YOUR DELIVERER IS HERE
- The story of the exodus of the Nation of Israel from bondage in Egypt to the promised land is the greatest story of deliverance.
- It is a story about a nation of people, once celebrated in the land, now tolerated and subjugated into slavery.
- It is also a story about the Lord's remarkable connection with His people and how He steps into their situation and delivers them
- It is recorded for us in the Bible, in the book of Exodus in the Old Testament.
- There are so many remarkable correlations between this story and what people go through during life.
- There are also many correlations that we see people facing in the world today.
- What we know for sure is that the Lord never changes, and therefore we can draw strength from this remarkable story, and we can anticipate that the Lord will be faithful to us, as He was then, to His people.
1. THE GOOD TIMES
- We all go through seasons in life where things seem to go smoothly or seemed to have gone smoothly.
- Perhaps that is why people often refer to 'The good old days.'
- In the story in the book of Exodus, Joseph become the prince in Egypt and brings his whole family to live in an area called Goshen.
- Goshen was a region of ancient Egypt, east of the Nile delta: it was given to Jacob and his descendants by the king of Egypt and they inhabited it until the exodus. (Genesis 45:10)
- It was a place of comfort, security and plenty.
- It is symbolic for us of a good time and a good place.
- During this season, people thrived and multiplied.
- Originally only 70 individuals came to Goshen, but they enjoyed good times and during this season they flourished and prospered.
- Exodus 1:7 'Their descendants had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land.'
- It is as if they were living through a boom time.
- It was a veritable population explosion, and with that came increased influence and power. They became a force to be reckoned with.
- Perhaps you can remember a time when you or your family were really doing well? Perhaps things were going from strength to strength and you never imagined that things could change?
- We all go through periods or season of good times. We must make the most of these times and realise that the Lord is blessing us for a reason.
- We should make the best use of the good times, and as the old proverb says; 'We should make hay while the sun shines.'
2. THE TIDE TURNS
- In the story in the book of Exodus we see how things began to change.
- Something happened that upset the equilibrium and the result was that the 'tide turned' and things took a turn.
- Exodus 1:8 'Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.'
- The favour, peace and prosperity that they had lived under turned into a vastly different scenario, and they could not do anything about it.
- The truth was that the new king of Egypt felt threatened because of how well the people of God were doing. His greatest fear was that they would rise up against him and threaten him and his nation.
- Exodus 1:9 He said to his people, 'Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are.'
- We live a life where constant change is the only thing, we can be sure of.
- We can feel as secure as 'houses' the one day, and then find that we are sitting exposed in a vulnerable position the next.
- It was on 27 February 2020, when my church prayed for me and released me into the destiny that the Lord had prepared for me. It was a special and wonderful moment. The church was full, and everyone was enjoying singing, praying and listening to the sermon. Little did we know that a virus, that we had heard almost nothing about, was about to invade our lives and change life as we knew it. Within less than one month we would be in complete lockdown and no church services would be permitted. At the time we thought it would be a week or three, but we did not realise it would continue for months. Months later, as I sit here today, the effects are still being felt and we are being advised that it could still have an impact for years to come. The tide had turned, things had changed.
- My late father would always tell us that 'constant change is here to stay!'
- Things can and inevitable will change.
- Change is something we are incapable of avoiding or evading.
- It is for this very reason that we must trust God so completely.
- He is the anchor in the voyage of life, and He is with us in the 'boat' of our lives, so we can keep moving forward.
3. THE HARD TIMES (THE SEASON OF DIFFICULTIES)
- I do not think I have ever lived through such a time as now, when so many people are struggling all around me.
- People are losing jobs, incomes, careers and many are losing hope.
- Many people do not even have food to put on the table, and just a few months ago we had no idea it would even happen.
- In the story of the exodus we see how that once the tide had turned, people faced hard times.
- Exodus 1:10 'We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don't, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.'
- Often, change can bring with it a difficult season.
- If you think of some of the changes that people go through and the resultant difficulties. Think about divorce, bankruptcies, retrenchment or even the death of a family member.
- This is how it happened in the exodus account.
- Exodus 1:11 'So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labour.'
- Hard times are never easy.
- Regardless of what we face, we can know that God is with us.
- Psalm 46:1 'God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.'
- We are not exempt from hard times, or as the Bible calls it, trouble or storms, but the greatest joy is to know that even when we face these things, we are not alone, our Deliverer is right there with us.
4. THRIVING, IN THE FACE OF CHALLENGES
- Despite the great hardship that the nation of Israel faced, they continued to thrive.
- Exodus 1:12 'But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.'
- The concept of thriving under hardship seems a contradiction in terms.
- It appears that the more they were oppressed, the more they thrived.
- I have concluded that when God is in the equation of our lives, our thriving can be in direct proportion to our hardship. In other words, to the same degree that we are facing hardship, we can see an equal and opposite blessing on our lives.
- It may sound impossible, but that is what happened in this situation.
- In fact, the thriving was even greater than the suffering, so that even in the suffering, the progress they made was visibly greater.
- This distressed their enemies greatly. It says that the Egyptians became even more alarmed.
- Imagine, that even while you are facing great challenges, you can still make so much progress, that the enemy becomes alarmed.
- I believe that this is possible as we continue to trust our Deliverer.
- The Lord was with the nation of Israel, giving them success and growth, despite the challenges they faced.
- I know it may seem like an impossibility, and you may say that I do not know what you are facing, and that is true, BUT if God steps in and changes the dynamics, you can thrive in the face of challenges.
- This is my prayer for you, that you will thrive, in the face of challenges.
5. GOD SEES ALL AND HEARS ALL
- When we go through difficulties, it can sometimes feel like God has abandoned us.
- We may even feel as if our prayers are 'bouncing off the ceiling...'
- But the truth of the matter is that God sees all things and hears all things.
- Exodus 3:7 Then the LORD told him, 'I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering.'
- This verse tells us all about the character of God.
- He never forsakes or abandons us. He never leaves us or forgets us, and He sees what is going on and what we are going through, and He hears our prayers, cries and calls for help, and in His time, He will act.
- Exodus 2:23-25 'Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and He remembered His covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.'
- How reassuring it is to know that HE hears, HE sees, HE remembers, HE is aware, and HE acts.|
- Nothing that we go through, struggle with, no injustice, no cruel treatment and no hardship that we endure, is HE unaware of.
- Just as we see in the above Scripture, there came a time when it was time for the Lord to act on behalf of His people.
- We can expect the Lord to exhibit the same character towards us.
- I believe that it is time for Him to act in the situations we are facing and therefore we can be expectant.
6. LET MY PEOPLE GO - GOD'S PLAN!
- Exodus 3:8 'So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey.'
- This picture of the Lord 'coming down' to rescue His people, is a picture of divine intervention.
- I believe we all go through things in life where we need 'DIVINE INTERVENTION'.
- But it was not just a rescue mission, it was a rescue and restoration mission.
- The Lord's plan was to:
1. Step into the situation.
2. Rescue His people.
3. Deliver them from the power of the thing that wanted to destroy them.
4 Lead them out and away from the situation.
5. Take them into a wonderful future of promise and provision.
- Over and over, in the book of Exodus, we see the instruction from the Lord, 'LET MY PEOPLE GO!'
- To be free, is God's desire for His people, and He wants to intervene to bring it to pass.
- Galatians 5:1 'It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.'
- The very purpose for which Christ came to earth was to ensure freedom for His people.
- It is what the Lord wants to do for you.
- Even now, with all the challenges that the world is facing, He says: 'LET MY PEOPLE GO! LET MY CHILD BE FREE!'
- Know it, believe it and expect it!
By Pastor Andrew Roebert
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