Monday, September 15, 2008

REDEMPTION IN EXODUS

I heard a sermon recently from Exodus 1-2, regarding the command of Pharaoh to kill the male babies of Hebrew women. The preacher did not mention it, but this passage started me thinking of God’s sovereignty, and, especially, God’s sovereignty in redemption.

Here is the story. Pharaoh gave the order to the Hebrew midwives. The midwives refused to do it. Then, Pharaoh said that everyone in Egypt must kill any male Hebrew child. At that point, Moses’ parents put him in a basket and hid him among the reeds in the river. The daughter of Pharaoh found the basket and decided to keep the child. She unknowingly hired Moses’ mother to nurse him and take care of him. He able to stay with his family until he “grew up”, then moved to the palace. Thus, he had a Hebrew upbringing and then learned the ways of the Egyptian court.

I try to read the Bible theologically. Reading the Bible theologically means reading with a focus on God. Focusing on God, rather than the midwives, brings God’s sovereignty into focus.

In this case, God determined to redeem the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. He chose Moses to effect this redemption. When God is doing his will, nothing can stop him. Consider his words in Isaiah 14:24:

The Lord of hosts has sworn:
“As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand,

Pharaoh tried to stop God's redemptive plan by killing the Hebrew boys. Daniel 4:35 says:

all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”

God put in place two midwives who would not allow it. Pharaoh enlisted all of Egypt to kill the Hebrew boys, but God moved the heart of Moses’ parents to hide him in faith that God would care for him (Hebrews 11:23). Then God moved the heart of Pharaoh’s own daughter to care for the child.

I love irony and evidently God does too. He said, in effect, ok, you want to oppose me, I’ll use your very household to carry out my plan. In fact, I’ll not only use your household to raise my redeemer, I’ll have you pay his mother to care for him, so I’ll use your treasury, too. That is great stuff.

God purposed to bring about the redemption of Israel and he did. God purposes to bring about the redemption of all who believe in his son, Jesus Christ, and he will. It took many years for Israel to see its redemption. Israel lived in Egypt for 430 years and spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before crossing the Jordan River and touching the soil of Canaan, the promised land, the land of redemption.

Today we toil and struggle and cannot see our redemption. We possess it by faith. But the day will come when Jordan’s shores will be experienced. Because God is sovereign and because he said he would do it, we know it is true, just as it was true for the Hebrews of old.
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