During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.” The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!” So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt. Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.
~Exodus 12:31-42 (NIV)
God made a promise and 430 years later He fulfilled that promise. 430 years! At the end of 430 years, to the very day, the famous exodus began. As promised to Moses, Pharaoh basically kicked the Israelites out of Egypt and subsequently out of a life of slavery. Pharaoh said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds…and go. And also bless me.” (Exodus 12:31-32) And with that three-point instruction, Moses, Aaron and all the Israelites were set free!
God didn’t give them a lot of time to prepare. After 430 years of waiting to be free, they were given mere hours to leave slavery. That’s how God works, we pray for what seems like forever to be set free from something, and then suddenly a door opens. For example, the person who has been in bondage to the hurts, wounds and shame of their past finally attends Real Freedom.* As she learns about the real freedom we have in Jesus, suddenly the hope of God shines a new light on her struggle. The breaking of her bondage becomes a very real possibility! This is what happened to the Israelites and here is what was required of them to live free.
They were told to “Go!”, to cease behaving like slaves and worship God. This immediately took their focus off of themselves and put the focus on worshipping the one that would lead them on their path to freedom. After 430 years, so many generations had lived in slavery that they had no idea how to be free. God knew that living in the reality of their freedom would require complete dependence upon Him. The same is true for us, we must worship! At every turn, good or bad, acknowledge that God is amazing! He is faithful to never give up on us and to continually provide a way out when the “comforts” or familiarity of “slavery” call our name.
Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. ~2 Chronicles 20:15
Give thanks to the LORD for his love endures forever. ~2 Chronicles 20:20b
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. ~1 Corinthians 10:13
The next instruction the Israelites were given as they took their first step in freedom was, “Take your flocks and herds and go.” They were only to take what was useful for their new journey. They didn’t need anything they had acquired to live in their previous life of slavery. Dragging things from the past is tiresome. (Hebrews 12:2) They were free to leave their baggage of pain! Walking in freedom feels weird at first. The unknown can be scary which is why they were to worship! God is amazing! He was already providing everything they needed.
The last instruction God gave through Pharaoh was for the newly freed slaves to, “bless me”. This is where God truly shows his great mercy – just as they were to bless Pharaoh, their enemy – the propagator of their bondage – He wants us to forgive and let go of anger, resentment and malice to those that hurt us or aided somehow in our life becoming one of bondage. Freedom is fulfilled when we forgive ourselves and others. When we forgive we can take responsibility for our lives and move forward in freedom.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. ~Colossians 3:13-14
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ~Genesis 50:20
Have you been living as a slave, a slave to anger, addiction or maybe hate? No matter what bondage you have suffered, I am so sorry and can only imagine what this has been like for you. But God knows and he has a plan. First, “Go”! Leave whatever or whoever has enslaved you and praise God! He is amazing and when you give Him your attention and not what has enslaved you, He is faithful. Second, this new life only requires you to take what you need. Leave the rest behind and He will be faithful to provide. Finally, forgive yourself and others. A life of freedom is possible because God is amazing!
Exhale the burden of slavery; being controlled by something.
Inhale the love of God, freedom in Christ and the choice He gives you to follow Him.
My amazing God, thank you for setting me free from a life of slavery. I have faith that as I let go of the past, you will give me all I need. Through the power of Jesus Christ I forgive those who have hurt me and I forgive myself for the hurt I have brought into my own life. In Jesus name, Amen
*Click on the link below to learn about Real Freedom, a ministry about the freedom Christ has for every believer.
To watch past Real Freedom lessons online, click here.
Today’s post was written by Beth Holland.
Beth Holland lives to make a difference that will encourage, inspire and impact lives for eternity. She loves to write, travel, read and work on significant projects. You can often find her spending time with her family at local parks, museums or the beach. Being the mother of two grown children, son Micah (soon to be married to Alyssa) and daughter Ashley Elizabeth and married for over 30 years to the love of her life, Dan, is what she is most thankful for. She can be found on Sunday mornings at Real Life Christian Church | Kaley Campus.
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