For this week’s blog we’re going to take a walk back in history to when the Jews were being set free from their captivity in Egypt. Thousands of years ago, and after spending over 400 years in slavery, the Jews escaped the clutches of the Pharaoh and left Egypt in search of the promised land. It took them 400 years to find the courage God had instilled in each of them to make this journey and to escape their confinement. This courage came through the unlikely form of a man named Moses. Moses fled Egypt to save himself, and then returned to Egypt and into a potentially dangerous situation for himself, as God commanded him to do, in order to save others.
So what!? What does this story have to do with your life right now? I can just imagine many of you reading or listening to this and thinking, “Yes, we know the story…so what does it have to do with me today?” It actually has a lot of symbolic meaning that you may not have considered before. Let’s take a look at a few different perspectives:
The perspective of the Jews in captivity: The symbolic representation of the Jews enslaved in Egypt symbolizes your captivity with sin. Not only is it difficult to escape the clutches of sin –it’s actually impossible to do on your own. Having human courage to withstand the onslaught of sinful actions and thoughts is not enough…it takes divine intervention to break free. Without God speaking through Moses, the Jews would still be in captivity in Egypt, and without God guiding you away from sin, you will always be a slave to the sin in your life. No matter how much you struggle, no matter how many therapy sessions and support groups you attend, without God being present you will always fall back into the captivity of sin. But with God everything is possible. The story of the Jews escaping from Egypt gives hope that by trusting in God, you can break free from your sinful habits…even if it is something you have done for over 400 years!
The perspective of Moses: Moses represents many things in this story. The first thing Moses represents is a priest. God speaks to us through our clergy. Many times people are sitting in church on Sunday and hear a message that directly speaks to their current life situations and encourages them to overcome a struggle they are facing. This is no accident. This is divine intervention and God is speaking to you through the priest or deacon giving the homily. The second thing Moses represents is a person who has been through a difficult situation and has the experience to deal with a problem, to offer guidance, and to remain patient. Even though Moses did not understand why he was chosen to do God’s work, he did what God asked him to do. Moses represents someone who has overcome struggle and hardship to help others do the same. This does not mean that Moses was above anyone, it means he understood and was able to empathize with the people he was helping set free because he had tasted freedom. Moses’ freedom is where he experiences God for the first time! Surround yourself with people who understand your struggle, but more than that, surround yourself with people who have overcome a similar struggle. It’s important to realize that the Jews in Egypt were surrounded by people who experienced the same struggle they were experiencing, but Moses was different. Moses was a Godly man who was able to overcome that struggle. Surround yourself with Godly people, otherwise you cannot be led in the right direction.
The perspective of the Pharaoh: The Pharaoh symbolizes the devil in this story. He loses everything because God wanted something better for His people. When God desires something, there is no force in Heaven or hell that can oppose Him. The Pharaoh does not understand the strength God possesses, and uses contempt toward Moses, and toward God, by saying that any miracle Moses performs, the Pharaoh’s magicians can perform. He finds out however, that God cannot be matched in might, and ends up losing a battle…amazed at the relentlessness of God’s power. The devil has tricks, he is clever, and he is more devious than you can imagine…but God is more powerful – there really is no comparison between the two. When the Jews escape across the Red Sea, I can just imagine the Pharaoh stopping in his tracks on the shoreline and being amazed at the sight of what he thought was a boundary to keep the people enslaved in Egypt, being split apart to allow the Jews to cross. Then when his own people tried to follow, they were swallowed up by God’s great might. What a devastating blow to the enemy that must have been. When God is for you, no one can oppose you! Follow God and allow him to release you from what seems impossible.
The perspective of God: God saw the struggle of His people in Egypt. He understood the importance of Moses to lead them out of captivity. The one thing we may not see with God’s perspective is the relentless attack He uses to overcome the Egyptians with. We see if of course, but we may not see how it relates to your life today. God sends blood, frogs, lice, flies, livestock pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and even the killing of Egypt’s firstborn children! It may sound harsh to some, but if you think about the fact that God will do everything and anything to get the Egyptians out of slavery…and that He goes to the same extents to keep you out of your slavery to your own personal sin – it becomes a very comforting thought. God will attack the sin in your life with relentless force…all you need to do is ask Him to help! Many times people hear about the attack of the devil. The one thing not spoken about very often is the attack God uses to overcome the devil. God is always going to win out over evil…all you have to do is be willing to ask for help and trust in God’s timing.
Pray today that God uses his power and strength to overcome the evil in your life and releases you from your struggle with sin. God desires to be with you, all you have to do is ask for Him to be present and He will be there to fight this battle with you and for you.
All powerful and loving God, please be with us today and every day to help us overcome our slavery to sin. Release us from the grasp of the devil who uses clever tricks, and allow us to recognize his traps when we see them. Guide us away from sin and into the freedom you desire for us to have. Surround us with your glory, and shield us from the attacks of the enemy. In Jesus’ name we ask that this prayer bring down a blessing upon all who read it today. Amen.