Wednesday, September 26, 2012

God Sets His Rescue Plan in Motion - Exodus 3:8


“So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from the that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.”

God has seen the suffering of His people and heard their cry to Him.  And then we have this fascinating opening phrase from God in this verse: “So I have come down.”  Can you imagine that – God has come down from His heavenly abode to set His plan of rescue for the Israelites in motion, to take action on the injustices that they are experiencing.  He has ‘come down’ to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians.

As I read this, I cannot stop but think of the fact that He is delivering them from ‘evil’.  And that’s exactly what we all pray whenever we utter the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer that says, “deliver us from evil.”  And this will not be the only time God ‘comes down’ to do just that.  In fact, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, God came down and brought us the ultimate deliverance.

But right here in this passage, Moses is being told that God has come down now to physically deliver His people.  Can you imagine what is going through Moses’ head as God is saying these words?  If his physical stuttering problem had not already started or been with him since birth, it could have well started now.  This was incredible news.

But suppose for a moment God were talking to you and said, “My child, I have come down to deliver you from the evil power of your taskmasters, so tell me who and/or what they are so that we’re both on the same page.”  What would you say to God?  Could you list your enslavers?  Are you ready to be freed from them?  I believe God is in this business of delivering His people from the power of those people or things that have imprisoned us.  I challenge you to face God and tell Him what you want freedom from.

Chuck Smith, in his C2000 Series commentary on this verse says this: “Some of you have been very oppressed by people. You've been lied against. You've been rejected. You've been hurt. You think, "Nobody knows what I'm going through. Nobody knows what I'm dealing with." Oh yes, Someone knows.”
 
Now just how was God going to deliver His people?  Here’s what I find interesting.  He was not going to do it by changing the Egyptians or Egypt.  No, God was going to deliver His people from their sufferings by personally bringing them out from Egypt and leading them to a good and spacious land flowing with milk and honey, which was already occupied by a host of other people.

Here are a few things to realize.  God does not just send us somewhere.  He either takes us there or comes along with us.  He’ll never ask you to go where He is not willing to be Himself, right there, with you.  And that includes the journey along the way to your destination.  He does not fly first-class while you take the night train and arranges to meet you later at the appointed spot and time.  He walks right there beside you, through the desert if need be.

And the place He will be leading His people Israel to is “a good and spacious land”.  It was a place on earth that He Himself handpicked and promised to the patriarchs some 400 years previous to this.  David Guzik in his study guide for Exodus 3 says this: “The land of Canaan belonged to Israel since the day God promised it to Abraham. God will move Israel there now because of the compassion of His heart. The actions were ordained long ago, but the timing was prompted by God's heartfelt love for His people. 

And there was going to be enough room there for everybody.  No overcrowding.  The land would flow with milk and honey.  It was going to be a land of abundance, but not just any abundance but the kind that gave strong nourishment (milk) and great enjoyment (honey) to those that drink and eat therein.  William A. Troth has written a book entitled, The Milk and Honey Man: Happened to them. . . written for us (WinePress Publishing, 2010) in which he takes that phrase that God’s used and develops its full “spiritual” meaning that God had and has in mind for each of us.

This verse (Exodus 3:8) ends with God listing all the various Canaanite or Canaanish nations currently living in the land of milk and honey.  God knew them by name.  Every one of them had already been referred to in Genesis.  Canaanites had become the merchants of the land.  God was taking His people there for a reason and of course, these nations would all play a role in just how His people and He developed their relationship with each other.

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