January 19, 2010

Exo 1-3: Freedom? For what?

Posted in Fear, Revelation tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:47 pm by Steve

The Tribes of Israel that go into Egypt

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi
  4. Judah
  5. Issachar
  6. Zebulun
  7. Benjamin
  8. Dan
  9. Naphtali

10. Gad

  1. Asher

12.  Joseph  —  Ephraim and Manasseh

“The Egyptians used them ruthlessly” [1:14]

“Pharaoh-type” individuals come in many disguises in our culture. They can appear as the boss of your company, finances that oppress and slaves to credit card debt, health concerns and pursuit of youth, and relationship that force us to act in ways that are contrary to our basic natures. There are pressures to work longer, harder and with less family time. There are more and more demands to run the kids to every event to achieve more, to be more, and have more. This life is ruthless to our wellbeing. We are slaves of our own choosing with no way out, until we cry out to God for help, guidance and deliverance.

What is the Pharaoh in your life?  There are simply some things you cannot do without God’s help!

What we remember most from Exodus narrative is the Charlton Heston version when Moses says to Pharaoh “Let my people go!” We assume that Moses comes to free the slaves, but free them to do what? It is extremely important to read the text carefully. God tells Moses that He wants to liberate the slaves to go and worship Him. The focus of the Exodus is not freedom, if we define freedom as the ability to do whatever you want, but freedom to serve God. Exodus is not about freedom to do anything, but freedom to worship and serve God alone and not Pharaoh. That’s why God tell Moses to go to Pharaoh and say ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’” [3:18] God wants the freedom to worship God alone.

I will let other tackle God’s self-revelation of Himself “I AM THAT I AM”

Let me know your thoughts.

1 Comment »

  1. Prince's mom said,

    “The Pharaoh in my life” changes. It is not always the same thing; nor, I think, is it expected to be for me and/or for others. Age, the times in which we live, and experiences change “the Pharaoh in our lives.” At times, it has been the lack of fear and the willingness to “step out and take a leap of faith.” At other times it has been time; time to read God’s Word and serve the Lord as often and as completely as I perceived that He was calling me to do. Currently, it is discipline within the time I now have to read and study God’s Word, to be “still and know that He is God,” and to discern the path, among many, that He wants me to follow in serving Him according to His will for my life. I must also add to those I have mentioned, the three Pharaohs of 1) impatience along with the 2) lack of my remembering to ask Him first for His leading me in all decisions I must make and 3) my total and complete surrender of me in a total and complete dependence upon Him.

    As in reference to God freeing the Israelite slaves:

    What a gift God gave the Israelites when He made Pharaoh “let His people go.” He set them free! He, no one else but God! With His omnipotence and His usage of His Creation, He loosed the ties that bound them and released them from their bondage. What a gift!

    I can’t help but see a parallel between the gift God gave the Israelites in bringing them out of Egypt and God’s gift, we just recently celebrated, of His Son, of Emmanuel. In setting the Israelites free, God was with them. In setting us free from our bondage of sin, God is with us through His Son, Who because of His death on the cross has given us life, life because of His Resurrection, and life eternal with Him and His Father.

    Two gifts beyond human comprehension born out of undeserved yet boundless and unfailing love and grace.

    And what are we asked to do in both circumstances of God freeing slaves? Worship Him. “Have no other Gods before Him.” Why do we find that so difficult to do? Why do we forget everything He has done for us and the promises He has made of everything that He will do for us? Why do we have such short-term memories? Why do we always need to see signs and wonders like the pillar of fire and the parting of the Red Sea to believe, to have faith, and, therefore, to praise and worship? Why can we not and do we not praise and worship out of desire rather than out of response.

    When God set the Israelites free, He enabled once again in them as well as in all of us, His gift of free will and freedom of choice. When God set us free from our sins through Christ’s crucifixon and resurrection, He enabled once again in all of us, His gift of free will and freedom of choice. He could so easily have taken that away from them and us and made them and us puppets in our expression of love and devotion to Him; but God, in exercising His free will, chose not to because, as Max Lucado says in “A Gentle Thunder,” “Love is only love if chosen.”

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