Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden.” – Eric Hoffer (The True Believer)
“You’re free to go!” For some prisoners who have been enslaved for years, freedom must feel like a breath of fresh air. But for others, the loss of familiar surroundings and embarking on a new journey is an unsettling and overwhelming experience.
Leading up to God’s salvation story, Exodus describes a series of God’s call to freedom and how his people respond.
Four hundred years have passed since Joseph’s family moved and thrived in Egypt. After multiplying to over two million strong and being enslaved to cruel bondage under a new Pharaoh, God responds to the Israelites’ cries. The time is ripe to send His leader, Moses, to set His people free from their oppression and bring them into their inheritance (Duet. 4:37-38).
God’s people, however, fail in their newfound freedom. They repeatedly falter after short bursts of confidence in God, their fear chipping away their trust. What was a consequence of their disobedience and lack of faith? Wandering in the desert for 40 years.
God, however, continues to faithfully provide and extends His gracious hand of deliverance.
Warren W. Wiersbe in his Bible Study, Be Delivered writes: “Exodus teaches us that freedom is not license and discipline is not bondage. God tells us how to enjoy mature freedom in His will, a quality that is desperately needed in our churches and in our world today. The privilege of freedom is precious, the responsibilities of freedom are serious, and we can’t have one without the other.”
Exodus was written about the same time as Genesis, around 1450-1410 B.C. Scholars believe that Moses wrote these accounts in the desert—somewhere in the Sinai peninsula—during Israel’s desert wanderings. This book contains the Ten Commandments and relays more miracles than any other Old Testament book, including the famous account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.
Just as God heard the Israelites’ cries, we can also be confident He hears our prayers. God led Moses and the Israelite nation. He also wants to lead us. Just as He delivered the Israelites, He wants to deliver us from evil, sin, and eternal death (separation from Him).
As you read Exodus, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I believe God’s promise, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness?” (2 Cor. 12:9).
- Do I trust God in this situation?
- Whether it be through deliverance or given strength to endure, do I believe God really loves me and will work all things together for my good?” (Rom. 8:28).
We can rest in the fact that our powerful God loves us and He will never leave us. For faithfulness is the cornerstone of who He is.