Moses Challenges Pharaoh | Devotion 1: Freedom
Pastor Caleb Combs
In Exodus chapter 6, we see God speaking to Moses and telling him to go to the children of Israel and let them know that they can and will have freedom. For a few hundred years, the Israelites were slaves under Egyptian rule and were treated very harshly. From the killing of their children to their horrific work conditions, the Israelites were brutalized by their oppressors. Moses did not see himself as qualified to lead the Israelites, and yet God still chose him. I am so thankful God chooses to use unqualified people. He qualifies the unqualified and calls the ordinary to do the extraordinary! I certainly love the fact that God uses me in spite of my faults and failures, just like He did with Moses. Moses went to God’s people and declared to them their freedom and that God had sent him to free them from the bondage to the Egyptians.
While this should have been a time of rejoicing, their response is heartbreaking. Exodus 6:9 (NLT) tells us, “So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.” What a heartbreaking verse. “I am here to set you free,” Moses said, and yet they refused to listen because their circumstance had become too disheartening to handle. These children of God had come to identify themselves as slaves. God heard their cries and sent a way of deliverance, yet because of their difficult situation, they relegated themselves to being in bondage forever.
The 19th century in America revealed the greatest darkness in our country’s history, slavery. The American culture had permeated this disgusting concept that whites were superior to blacks and would buy and sell human beings. However, in the mid-1800s a change began to happen, and our country was thrown into a civil war. President Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation and the thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery, and yet while the slaves were set free, many stayed on the same plantations where they continued to work under harsh and brutal conditions. W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, “The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.” The American slaves were beaten, raped, killed and yet they stayed. Why? Perhaps it is for the same reason as the Israelites in Egypt. Exodus 6:9 shows us a glimpse of pain by telling us that “their Spirit was broken.” They had become too discouraged with the environment around them to seek and accept their freedom. The brutality they faced was something most of us reading this will never physically understand; however, the Bible talks about a type of slavery every human being will face – the slavery to sin. The enemy wants to destroy our identity, just like the captors of Egypt and early America. He wants to take our spirit and discourage us enough to give up. But God has granted us freedom from sin by what Jesus has done on the cross. His Word tells us not to lose heart in our situations and struggles and to know that God has given us freedom.
You may know someone who struggles with this, or maybe you struggle with it yourself. The enemy has discouraged you to the point of giving up because your situation seems to have no way to get better. DO NOT GIVE UP! Jesus has set the captives free from sin and leaves the enemy with no control! His Word is full of these promises. John 8:36 says that “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” In 2 Corinthians 3:17, it says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Galatians 5:1 reminds us, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” God has removed the bondage of sin from our lives, and yet often times we run right back to it. We need to live as free men and women by the power of Jesus Christ, as free children of God.