God on the Spot – Part 5: Delivering His People
By Dianne E. Butts –
In Part 4, we saw that God used Joseph in Egypt to save the bloodline of Abraham to Messiah. After the famine, Joseph’s family (Abraham’s descendants) stayed in Egypt.
Fast-forward approximately four hundred years: the descendants of Abraham (now called “Israel,” named after Abraham’s grandson, Jacob-Israel) became so numerous that they frightened a new king who did not know about Joseph (Exodus 1:1-10). So that king enslaved them in an attempt to control them and protect his own power.
The Israelites were helpless, unable to escape their own slavery. It was God Who was on the spot to deliver them.
This Egyptian Pharaoh was so cruel that to control the growing population of Israelites, he demanded that all male Israelite babies born be thrown into the Nile River and drowned.
But one woman couldn’t allow that. She floated her baby boy in a basket and sent him downriver with her impossible hopes. Pharaoh’s daughter found him, adopted him, and named him Moses.
So when the time came for God to bring Israel out of Egypt, God had already placed Moses in position: saved from Pharaoh’s mandate to kill all Hebrew boys, raised and educated in Pharaoh’s own household. Who better to approach the current Pharaoh?
Fast-forward forty years: Moses witnesses an Egyptian mistreating a Hebrew slave and Moses kills the Egyptian, then runs from the murder charge and hides on the far side of the desert. Fast-forward another forty years: God calls Moses, now eighty-years-old, to confront the current Pharaoh and demand he let God’s people go.
Moses, with a forty-year-old murder charge still hanging over his head, was understandably reluctant. How would Pharaoh react?
But when God told Moses to go to Pharaoh, it was not up to Moses to convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go. It was God Who was on the spot to convince Pharaoh. It was pretty much up to Moses to just show up. God did all the supernatural stuff to convince the Israelites it was their God doing it and Pharaoh to let His people go.
It was not Moses’ reputation that was on the spot. It was God’s.
And God used this spot to reveal that He alone is the true God. Each of the plagues He brought against Egypt was a triumph over an Egyptian god.
Ten plagues later, Pharaoh was finally ready to let God’s people go and the prophecy given to Abraham in Genesis 15:13-16a came to pass: “At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD’s divisions [of people] left Egypt” (Exodus 12:40, emphasis mine). (Bible scholars attribute the difference in years to rounding the number in Genesis 15:13.)
On their way out, the Israelites asked the Egyptians for silver and gold and clothing, “and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:36).
After they left, Pharaoh changed his mind and led his army in pursuit of the Israelites!
It was God Who led the Israelites to the place where they were trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea. And so it was God Who was on the spot to make a way of escape. And He did so miraculously, with a dramatic display of His power: “He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot,” (Psalm 66:6).
June: “God on the Spot – Part 6: Protecting His People in the Desert” After the Israelites escaped the Egyptian army by walking through the Red Sea, God was on the spot to protect the bloodline of Abraham to Messiah in the desert.
Dianne’s motto is “gathering manna and giving it out.” She has written for over 50 Christian print magazines and seventeen books including Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Best Stories of Faith (2008), God Encounters: Stories of His Involvement in Life’s Greatest Moments, and the upcoming For God So Loved the World…He Created Chocolate. Her work has appeared in Great Britain, Bulgaria, Poland, Canada, and Korea. When she’s not writing, she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, P.C. The trio lives in Colorado. www.DianneEButts.com www.DeliverMeBook.blogspot.com