“Let my people go that they may worship me”(Exodus 10)
Exodus is a book of freedom. Even the name Exodus proclaims liberty. The ‘Exodus’ is out of slavery and bondage in Egypt. The God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob is the God of liberty. His purpose is to liberate the whole world, using a liberator people, Israel. But before Israel could be used to liberate the world, Israel herself needed to be set free from her sevitude.
Therefore God would raise up a vessel to set them free, Moses. But Moses himself was in a kind of bondage. There is the bondage of the lash, and servitude, and there is the slavery to the lusts and pleasures to this world. Hebrews 11 describes the personal Exodus of Moses,
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.(Hebrews 11:23-25)
It was only after Moses himself was liberated , that he could be used to set Israel free. The Exodus of Israel was necessary, so that they could be used to become the stewards of the truth that would eventually set the world free
Here are a few other aspects of true freedom that I believe that the book of Exodus teaches us;
* Freedom is to be seen as a gift of God..As Exodus 20:1 says , I am .the Lord thy God that has brought thee out of Egypt, the house of bondage… True freedom is to be seen always and ever as the result of grace, it is a gift of the gracious God. We can ony be truly delivered from slavery and bondage to sin and the world, through the paschal lamb, that is, by the precious blood of Jesus.
Jesus died for our sins, releasing us from our true moral giuilt, and our alienation from God.The guilt and power of sin are the deepest bondage of all.
* Freedom is not an end in itself…”Let my people go that they may worship me” (Exodus 10:3) Freedom to do what? True Freedom isn’t an end in itself, God would set us free that we may truly serve Him, that we may be free to be what He created us to be in the first place.
* Freedom is internal…I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me…(Exodus 20:2-3)
Note the order of events; the deliverance by the blood of the Lamb comes first, then comes the giving of the law. The idea is that true freedom is a gift of God’s grace and can never be attained by self effort. True morality is only a possibility to those already liberated from guilt and condemnation.
Exodus 20 makes it clear that freedom is internal. Its as though God was saying to the liberated Israelites, ‘I am the one who delivered you from slavery in Egypt, now do you really want to stay free‘? The truly free man is the one, who only worships the one God. The truly free man is the one who fears God and would never take His name in vain, the truly free man is the one who doesn’t want anyone else’s wife, or things. True freedom is an internal condition, this is why James calls the law of God, “the perfect law of liberty’.
After all, the Law of God is also the very law of our being, we were not created by God to worship two Gods, or to be “one” with a series of women. We can only really be happy and true to our humanity when we are ‘content with such things God has given us’, (10th commandment), or when we love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus sets us free to be what we were created to be originally.
*Freedom from the group morality...A person who has been truly liberated, is inwardly directed, and not subject to the changing opinions ,and shifting doctrines of the day. “Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.”(Exodus 23:2)
*Freedom is an ongoing call...For this one we go to Galatians 5:1 1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
We are all called to maintain the position of freedom, that came as a gift of the Liberator God. That means being vigilant to recognise and resist the various entrapments of false religion, temptation, conscience surrender, etc.
These are some of the marks of the “true freedom”, which Jesus promised and which is unto eternal life. In the next segment we will contrast this with the illusion offered by those who “promise you liberty while they themselves are the slaves of corruption”and which is dragging the world, especially the west, down to hell.