a) to carry and turn over to the intended recipient
b) to set free or liberate; to release or save
c) to do or carry out as promised
a) an act or instance of delivering
b) salvation; liberation
Just as a picture can be worth a thousand words, there are times when a single word can contain a whole story. Freedom is a powerful word: to be free, outside of a cage, without chains. It is a wonderful state of being. But it is merely the state. Deliverance is the process: to be set free, to be released from a cage, to have your chains broken. In one word there is a narrative and a movement from being a slave to being free.
It is no coincidence that the Christian holiday Easter overlaps with the Jewish celebration of Passover. Or that when he ate the Last Supper and instituted the sacrament of communion, he did so with the sedar. Though Moses is not Jesus, nor the Exodus the Crucifixion and Resurrection, it is in essence the same story. On both occasions God was proving His power and authority to His people, leading them from out of captivity, destroying their enemies, and establishing a covenant so that they will be His people and He will be their God. The day that was chosen by God for the deliverance of the world was also the day He had set for the Jews to celebrate their deliverance from slavery.
And yet the Israelites, even after the miracle of the Red Sea, found themselves in the desert with little food and less water. They found themselves at the foot of the mountain with neither Moses nor his God anywhere to be found. “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us out here to die?” Grumbling, complaining, impatient…they wanted to go back. They had lived in chains and misery in Egypt, but at least they had lived.
We have been delivered from slavery to our sin. But how often do we grumble? How often are we impatient for God to return and establish His Kingdom once and for all? Jesus ascended into heaven after He had risen…and where is He now? Have we been abandoned here in this wilderness of pain in which we find ourselves?
This week, remember how your God brought you up out of your own version of Egypt. You are a slave no longer, nor are you abandoned. Take off the old and put on the new. Live in deliverance.
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
Jesus said to her, “I AM the resurrection and the life.”