January 29, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, ‘Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the Lord as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.’ And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, ‘We shall all be dead.’ So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.”—Exodus 12:31-36 (NKJV)
It finally happens: Pharaoh finally yields to God and tells Moses he may lead the children of Israel, as well as all their livestock, out of Egypt! This moment seemed inconceivable when the Lord first foretold Moses about it. Who could imagine that the most powerful ruler on earth would submit to the words of a shepherd from Midian? But after ten plagues and so much loss, that’s where we’re at!
So, he releases the nation that had been held captive for generations, but not before asking Moses to pray a blessing over him. Pharoah now understood the balance of power had shifted against him!
We see that all of Egypt was quite willing to see the Israelites leave, too. It’s understandable, because every Egyptian had to suffer because of Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness. The Egyptians understood they’d all die if this went on longer.
This brings us to an interesting detail: The Israelites asked the Egyptians to give them their gold, silver, and fine clothing—and they did! This wasn’t for selfish gain; it was part of God’s grand design in delivering His people from their captors (Exodus 3:22, 11:2). The Lord didn’t just want His people to leave Egypt, He wanted them to leave with Egypt’s wealth. The Israelites probably thought, This is awesome! Look at all the wealth we have on top of our newfound freedom! But what they didn’t know was God had plans for these precious materials. As we work through the rest of Exodus, we’ll see the Lord call His people to create a tabernacle with various objects of worship composed mainly of the haul taken from Egypt.
Two very powerful truths can be taken away from this. First, isn’t it so “God” to take the world’s wealth and repurpose it for His holy purposes? The gold, silver, and fine linens had a greater and more glorious purpose than the one they served in Egypt. The Lord has a wonderful way of taking the things the world misuses and transforms them into things that represent and honor Him. Isn’t that an apt description of any life that surrenders in faith to Jesus?
Second, God knew the need before His people did, and made provision for it while they were totally unaware what He was doing! In our walk with the Lord, we can come into moments when we suddenly see a pressing need. In many instances our first instinct is to worry, because it catches us by surprise. But our God is never caught by surprise. He is always aware of our needs, and even prepares provision for it when we we’re totally clueless! God knows our needs before we do, and His provision will be in place when it’s needed.
Let these two truths be a comfort to you as you continue to follow the Lord’s lead in life. Rest in knowing He’s repurposed your life for His greater purpose and His provision will proceed you.
Pause: What two truths do we take away from the Israelites plundering the Egyptians?
Practice: Reflect on when you’ve witnessed these two truths and then share your experience with someone as an encouragement.
Pray: Lord, thank You for freeing me from the unbelief that binds me and holds me captive. Please fill me with faith to grow in my love and trust in You as my redeemer and provider. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.