Deliverance can happen in a moment. It is very costly, and it comes to anyone without distinction or discrimination.
God’s deliverance of His chosen people from the land of Egypt illustrates these three points.
First, who are these Chosen People? The descendants of Israel are known as the Chosen People.
Israel is another name for the man Jacob. Jacob was the second son of Isaac who was the son of Abraham.
After the flood, the descendants of Noah all settled in a plain called Shinar. They began to build a tower there in order to keep from spreading out over the whole earth. This was an act of rebellion against God, and God confused their language so the tower was never built. In the generations before the flood, humanity quickly strayed far away from God in heart, philosophy and practice. After the flood, humanity made it clear that no lesson had been learned. In just a few short generations, humankind was far from God in heart, philosophy and practice.
God chose a man, Abraham, and set him apart. God made a promise to Abraham. The promise is:
I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.[i] (Genesis 12:2-3)
Later on in Abraham’s life, God added information about His promise to Abraham. He told Abraham:
I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God. (Genesis 17:7-8)
Years later, when Jacob was an old man and had a large family, God confirmed the covenant He had made with Abraham and told Jacob:
“I am God, the God of your father,” the voice said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation. I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.” (Genesis 46:3-4)
That was the beginning of Jacob’s family’s time in Egypt. During that time, they grew from 70 people to a couple million. They also became Egypt’s slaves.
Egypt was prosperous and full of the worship of idols. If not for their enslavement and forced segregation, Jacob’s family would have become one with Egypt. God’s promise set them apart. God preserved them. They were not chosen because they were unique. They were unique because they were chosen. They were God’s chosen people.
The main point of being God’s chosen people was that God was to be their God and they were to be God’s people. This was at the center, heart or core of the promise God made to Abraham. This is what was to set them apart. God’s promise was also to bless the whole world through Abraham and his descendants. They were to be God’s firstborn, i.e. the first of many to be delivered.
Besides considering who these chosen people are, we have a question of “what does it mean to be delivered?”
God’s promise to Abraham and then to Jacob included giving them the land of Canaan. This to them became known as the Promised Land or the land of promise. After centuries of bitter toil and slavery, it was a promise of hope and rest, a land of their own where they would be free.
However, first, they had to be delivered from their slavery, and Egypt was not willing to give up her slaves. The book of Exodus gives the account of how God showed His power by sending plagues that stripped the land of its wealth and humiliated its supposed gods. God showed by His mighty power that there is no god but One. However, Egypt’s king, Pharaoh, still would not let God’s people go.
Deliverance then was not just the ending of slavery. It was the demonstration of God’s power so that the people’s faith and confidence was in God. It was ending of oppression, cruelty and control. It was the giving of hope, rest and a home. It was the instilling of a new identity, strength and solidarity. It was getting Egypt out of a people who were chosen to be different.
God’s delivery of the children of Israel from Egypt was the delivery of His firstborn and looked forward to the eternal, great delivery that took place at Calvary. God delivered His people in one night, at great cost with no distinction made between Egyptian and Jew.
First, we said that delivery can happen in a moment. We see this in the Passover. It happened in one night.
That one night God sent an angel throughout the land of Egypt. That angel killed the firstborn of every family. He even killed the firstborn of the animals. Before the night was over, Pharaoh drove God’s chosen people out of Egypt.
Consider with me what had led up to this moment. If we go back in history, God told Abraham that his descendants would be slaves in Egypt. God had been preparing Moses to lead this deliverance for the past 80 years. God had just spent time taking Egypt through 9 plagues urging them to let His people go.
The plagues, preparation, suffering and deliverance all served a purpose. They taught God’s chosen people that He is God. If you are asking God for deliverance, do not give up hope and do not stop asking. Realize, that deliverance can and will happen in a moment. But, it will not happen until the time is right.
From the time of Adam, all humanity has been in slavery to sin. Sin is not willing to give up its slaves. However, from before time began, God was preparing a deliverer. In 3 days and 3 nights, God worked a wonderful deliverance. In the moment that Jesus rose from the grave, death and sin were defeated once for all and forever. It happened in a moment, but the world had been waiting for it for thousands of years.
Delivery happened in a moment, and it was very costly.
Egypt was obstinate. Pharaoh would not let Israel go. God patiently kept asking and then demonstrating that if they did not let Israel go, there would be a price to pay. Israel was God’s firstborn. They must be set free. Plague after plague, Egypt was stripped of her wealth. The livestock were all dead. The crops were all destroyed. The trees and grass were all gone.
This is what God said through Moses:
‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son. I commanded you, “Let my son go, so he can worship me.” But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!’ (Exodus 4:22-23)
If you are asking the Lord for deliverance, you must realize that you must die. There is no other way. We will all die physically and then we shall be completely free from sin. However, even now in our present bodies we can die to sin through Jesus Christ. We cannot do this for ourselves. He must do it in us. The Bible teaches in several places what Galatians 2:20 says concisely, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (ESV)[ii]
You cannot cut a deal with sin. It grabs you by the throat and will not let go. The price for getting free from sin is death. God gave His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay that price. Deliverance is costly. It will cost you nothing because Jesus paid the price. At the same time, it will cost you everything. To be gained is freedom, hope, identity, family, home, rest and eternity, but you have to leave Egypt. You have to leave what you know. You have to pack up and move out in the middle of the night. You must leave what you love in order to gain what He promises.
Deliverance can happen in a moment, it is costly and there is no distinction.
The first couple of plagues came on the whole land of Egypt without distinguishing between the Hebrews and the Egyptians. Then God started making a distinction. The Hebrews’ cattle were spared. The Hebrews’ crops were spared. The Passover was different. It was the only plague where to be spared, an act of faith was required. It did not matter if one was Hebrew or Egyptian. Without the blood of a yearling lamb on the doorposts, the firstborn of that household would die. There were no exceptions, a lamb had to be killed in place of the firstborn of every family.
There were Egyptians that left Egypt with Israel. I assume that they observed the Passover, but the Scriptures do not say. However, Scripture does say quite clearly, “For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.” (Exodus 12:23) The Passover gets its name from this verse. The house that was marked by blood was passed over. If anyone believed what God was saying through Moses, they would have been sure to have the blood on their doorposts that night. That is why it is an act of faith.
God works this way. Deliverance is there for the asking. There is no distinction. Romans 3:20-24 says:
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Is there something that you need deliverance from?
Ask God, and trust in His timing and purpose.
[i] Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Steam, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
[ii] Scripture quotations marked ESV are from The ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version) copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.