“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2)
God was adamant about Israel remembering their deliverance from Egypt and slavery. But, shouldn’t it have gone without saying that Israel’s miraculous deliverance would never be forgotten?
Why was God so insistent?
What did God know?
We’re continuing with our journey of God’s forget-Me-nots. What follows is our final observation of Israel’s journey before setting out to examine individual forget-Me-nots. The lesson that Israel’s journey conveys is foundational. It shows us why it’s so important to our Christian journey today.
Backtracking to Find Something Forgotten
A very interesting occurrence took place soon after Israel’s exodus. As promised, God led Israel to Mt. Sinai, where He would teach them to become His holy people. While instructing them about the Law, though, God institutes something that doesn’t seem to make sense.
The paradox is found in Leviticus 25 where God sets forth His instructions for a sabbath year that was to occur every 50 years starting on the Day of Atonement. It’s the Year of Jubilee, and it was consecrated specifically as a time when all debts were to be cancelled, all land was to be returned to its original owner, and all slaves were to be set free. (A key point to this is that Jesus would proclaim this mandate at the start of His ministry. See Luke 4:18-19.)
Did you catch that? All slaves were to be set free! But, remember where and when God is speaking. Israel is at Mt. Sinai, not Egypt. They’re already free people.
Why does God make a provision for freeing a free people?
To understand, we need to backtrack and return to the point of Israel’s deliverance.
Forgetting Leads to Slavery
The miracle of the Red Sea shows us Israel stepping into total victory over her enemy. But as Israel crossed over into their new life, they didn’t see something that God could. Looking deeper, into the innermost parts of each one, God saw the substance of the slave nature traveling along with them. Egypt would no longer hold Israel in bondage, but the attitudes, beliefs and habits that they carried over from Egypt would.
God knew that the old nature would become a stumbling block to experiencing the freedom He was giving them. Complete and lasting liberation could only be secured by single-minded devotion to the One who set them free. The discipline of remembering would be the starting point for the transformation that was necessary to become free from the old nature.
God’s Intention Never Changes
What was true for Israel then is true for us today. God’s desire is to set people free—body, soul and spirit. The Cross is the Christian’s Red Sea; it’s where deliverance from enslavement to sin and the world takes place. But like Israel, we carry remnants of the old, enslaved nature into the new life.
Following Israel’s history, we find that they did, indeed, forget God and what He had done for them. And it did lead them back into bondage. But before we think that was just their story, we need to make sure we’re not following a similar path.
- Has your personal salvation experience put you on the path of a transformed life?
- Is it leading you on to greater levels of understanding and devotion to God?
- Have you encountered a road block to your spiritual maturity?
- Have you carried something over from the old life that’s hindering you?
Remember Your Deliverer
Jesus died on the cross to lead you out of every sort of sin and bondage. Because of His shed blood, you are free to overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of the progress God desires for you.
Jesus will reveal whatever is keeping you from complete freedom, if you seek it. Next, let confession, repentance and extending forgiveness where needed, lead you to victory. The final crucial step, then, is to remember what He did for you and let it transform you, leading you further up the path of spiritual maturity.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)
With the foundation now set, we’re ready to move on. Starting with the next Friday post, the journey will be taking us to examine individual forget-Me-nots.