You can't really have a study on redemption without looking at the children of Israel. So that's where we'll be this week! They were in bondage and it continued to get worse. Then the redemption price was paid and the blood applied to their doorposts. Pharaoh finally said "Let them go!" After over 400 years, they were finally free- free from being enslaved to the Egyptians. God had freed them for a purpose. For the same reason we are freed, to fulfill their part in His story.
But here's the thing, He didn't let them take the easy route, but he took them through the wilderness. He still had some work to be done before they reached their final destination. So they set out, but they didn't get far before Pharaoh and his mighty army were hot on their trail. God was, once again, already ahead of them. He was leading them, providing ways, and even parting waters. They had to take those steps of faith though and walk through. Even then God didn't force them.
Does any part of this redemption story sound familiar? Can you see yourself in the children of Israel?
Maybe you're still in bondage? Satan's hold much too strong for you to free yourself.
Maybe you've been set free but Satan is right on your trail?
Maybe you've made it to the Red Sea and God's showing you the way, even clearing the path for you but you're looking back wondering if you should return to complacency or take a risk of faith?
Maybe you've made it through the Red Sea and a few other trials, but somewhere you've lost your way and now you're wondering aimlessly in the wilderness without the goal in sight.
I can remember when I was younger reading about the children of Israel and thinking, "Did they just not ever learn? How could they forget God's power so quickly?" After all, it was only a short time between being set free and reaching the Red Sea. Then time and time after that, they questioned God's power and provision. Yet, the older I get the more I realize how much like them I really am. (Ouch!)
God had redeemed them, and set them free from the Egyptians. They were His chosen ones, the ones on their way to the promised land. Likewise, God redeems us, we become one of His-no longer a servant to sin but an heir to the kingdom of heaven!
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Galatians 4:6-7
However, living so long in bondage can have some strong holds. Just as the children of Israel had the wilderness to make their way through, we have this earthly life. This week as we walk alongside the children of Israel, I pray you'll see a little clearer where you are in your own journey. Our challenge is to spend some extra time in prayer and reflection. Are we living a life as a servant to sin or an heir to Christ?