“Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation,” Exodus 15:13.
These refugees from Pharaoh’s oppression had a dangerous start to their flight. Untrained in war, taking with them women and children, the old and the very young, they trekked off toward the Red Sea. In a matter of hours, Egyptian armies raised dust on the western horizon. Would Israel’s flight be nothing more than an excuse for slaughter, plunder, and rape before their former masters herded them back to the clay pits and brick kilns?
Relief workers among refugees talk of the terror of escape and the torture of the captured displaced by national and international conflict. Media outlets have reported and documented multiple atrocities performed against innocent people as they have fled to freedom.
We know how God redeemed Israel. For generations, their prophets and poets sang of that deliverance. Egypt came to epitomize spiritual oppression by satanic forces. God still called His people out, but now He would deliver them from sin.
As the song of victory went up on the far side of the Red Sea, the people chorused in unison, “The Lord is a man of war.” Later they would remember this. The prophets urged the people to let God fight for them, spiritually as well as physically.
When Jesus came, He came as Deliverer. He would set the captives free. He would save His people from their sins. The imagery of escape and deliverance dominates what the Bible says about salvation. Word pictures record the universal plight of a race captive to its own inadequacies and weaknesses.
Only as we realize how strong are the shackles that bind us to sin, how awful the slavery to which disobedience condemns us, can we understand how great is the deliverance God has given. Joy breaks out among the redeemed when they see how great their escape, how hard-won the victory.
With the increase in immorality and violence, the waning of the church, the obsession to acquire material possessions by professed Christians, there seems to be no way that God’s church will be able to introduce society to the freedom that God provides to these troublous times. As we review the manner in which the early church met comparable challenges to ours, we find they came out as more than victors. Therefore, we find great hope in our assistance in bringing the deliverance people need in this challenging age. Our Redeemer came to this world to provide emancipation from sin for the human race. Our responsibility, as members of the Southern Union, is to reveal God’s love to a lost world.
The enemy waits to savage our souls in this COVID-19 pandemic environment. He lusts for our submission to his will. Every day the Lord sets our feet on the other side of the Red Sea and reminds us that He has defeated the foe. In the joy of redemption, we walk toward the land of promise and freedom from the blight of our era.
“He who died for the sins of the world is opening wide the gates of Paradise to all who believe on Him,” Prophets and Kings, pp. 731, 732. –RCS
Southern Union | August 2021