Exodus – God’s Way Out
Friends, it has only been two weeks since we first heard we cannot gather in groups for church, go to work with more than ten people or go about our days like we did before the threat. Is this inconvenient? Yes, even more so with wage earners with families. Parents are now teachers as well as wage earners. The elderly, already fearful because of all the bombarding ads and phone calls about their health, are now at greater risk with this new virus. The unhealthy have been secluded from the world.
With hourly news updates along with social media it might seem to some people that we have been living in chaotic times for months. People, it’s only been a couple of weeks. I know, right? Why do we think like that? Because in our small part of the world, we are spoiled. Even the poorest among us can get food in the United States. This is not so in other countries. Instead of an attitude of sharing what you have with others, it is a growing attitude of get it while you can because you might not get it later. Wow.
Here’s the bottom line: Those with little to no faith in God live now in greater fear because they are no longer in complete control of their daily lives. Someone else is telling them how to combat a virus among us. Government leaders are tirelessly trying to control the situation while we who want to be always in control go our own way. We are being told to wash their hands, stay home with our family as the first line of defense of the spread of this virus. It makes sense, but we are a people who are prideful. We think we know what is best so we go our own way, getting irritable and even angry when we cannot.
Fear and anxiety seems to be the new norm for many. We are acting as if our whole world has fallen apart, panic is leading to hoarding, temporary lost wages are sending many into a tailspin.
TEMPORARY is the key term. This IS a first for our nation and for most of the world. But it is only temporary. If we stop to pray asking God for his resourcefulness and creativity to be in us instead of panic, we might surprise ourselves in what HE will do in and through us. Yes, we might ask God what He will teach us as we pass through these waters with Him. Some of the greatest inventions in the world were birthed in times of chaos!
Those who know God know that we can trust God to remember His promise to us to save us, listen to our cries for help, understand the challenges before us and see our situation with His Way out. He always has and He always will. Thank you, God!
The Exodus of God’s people from YEARS of living hard times will teach us how great God is and how He is always at work. Listen to this story of God in the life of Moses. The last few lines of this passage spoke volumes to me this morning:
Their cries for relief from their hard labor ascended to God:
God listened to their groanings.
God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
God saw what was going on with Israel.
Exodus 2, The Message
1-3 A man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and had a son. She saw there was something special about him and hid him. She hid him for three months. When she couldn’t hide him any longer she got a little basket-boat made of papyrus, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and placed the child in it. Then she set it afloat in the reeds at the edge of the Nile.
4-6 The baby’s older sister found herself a vantage point a little way off and watched to see what would happen to him. Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the Nile to bathe; her maidens strolled on the bank. She saw the basket-boat floating in the reeds and sent her maid to get it. She opened it and saw the child—a baby crying! Her heart went out to him. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrew babies.”
7 Then his sister was before her: “Do you want me to go and get a nursing mother from the Hebrews so she can nurse the baby for you?”
8 Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Yes. Go.” The girl went and called the child’s mother.
9 Pharaoh’s daughter told her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me. I’ll pay you.” The woman took the child and nursed him.
10 After the child was weaned, she presented him to Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him as her son. She named him Moses (Pulled-Out), saying, “I pulled him out of the water.”
11-12 Time passed. Moses grew up. One day he went and saw his brothers, saw all that hard labor. Then he saw an Egyptian hit a Hebrew—one of his relatives! He looked this way and then that; when he realized there was no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
13 The next day he went out there again. Two Hebrew men were fighting. He spoke to the man who started it: “Why are you hitting your neighbor?”
14 The man shot back: “Who do you think you are, telling us what to do? Are you going to kill me the way you killed that Egyptian?”
Then Moses panicked: “Word’s gotten out—people know about this.”
15 Pharaoh heard about it and tried to kill Moses, but Moses got away to the land of Midian. He sat down by a well.
16-17 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, filling the troughs and watering their father’s sheep. When some shepherds came and chased the girls off, Moses came to their rescue and helped them water their sheep.
18 When they got home to their father, Reuel, he said, “That didn’t take long. Why are you back so soon?”
19 “An Egyptian,” they said, “rescued us from a bunch of shepherds. Why, he even drew water for us and watered the sheep.”
20 He said, “So where is he? Why did you leave him behind? Invite him so he can have something to eat with us.”
21-22 Moses agreed to settle down there with the man, who then gave his daughter Zipporah (Bird) to him for his wife. She had a son, and Moses named him Gershom (Sojourner), saying, “I’m a sojourner in a foreign country.”
23 Many years later the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery and cried out. Their cries for relief from their hard labor ascended to God:
24 God listened to their groanings.
God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
25 God saw what was going on with Israel.
THINK ABOUT IT!
God’s means of preparation of His deliverer are beautifully ironic: the very person who had decreed the destruction of the people of God would become the grandfather of their deliverer; the resources of the oppressing power would be used to raise and train the one who would break that power.
How characteristic of God’s grace it is that not only is Jochebed’s baby given back to her, but she is paid to do what she would gladly have done for nothing. She knew her boy was special, not only to her, but to God.
MOSES’ MISTAKE IN JUDGMENT: Moses seeks to deliver his people in his own strength without incurring any responsibility (v.12). This is not God’s way. Not only does it fail to reveal God, which is essential to any genuine salvation, it also relies solely on destruction of the human oppressor through human ability. Thus Moses’ effort is a classic example of human effort to do God’s work. This is not God’s way.
GOD’S WAY: Our passage closes by identifying the true source of hope for all the oppressed of earth. It is not in a failed man, but in a God who hears and sees, who remembers his commitments and is moved by a caring heart.
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
We humbly bow to you in submission and ask for your way out of our temporary situation. Heal our land of all that keeps us from you.
In Jesus Name, Amen