May 21, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.”—Exodus 12:40–42 (ESV)
Today, we continue to read about God’s mighty work of deliverance. God had orchestrated a plan and it was set in motion. But God’s plan of deliverance for the nation of Israel was actually part of a bigger plan—a promise made 400 years before to a man named Abram.
God had promised to make him the father of a nation and that through him all the world would be blessed. This promise took time though, and Abraham didn’t live to see this promise. When Jacob and his descendants arrived in Egypt, there were 70 people in total. By the time they departed, they left with nearly two million people! The years had passed and Abraham’s seed had flourished into the nation God had promised.
The term “all the hosts of the Lord” is worth noting because it depicts a military imagery. Earlier in the Book of Exodus we read that the Pharaoh who ruled did not know Joseph and became fearful that the Israelites would multiply and rise up against Egypt. Therefore, he enslaved them and sought to kill their firstborn males. However, despite his attempts to defeat and stifle them, God’s people grew into a numerous-sized army. But although their size may have been enough to siege the Egyptians, their identity was not of warriors, but of slaves.
Like Pharaoh, our enemy also seeks to distort and minimize our identity and potential. In Christ, we have received a new identity, yet all too often, we fall for lies that enslave and render us powerless against our adversary. God was bringing them out of captivity to reshape their identity from slaves to heirs, from powerless to warriors, in order for them to take possession of what He’d promised them.
The term “night of watching” speaks of the night of Passover, the night God granted the Israelites freedom from their oppressors commencing their freedom journey. Likewise, we celebrate the night in which Jesus was given over to His enemies. God’s son died so we could be set free from our oppressor and adversary.
Today, we as believers remember the death and resurrection of our Savior who granted us freedom and changed our identity from enemies to adopted. Our enemy, who attempts to deceive and hinder us, was made powerless on the cross, and we who were once weak now have the power that raised Christ from the dead within us! We can now celebrate our freedom in Christ! We are now God’s chosen possession, free from the bondage of sin and mighty in Christ to defeat Satan’s schemes. God Almighty, who promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars, also promised the world a redeemer. Jesus, our Savior, has come and we are free.
Pause: In what areas of your life has the enemy kept you in bondage? What areas of your life do you need to reclaim freedom from his lies?
Practice: Read through Ephesians 1 and write down the words used to describe our inheritance in Christ. Write what this means for your identity in Christ.
Pray: God, thank You for Your deliverance. You gave Your son so I could be set free from sin and the lies of the enemy. Set me free from the lies that enslave me and keep me from living out my identity in You. Help me to live in the power of the Holy Spirit which gives me victory over the enemy and sin. Amen.
Gabriella Bemis serves as a volunteer for Calvary’s communications and worship teams. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about integrating her knowledge of human behavior with the truth of God’s word. When she is not writing resources or singing at church, Gabi loves to paint, cook, and enjoy time outdoors with her family and friends.