others . Share Prayer and care in the community – lets meet to pray

You might be saying “Aubrey I don’t know how to pray, its beyond me.” Friend its beyond us all there isn’t some trait formula for prayer but it must come from a heart in pain over the oppression in people’s lives. Rom 8:26. We do not know what we ought to pray for but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express .

Wasn’t it the heart of Jesus as he hung upon the cross in physical and spiritual pain, bearing our sins and the sins of the whole world and yet didn’t he cry out to His Father in heaven wasn’t this a painful prayer waiting to be answered on behalf of others ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they do?’ Wasn’t that painful prayer answered? Well if you’re a Christian today it was answered for you! And there our countless others in our families and communities who because of Jesus and our painful prayers before God – forgiveness will become a reality to them also.

d. Prayer leads to Redemption. 2:24 Exodus: 11, 12: 28 29, Ex 6:6.

God responds to their cry 2:24 He remembers His covenant with Abraham – Isaac and Jacob. Which will move Him to His exit strategy (Exodus) V25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

How was this worked out? Chapters 3- 4. God sets apart a small child Moses who was Israelite – who grew up an Egyptian prince would return to His people and be instrumental in Gods purposes in releasing the people from slavery. God calls and equips Moses at the age of 80 to go to Egypt to call for the release of His people and along with Aaron who is 83 they go to Pharaoh and call for the release of the people, but time and time again Pharaoh refuses to release the captives and his heart is hardened.

Chapter 11. But it’s the 10th plague that changes everything the death of the first born from the Pharaohs son to the slave girls first born son and even the first born of the cattle v5 will die if Pharaoh fails to let the people go. God explains to Moses this time Pharaoh will release the people v1.

Chapter 12.The Passover directives: 1. To take a lamb a male lamb a year old – a firstborn – without defect - 2.Are to slaughter at twighlight and brush the blood on the door lintels and posts – 4. so when God sees the blood he will pass over those places and no death will come to the firstborn children. 5. They were to cook the lamb and eat it with bitter herbs – they were to eat being prepared to leave with their cloaks tucked in their belts and sandals on their feet and staff in their hands to eat in haste prepared for a quick exit.....

V28 -30 AND IT TOOK PLACE the Lord passed over and so begins the story of redemption means to buy back or to save by paying a ransom.

• One of the ways to buy back a slave in the ancient world was to offer an equivalent slave or even a superior slave to buy back. That is exactly the way God choose to buy us back he gave his one and only Son in exchange for us. Mark 10:45. For even the Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.

This redemptive act out of slavery in Egypt and the spotless lamb being sacrificed and the blood poured over the door frames and the lamb being cooked and eaten is all pointing to Jesus as John the Baptist proclaimed “ Behold the lamb of God who takes away the Sins of the World.”

Jesus was crucified at the Passover – in fact I believe there was no Passover lamb at the last supper that Jesus shared in and the reason I believe that was..... He Himself was the Passover lamb. In fact some theologians believe that from Scripture the day that Jesus was crucified was the day of the slaughter of the lambs to be enjoyed at the Passover meal itself. Paul says 1Cor5:7. For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Friends let us remember that those of us in Christ have been redeemed His blood on the mercy seat of God has atoned for our sins we have been set free from slavery..... as Peter says 1Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Leslie B. Flynn tells the story of an orphaned boy living with his grandma when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck. Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue. Our Daily Bread, December 26 .

There are voices all around calling for our attention, many of those voices may seem appealing but they will subtly keep us under oppression in slavery. But among those voices there is One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has come to rescue us from the slavery of sin and its deadly consequences. And the purpose of our redemption is not to leave us but to bring us into His family as sons and daughters of the Living God. It is to Him belongs your love and devotion and not the world. Friend who are you a Slave too? A slave to the World or to Christ? Cry out to the Lord like the people of Isreal he will hear your cry...Amen

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