just something i've been thinking about the past few weeks as i meandered through exodus, leviticus, numbers, and deuteronomy. two separate but related ideas:
1) God rescues slaves: "therefore, say to the people of israel, 'i am the Lord. i will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in egypt. i will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. i will claim you as my own people, and i will be your God. then you will know that i am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in egypt.'" (exodus 6:6-7)
2) those slaves are his special treasure, his prized possession: "they are your own people. they are your special possession." (deuteronomy 9: 26)
these concepts are significant.
it's important to note that moses and the israelites did not just prance out of egypt. they were not capable of doing it alone. they needed a rescuer. sounds so similar to my life. yours?
from the beginning (remember all those relationships in genesis?), he had a plan of redemption for mankind (not just israel). i don't pretend to understand his ways, but the entire story is pretty awesome. in this particular case, he allowed joseph to be taken to egypt. joseph became a hotshot. as a result, all of joseph's (and therefore, all of jacob (aka israel)'s) family settled in egypt. and then they got busy (literally) and 'eventually a new king came to power in egypt who knew nothing about joseph or what he had done...so the egyptians made the israelites their slaves.' (exodus 1: 8, 11)
so...because they were slaves, God chose to resuce them from back-breaking, joy-sucking slavery and promised them new life in an awesome home...a place that would be theirs. he did not have to do it. but he chose to because of his great love for them. he loves slaves. wrap your head around that--if you can. he says time and again that they are his special treasure and prized possession.
but why is all this important? how does it apply to us?
well, we are all slaves to someone or something. it looks a little different for each person, but we're all stuck. we need a rescuer. we cannot do it alone.
fortunately, God is in the business of rescuing slaves. in the old testament, he did it in egypt. in the new testament, he sent Christ. (yay!) so we have a way out of our slavery. we have a rescuer.
on top of that, he prizes us. even in our sin (slavery), he loves us. oh, how he loves us! he sacrificed his beloved son to be with us.
for me, the lesson is that, though i am a slave, he wants me. i am his. so i can live and walk in the truth that i am valued highly and loved deeply. that should change everything about the way i relate to people.
what's the lesson for you?