Matthew 2:15: and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Egypt is the place of bondage, limitation, scarcity, oppression, death, loss. But we find a contradiction: God’s son was there.
While the prophetic word given by a prophet showed that this was talking about Jesus, it was also a reference also to the nation of Israel coming from Egypt as God by his mighty hand brought them out (Exodus 1-3).
So it is amazing that it was God would set it up that his son, Israel, went to Egypt, knowing what they would feel there. Hundreds of years before Israel was rescued from Egypt, God told Abraham: your children will be in a foreign land for four hundred years and will suffer many things from the hands of an oppressor (Genesis 15:13). God therefore showed he was in charge of the narrative of human history.
But why? Why would God set it up that the children of Abraham his friend (Isaiah 41:8) will suffer? That is asking the wrong question. The right question is: what purpose was fulfilled from the pain? Answer: the pain caused a whole nation to want something more, to call upon God, they were forced on the narrow road of seeking God out, him alone.
The psalmist said that it was good that he was afflicted so that we can obey the word of God (Psalm 119:71). The nation received the word from Moses when he came with an instruction from God and they were able to embrace a change into being a separate nation because of the pain they experienced. Pain made them seek for change.
If they had been comfortable where they were, seemingly completed, they will not be interested in taking the dangerous unfamiliar path into the wilderness, to start over again as a nation, millions of them.
Even with the pain and their call on God to deliver them and eventually they were delivered, they still wanted to go back to Egypt after sometime, not interested in following through with the plan of God. Now imagine if they had been having a nice time in Egypt, then there will be no nation of Israel as we know.
When something is about to be birthed there will be birth pain, the pain is not welcomed, but it is imperative.
When it was near the time that nation of Israel will be born out of the “womb” of Egypt, it was a time of pain, which forced them seek an external help to get them out, out of Egypt. Their pained walked into the plan of God, made the ready for it.
Remember what happened to Hannah. Her need for a child, coalesced with God’s need for a prophet (1Samuel 1-2). Because of her need she vowed to give her son to God as a gift. She released her desired son to God (in the place of prayer) and God gave her what she desires. If she was not pressed to have a child, she will have made the vow, and things would not have been set in motion the way they were.
A new thing is not birthed without some pain in the process. God allowed his son to come forth through Mary, but at his dedication in the temple in Jerusalem, someone told her because of the one in your hands a sword will pierce your soul (Luke 2:35). Though a new thing would come through her, she would later experience the pain of it as she saw her son hanging shamefully as a common criminal on the cross for the course of bringing salvation to the world. His pain on the cross, will lead us out of the Egypt of satanic bondage into the salvation of the Lord.
Out of Egypt is when God comes in and changes things. It is when God sent his son to pull us out of the sin into holiness, into that place of power and dominion.
Out of Egypt is the word for change. It means we are standing on the verge of a breakthrough, that the enemy we see today, we would see them no more, what used to disturb us would not matter anymore. What used to move us now be become forgotten to history.
You will see the carcasses of those who used to rule over you on the sea of forgetfulness. All these are in direct reference to the fact that when God brought Israel out of Egypt, the army of Pharaoh. While Israel miraculously walked through the sea on dry ground, the evil army drowned.
The “Egyptians” we see today, having speedy chariots, with the history of numerous victories behind them and you none, but greater is the one who is with you than all the forces of Egypt. You have the forces of heaven with you.
Out of Egypt means out of pain, out of penury, out of punishment into pleasure, plenty and peace respectively.
Pain to pleasure
Peter said that when we come into to Jesus times of refreshing pleasure shall come from the presence of God (Acts 3:19). Jesus was full of pain on the cross, he bears no pain for himself, and he bears the pain for humanity. He was pained, so that we can enjoy.
He carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4). His ministry is to replace the spirit of heaviness on us with the garment of praise by his anointing. At the end of it all the bible says that God will wipe tears from our eyes (Revelation 21:4). Paul wrote that the pain of the present moment is not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). In the presence of God our pain is dissolved. There we gain a divine perspective, we gain wisdom, when we pray we receive grace to move into the bliss of God (Hebrews 4:16).
Penury to plenty
Penury encompasses everything that has to do with scarcity, natural and supernatural. When man was made he was placed in the midst of plenty, in the Garden of Eden. But with sin he was limited to labouring in sweat, to laboring on the ground which brings up forth thorns and thistles. And the work of Jesus involved restoring humanity back to that original state, if not on this earth then in heaven.
But Jesus said he has come to preach the gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18), i.e. poor in all sense of the word, both natural and spiritual poverty.
The church in Laodicea was a flourishing one (Revelation 3:14-22). But Jesus was displeased with them. They have neglected what it means to be rich in the spirit. They thought that because they were the richest church around (maybe even sponsoring others,) it is okay if their personal relationship with God is a little neglected.
They looked at their bank account and thought within themselves that that shows how rich they were. Another error is to look into your bank account and think that because it is lean then they are spiritual. The problem is not money, it is how it is used. The bible has some glowing things to say about money, saying: money answer all things (Ecclesiastes 10:19), and Jesus said that we make friends for yourself through unrighteous Mammon (Luke 16:9).
Jesus is interested in your whole life and the bible says he became poor so that we might become rich (2Corinthians 8:9), so that the blessing of Abraham can come upon the gentiles (Galatians 3:13-15). Through Jesus the words of God directed at the Israel in the Old Testament we share in it.
Rather than be a beggar we get to give from the fullest of the presence of God in our lives. Peter and John said to the beggar that silver and gold I have not but what I have I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk (Acts 3).
Punishment to peace
Adam and Eve were punished variously for contravening God’s word, they exchanged their peace for a bite of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). But now with the risk of punishment off our head in the shed blood of Jesus on the cross we can live with untold peace (Ephesians 1:7).
- God of the Impossible (denacyd.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman // The Parable of the Mustard Seed (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
- Chapter 25-Christ in the Old Testament (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
- The Futility of Fear, 5 (witzend.wordpress.com)
- What is your Egypt? (johnmeunier.wordpress.com)