This “Out of Egypt” teaching series takes us beyond the deliverance of the cross to the promised land of resurrection life in Jesus. Chief among the must-haves for successfully leaving Egypt is faith. Without it, we can never enter the “promised land.”
Rewind to Genesis 47:27. Because of the favored status Joseph enjoyed in the eyes of the Pharaoh and all the people, the Israelites were exempted from the tax and were liberally supplied with food during the famine. They enjoyed a period of unprecedented prosperity, and a rapid increase in population.
Nevertheless, before Joseph died he made his brothers promise to take his bones with them back to Canaan when they left Egypt. (See Gen. 50:24-25.) At the time Joseph’s family was enjoying great peace and prosperity in Egypt, so what prompted Joseph to say what he did? Faith in the promises of God. Faith is choosing and taking actions today that are in harmony with your beliefs about tomorrow. The promises of God are certain, but faith is what allows you to possess them.
Trouble for Jacob’s descendants appears in Exodus 1:8, “Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.” But how could that be since Joseph played such a prominent role in saving the empire? One explanation is that at the time Joseph was in Egypt, the native Egyptians had been invaded and subdued by the Hyksos in 17th century BC. Being of Semitic heritage, they were related to the Hebrews. This would explain how Joseph, a non-Egyptian, could rise to such power.
Eventually the Egyptians overthrew the Hyksos and reclaimed their kingdom. The “new king” of Exodus 1:8 would have been one of the native Egyptian monarchs of the New Kingdom who, as part of his Hyksos purge, refused to recognize the validity of the Goshen land grant, or Joseph and his accomplishments. This Pharaoh considered the Israelites potential sympathizers with the enemy and with their growing numbers, they might “join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” (Ex. 1:10) So Pharaoh enslaved the Hebrews and made their life bitter with bondage.
“But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.” (vs. 12) When you are favored by God, you are targeted by the enemy. But when you are targeted by the enemy, you are favored by God.
Pharaoh then ordered the midwives to kill the male children born to the Hebrew women. “The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.” (vs. 17) They feared God more than they feared the king and acted accordingly–That’s faith! Faith is acting in accordance to the promises of God despite your doubts. It means you trust His word more you’re your own instincts or comfort. Faith is not only demonstrated by what you do, but also by what you won’t do!
When the midwives refused to do Pharaoh’s dirty work, he ordered all the baby boys born to the Hebrews to be killed. But the main theme of Exodus is that God’s promise prevails against all obstacles and against all foes, whether foreign, domestic, or demonic. At that terrible time, Moses was born. His parents made a small boat out of Papyrus reeds and hid the baby inside, putting it among the reeds along the banks of the Nile.
God led the daughter of Pharaoh to find the child, and then Moses’ own mother raised him until the age of 12.
Moses returned to the palace to be educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was without peer as historian, poet, philosopher, general of armies, and legislator. But he never forgot who he was, and “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” (Heb. 11:24, 25)
To leave Egypt something must be refused and something else accepted. For new Exodus Christians leaving Egypt, we must refuse the pleasures of sin for a short time, counting them as “dung,” Paul says, “that we might win Christ. That’s faith! And without faith it is impossible to leave Egypt!
When you leave Egypt you exchange an Egyptian lifestyle for a Godly one. Our problem is we want to live in Canaan with an Egyptian passport. You can’t do it. You can’t have dual citizenship. If you’re going to be a citizen of heaven, you must renounce former loyalties to Egypt.
Moses killed an Egyptian in a failed deliverance attempt (Acts 7:25) and had to flee. But it was the decision, not the failed deliverance that was important. Moses made a definite choice and God called that choice faith. That choice meant Moses had to leave Egypt. And if we’re going to leave Egypt, we’re going to have to make a definite choice. The midwives made a choice; Amram and Jochebed made a choice; Moses made a choice. What choice will you make? Nothing is impossible with God, but what is possible with God will be impossible to you without faith.
Pastor Randy Maxwell