Friday

An Egyptian Delivered Us

As the book of Exodus begins, Israel is in captivity. They were the chosen people of God, descendants of Abraham, but they had become enslaved. They lived like slaves, they thought like slaves, their culture was a slave culture, they believed in their slavery.

Moses was the deliverer for the people of God. He knew it; he tried to fulfill it prematurely, and that’s why he was running for his life.

From Exodus 2: 15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.  16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. And they came and drew water, and they filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Then the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.  18 When they came to Reuel their father, he said, “How is it that you have come so soon today?”  19 And they said, “An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and he also drew enough water for us and watered the flock.”

Moses was also the deliverer for Reuel’s daughters and his sheep.

It was interesting that Reuel’s daughter’s described Moses to their dad as “an Egyptian.” I’m sure Moses looked like an Egyptian, but he was in fact a Hebrew. You know the story: his parents hid him in the bushes at the edge of the Nile and the Egyptian princess – Pharaoh’s daughter – found him, had Moe’s own mom wet-nurse him (thank God for a quick thinking sister!), and after he was weaned, he was raised as Pharaoh’s grandson.

Some have suggested Mo was in line for the throne; that may be just an interesting theory, but it illustrates the reality: Moses may have been biologically a Hebrew, but culturally, he was an Egyptian. He dressed like an Egyptian, he spoke Egyptian, he knew the Egyptian culture and mannerisms, and when he confronted the bad-guys at the water troughs, he approached it from the point of view of his position for the past several decades: as a member of the Egyptian royal family.

No wonder the ladies thought he was an Egyptian.

The church in America is in captivity. Genetically, at our very core, our essence comes from the realm of heaven, but we’ve lived on earth for so long, that we’ve become earthly, natural, in every other way. We think in natural terms. We live among the natural world. Our culture and mannerisms are of this world. We believe in the world we live among.

If the church were actually free, we’d reflect the culture and values of our birth-culture, Heaven. We’d see the events and people of the natural world through the values and resources of heaven. Like it happened around Jesus, and later around some of the apostles, people would find themselves healed – whether in body or in soul – when we were around. We’d measure our resources by the balance in Heaven’s account, not in the bank’s account. Our lives would be characterized more by joy, peace, faith, hope, love, and less by business meetings, church services, project deadlines, job descriptions or stress.

God is raising up deliverers in our day. God has spoken it prophetically, but it doesn’t really require prophecy to see it: there have been only three times that a generation has been wiped out: the massacre that preceded Moses’ birth, the massacre that followed Jesus’ birth, and the massacre of aborted babies today: God is certainly up to something!

Here’s my point: I believe that many of the deliverers that God is raising up in our day will look like “Egyptians.” Egypt has often been used as an illustration of the ways of the world, and many deliverers will look very worldly. They’ll speak in worldly vocabulary and use colorful worldly metaphors. They’ll use worldly mannerisms – not church-cultured mannerisms. They’ll have worldly friends: business leaders, gang leaders, political leaders, artists, educators, barkeepers.

But they’ll be God’s people inside, under all that “worldlikeness.”

The first thing we might see in some of these leaders is that they’re standing up for believers in the secular arena. We’ve already seen some of that: when radical Hindu’s blamed Christians for a popular teacher’s death and started massacring Christians wholesale, there was an outcry, and some of it was from the secular world. The mainstream media didn’t touch the story as far as I can see, but the blogging community did, and many “secular” bloggers spoke out about the injustice.

Does the appearance of a secular person standing up for Christians mean that they’re a deliverer, that they’re even a believer? Certainly not in every case. I don’t believe we’re seeing God’s “Egyptian” delivers quite yet, but I expect that we will in the next several years.

Many men and women who find themselves in the position of defending God’s people against Egyptian slave-masters will shortly find God moving in their lives. They may have a dormant faith, from their childhood or youth, that God suddenly fans into flame. They may be “about to be” Christians, ready for harvest. Or they may be genuine followers of Christ who have been hidden away from the public eye for a long time, possibly even hiding away from the church for many years.

We are coming into a day where God is bringing deliverers out of hiding, men and women who will not look like church-goers, and who in fact, won’t be church-goers, but they will be deliverers sent by God. If we’re not careful, we’ll reject these young leaders because we don’t recognize the clothing, the mannerisms, the style of speech. If we do, we’ll be rejecting something powerful that God is doing among us.

1 comment:

dl said...

amen,
God is raising up deliverers to deliver the sheep out of the mouths of the so called church today. These deliverers are God anointed to deliver sheep that have been taken captive by the cunning craftiness of religious man in the pulpits. Mega churches are the dens of wolves. The big names of religion will continue to spew out their deception in the name of Christ.

oh Lord, in wrath remember mercy