I have always enjoyed doing word searches in the Bible. It is always interesting to me when I see how a particular word is used by different writers in different contexts. While reading through the Old Testament in family worship time with my kids, I noticed a common statement from God.
“I brought you out of Egypt.”
I didn’t realize just how often God used the phrase until I searched for it on Bible Gateway. Seriously, there are at least 63 times God reminded His people of what He did for them during the first Passover. If you were to broaden the search terms out, you would probably find many, many more references to God delivering His people from slavery in Egypt.
If you have spent any time listening to the Engage podcast, you know we understand the Bible to the be the progressive revelation of the character of God. This singular act, delivering the Jewish people from the hands of the Egyptians is one of the cornerstone acts of God that reveals an incredible amount about His character.
God is faithful
When God first spoke to Moses through a burning bush, He promised He would deliver His people from the hands of their Egyptian slave masters. He made a promise to a man who started out as a pagan, Abram. This promise was to give a people, a land, and a king. God fulfilled His promise of a people. The Jewish population was so large the mighty Egyptians were afraid of being overrun.
But there was no land and no king.
In this act, God reveals He is will not partially fulfill a promise. He delivered His people from a land that did not belong to them to a land they would possess. It would take a few hundred years more, but eventually, several kings came from the line of Abraham as well.
How does this bear any application to Christians today though? Consider the promises God has made to His children.
Read through the book of Romans and examine the promises God makes to us. There are many wonderful promises just in chapter 8 that are worthy of entire libraries worth of books. But just a few of them include no condemnation (Romans 8:1), the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15), and being conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29).
Consider that last promise, though there are many more than just these three. However, this is the one that I always have the most trouble with. God has promised to make myself and every other Christian conformed to the image of Jesus.
We may not believe this to be possible, but there were Jewish people who did not believe they would ever be free from the oppression of the Egyptians. But just as God was faithful in His promise to the Egyptian people, He will be faithful to this promise He made us.
If you look at your life, as I look at mine, and see an infinite gap between your image and the image of Christ, do not let this be a discouragement. Let it move you into worship, awe, and gratitude toward such a patient and merciful Father who not only made such a great promise but Who will be faithful to fulfill it.
God is a deliverer
Over and over in the Old Testament, God reminded His people He was the One who delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians. It was He who brought the plagues. It was He who split the Red Sea. It was He who drowned Pharoah’s army. He did all the work and His people enjoyed the fruits of His work.
Again and again, we see God deliver His people. He delivered to them victory after victory in the book of Joshua. He faithfully delivered them from captors in the book of Judges. He delivered them from powerful armies throughout the time of Jeremiah and the other prophets.
Because He was revealing Himself as the Deliverer of His people.
If God can, and did, overcome such mighty armies, what makes you think He will not deliver you from the sin you feel so captivated by right now?
I see this in my own life. I look at the sin I wrestle with and wonder how I could fail so hard even in light of knowing how kind and loving my King is. But in the depth of that despair, He reminds that not only is He faithful in His promise to deliver, but He has exemplified His ability to deliver time and time again. If the destruction of the Egyptian army was not a problem for Him, why should I think overpowering my sin and delivering me from it would be a harder task?
That doesn’t mean I won’t struggle, wrestle, and wage war with sin. In fact, that is exactly what I am commanded to do (Romans 8:13, Ephesians 6:12). But the victory has already been promised.
There is much more that could, and should, be said about God’s faithfulness and power to deliver. But rather than attempting to write a theological tome on the topic, let me encourage you to do something that will be indescribably beneficial to your soul:
Read through the entire Bible. Yes, I know people begin reading through the Bible in January and fall off somewhere in Leviticus. But start anew, and read through the Bible looking for a particular theme: God’s deliverance. Highlight, underline, or note in a journal all the times God says He will deliver, delivers, or reminds His people of His deliverance.
Read through the Bible again looking for all the times God makes a promise to a people or a person and then note when and how He fulfills that promise.
Let each of these studies draw you in to seeing a bigger, more intimate picture of God and allow it to bring your soul to the God who has begun a good work in you and will be faithful to complete it.