“When Israel came out of Egypt, Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion.” Psalm 114:1-2
The children of Israel had been in Egypt for 430 years. Much of that time they had been slaves. For years they were forced to do the Pharaoh’s bidding. They made bricks and then it got even harder. They were not even given the straw to make the bricks, they had to find it. It was a stripped-down version of life. Slavery meant working, eating, sleeping and then getting up the next day and doing it all over again, and then the next, and the next, and...
But in Exodus 3 we read that God saw their misery. He heard their cries. He was concerned about their suffering. So, He came down to where they were and raised up Moses to speak to Pharaoh. God sent plagues, pandemics to wake up the Egyptians and then to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt and into the promised land. There they would no longer be slaves. They would no longer have the meager life of only work. They would also get to have days of sweet rest and restoration and repose. God was giving them the opportunity to come home to the promised land, a place flowing with milk and honey, clusters of grapes so large it took two men to carry them, a place of abundance.
And then, bigger than any of that, God chose to dwell with them. He put His very presence into the Tabernacle. He was a cloud by day to cover them from the scorching heat of the wilderness. He was a fire at night to warm them and light up the camp.
God was with them. From slavery to freedom, from meager to overwhelming abundance, from feeling alone in Egypt to God dwelling in the heart of the camp, it was the most radical of changes. How ridiculous it would have been to choose not to walk in that kind of freedom.
And yet it was merely a shadow of the life God has for us. He wants to walk us out of the slavery of sin into freedom. He wants to give us the abundant life where we don’t work for our salvation, but rather enjoy the sweet rest, restoration, and repose of what He has already done. And He comes to dwell not just among us in the heart of the camp, but He comes to live in our hearts and lives.
How ridiculous it would be not to choose to walk in that kind of freedom.
Father, thank You for freedom out of slavery. Thank You for the abundance that comes from Your hand. Thank You for coming to dwell in me.