My favourite story growing up was the account of Israel in the book of Exodus. The story describes Israel's migration and their journey from slavery into citizenship. I would like to share some of my reflections on some of the narratives in the book.
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Isaiah 52:4 states ''For thus says the Lord GOD: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing.' It is fascinating that Israel didn't enter Egypt as slaves but as migrates looking for a location with the intentions of not settling there permanently. Israel’s plan at the outset wasn't to make Egypt their home; it was a place of temporary residency. Israel's journey into Egypt should have reflected Abraham’s migration in every way. I would like to remind us that as Abraham was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. Israel in like manner should have been looking forward to the same city with the same roots.
Later in Israel's journey, we see that they valued the culture of Egypt better than freedom, Exodus 16:3. When we read the account of the Lord’s journey, and with Israel, we see His desire to restore to them what Abraham was looking for, which is highlighted for us in Hebrews 12:22-24.
When the Lord's people loses sight of his kingdom in any generation, we see the Lord raise men up to restore the vision. In the case of Israel, Moses was sent to stand before the elders of Israel to proclaim their freedom and liberty, but he was sent to Pharaoh to command him to let Israel go so that they could possess the kingdom. In fact, the Lord has always interfered in the affairs of humanity by raising up men and woman to stand before authorities in their time to declare the freedom of a group of people. The Lord demands of men and women of every generation to stand up against injustices that rob humanity from governance within our individual and collective environments.
There are authorities and conditions in every age designed to render us powerless. Just like Israel were powerless politically by the redefinition of their citizenship, for example, their status changed from migrates to slaves. I remember the cruelty and injustice of the slave trade how Africans sold their people into slavery. But God raised up men like Jefferson, Lincoln, Sam Sharpe and Livingstone who stood against slavery and helped to abolish it. But it was patriots like Martin Luther King Jr and Philip Randolph that were called to represent their people before the government and other institutions of their day; that help to demand citizenship in keeping with the Constitution. It was through these men that blacks went from slavery to citizenship.
Now is our time to stand before the pharaoh of this generation and declare the liberty of God’s people from the institutions that have kept them bound, and it is time for us to experience real governance. And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. Exodus 7:1-2.