“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 and knew it was time to act.”
– Exodus 2:23-25 nlt
“I cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.” I recall saying this phrase when I was a kid. Sure, it is morbid to say and to think about but to a child, all it means was an undying devotion to a promise. It meant we were going to keep our word because the phrase “My word is my bond” is too deep for a kid.
Well, I’ll be honest, there have been a number of times when I didn’t keep my word and promises were broken. There are times when I have let others down even though, through my words, I said I would do something or be somewhere. My words are often weak and frail.
It is good to know God’s word is higher than our own. His words align with his character and he is truth and he is good. The term, covenant, is an agreement, often used to describe an agreement between two parties however; it can be only one. God’s covenant or God’s promise to Abraham was that his own people (Israel) would be foreigners in a land, not their own but God would bring them back.
The nation of Israel being in Egypt had purpose. In the beginning, it was because of Joseph’s brothers who sold him into slavery. In God’s sovereignty he guided and protected Joseph through all he faced and gave him a position of leadership and influence. God gave Joseph these positions because Joseph was a man of godly character. Joseph sought after God and trusted in him.
So when the nation of Israel came to Egypt, things were good. There was peace among the people. Yet, over time, things changed. A new pharaoh came into power who did not have the same view regarding the Israelites as past Pharaoh’s. The new Pharaoh saw Israel as a threat and enslaved the people.
Slavery became a way of life for the people of Israel.
When Israel cried out God remembered his covenant with Abraham. God remembered his promise that he would bring the people back. The Gospel is a promise of liberation. God knew it was time to act; God knew that only he could save there from their oppressors.
God seeks to liberate people from the oppression that holds them down. The Gospel is the release from oppression; the Gospel is the promise that God will act on our behalf and set us free.