“But the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt, and have heard their groans, and I have come down to deliver them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’ ” Acts 7:33-34 (NAS)
Last week, we were reminded the Lord does not fail or forsake His covenant people.
In case you tend to forget, our God is pretty good at noticing things as well, particularly those circumstances or events that concern His people. The inspired writer of the letter to the Hebrews makes it clear that “there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Although this is meant to be an admonition to those in Christ that they can honestly come before the throne of grace with confidence to find help in a time of need, it’s also a principle that makes it clear the Lord is omniscient and omnipresent. This too, should be of great comfort to us. Stephen in his appeal before the San Hedrin, quotes from the conversation that took place between the LORD and Moses as originally recorded in the book of Exodus, chapter three, verses 5-10. God saw the people were afflicted and He heard their groaning. The Lord needed a deliverer, so Moses was called to deliver His people from the oppressor. The message Moses was given, “Let My people go so that they may serve Me!” Steven, moved by the Spirit, was hoping the Jews would make the connection in their present situation. The Israelites had rejected Moses previously as their ruler and deliverer. The forty years Moses spent in Midian were preparation by the LORD to then sent him back into Egypt to lead the people out of slavery. Similarly, God had prepared for approximately 4000 years to send the true Ruler and Deliverer, Jesus, (also called “Lord and Christ”) to lead the people out of the domain of darkness and its cruel ruler, Satan. As the LORD was working His plan with a view towards the redemption of mankind, He was always aware of their oppression and their groaning. He sent Jesus from heaven (true “holy ground”) armed with the same purpose as Moses. It was to declare to the rulers, the powers, the world forces of darkness and the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12), “You’re gonna let My people go from the chains of sin so that they may serve Me!” The Jews did with Jesus as they did with Moses – they rejected Him at first by crucifying Him. However, the LORD God used a forty day period, rather than forty years, to establish eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ power over death and His rightful place as ruler by raising Him from the dead and seating Him on the throne in heaven. The LORD used Moses to crush the Egyptian empire through plagues, culminating in sending the angel of death to take all the first born in Egypt. Jesus in his resurrection and ascension crushed Satan’s key weapon in holding captive God’s people, the fear of death, by conquering death. Jesus did this for all mankind, not just Jews. God is the God of the Gentiles as well as the Jews (Rom. 3:29) as the Spirit reminds us in Paul’s letter to the Romans. All of us now in Christ have been delivered from the iron furnace of slavery to sin in spiritual Egypt, the world under the control of Satan. We, too, were once held captive to do his will – foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved to various lusts and pleasures (Tit. 3:3). But we’ve been delivered. Now in the assemblies each week we are equipped by evangelists, elders and teachers for the work of service. “What service?”, you may ask. The Lord still sees the oppression of the people. He has called us onto holy ground by raising us up to be seated with Him in the heavenly places by faith and reminds us that there are people all around us afflicted, groaning! He has made us ambassadors with heavenly authority and ministers of reconciliation to be sent right back into Egypt (the world in sin) entrusting us to deliver the subjugated souls of mankind. Don’t believe those who say you have nothing to do with saving people. The letter of Jude makes it clear we are to “save others, snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 23) God delivers those who are oppressed and groaning by sending us with the saving message of Jesus Christ. No one will be delivered from these circumstances unless we deliver the message. You’ve been sent. Go your way and speak to the people the whole message of this life. Amen.