January 19

God Our Deliverer, Part 1

Exodus 2:23-24 [Enslaved in Egypt,] the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

Exodus 19:3-6a … and the LORD called to [Moses] from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people….

I Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.”

Notice the two Old Testament passages, then the two from the New Testament. There’s a pattern. God created His nation in the Old Testament by freeing a people that had been enslaved, using His chosen servant. He delivered them, then made a covenant with them. After the 400 years of slavery, God brought them out of Egypt and then spent the next few thousand years working to get Egypt out of them. Ultimately, they brought forth Jesus Christ out of their midst.

Two thousand years ago, God had another servant appear on the scene. This One also delivered His people, making a covenant with them, putting His law in their hearts and writing it on their minds. This same God is now at work in His people, working to remove sin and bondage once they have been delivered, and working to bring forth Jesus Christ in their lives.

In both instances, God wanted to be known as the One who delivers. Note the many passages in the Old Testament that refer to the Lord as the One who brought His people out of Egypt. Yes, He was their Creator, but He put much more emphasis on Himself as deliverer.

For the ancient Hebrews, who emphasized movement and action rather than concept in their speech and their writing, this action of deliverance was central to how they viewed their God; many of their feasts reminded them of various aspects of their deliverance and their Deliverer.

We would do well to take on that same attitude toward the Lord. In our emphasis on “becoming” that is so part of our culture, we should never forget that we could never be “pressing forward” had we not first been delivered out of darkness.

Prayer: Lord, may I always be aware of where I have come from. May I always be aware of You as my deliverer. Please remind me of this when I lose sight of Your identity as Deliverer. Thank You for my deliverance.

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