This first devotional is a long one. Hang in there…
RevoDevos – Exodus Bible Study
The Book of Exodus begins more than four hundred years after Joseph (you know, the guy with the coat of many colors) died. In Genesis, when the Israelites came to Egypt they totaled 70 people; now, in Exodus, they total around 3 million. The leadership in Egypt—feeling threatened by their size—oppressed the Israelites by forcing them into slavery and ordering that all newborn Hebrew boys be drowned in the Nile River.
One Hebrew woman resisted the leaders and saved her son by floating him down the river in a papyrus basket. Fortunately, Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the abandoned child and raised him as her son. She named him Moses.
God used Moses to start a Revolution and liberate the Israelites from slavery; the book of Exodus tells this story. God sends ten plagues to Egypt, and, with miraculous signs and wonders, Moses leads the people out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. They go to Mount Sinai, where God appeared in a cloud of thunder over the mountain and confirmed the promises He made with Abraham. God commanded the Israelites to worship only Him, and He gave them various ethical and religious laws to follow.
Moses is the first true Revolutionary we encounter in the Bible. He overcomes personal weakness and doubt. He challenges a powerful Pharaoh and leads Israel to a great victory despite tremendous oppression. All of Moses’ political and military dealings serve to deliver the Israelites to God, physically moving them from Egypt to Mount Sinai and holding them accountable to God when they disobey. As God declares early on, Moses is God’s spokesperson to the people, and Moses makes God’s relationship with Israel a personal one.
The word “exodus” means exit (it comes from the Greek “ex” meaning out; and “hodos” meaning way or journey). Exodus is a model for our liberation from sin, drugs, alcohol, sickness, obesity… and all the other things that keep us in slavery. It is a model for Revolution.
God did not end this Revolution when the Israelites made it to the Promised Land; He continued it in Jesus Christ, in the early Christians, through Missionaries, through William and Catherine Booth, through your Corps Officer and fellow Soldiers today. Hopefully you will allow Him to continue this Revolution through you.
Do you want to be part of this Revolution? Dig in, get fed and let God challenge you by His Word and through these RevoDevos.
RevoDevos were written by students of The War College (Vancouver, B.C.) and were edited and adapted by Eric Himes (Chicago, IL).
Monday, June 26th 2006
Read: Exodus 1
These are the conditions for Revolution. In Egypt, in that day, the people of God were enslaved. God was marginalized (the king didn’t even know Joseph; see v.8). And there was a culture of death. Pharaoh commanded the people to kill every newborn Hebrew baby boy. Every unwanted baby boy was ordered killed.
It sounds a lot like the situation in the world today. While Christians are not enslaved today, God is marginalized. He’s not allowed in classrooms. He’s being booted out of courtrooms. He is legislated out of the public square. He is muscled out of politics. He is forced to play on the margins.
But that isn’t so bad. Because the children of the Revolution are born out of despair. And despair is the language of the margins. The poor live there. Those discriminated against. The different. In Biblical terms, the widow, the orphan, the alien. In our chapter, the Hebrews. But don’t worry; God has a bias toward the outcasts.
And God raises Revolutionary armies from the margins. Just look at David. He was in exile, on the run from a powerful king. And here and there, defectors from various tribes gathered to David until he found himself in charge of a mighty army (1 Chronicles 12:8). As people grow more and more dissatisfied with the status quo, they will look for something better. They will start a Revolution.
As you grow more and more dissatisfied with the status quo, you will look for something better. As you grow more and more dissatisfied with a lack of compelling purpose in life, with a daily, meaningless grind, with video games and slushies, with half-decent grades (or even excellent grades) and a part-time job at the gas station, with re-runs and stupid movies, you will look for something better.
God is looking to ignite a Revolution from the margins. So what should you do? Get on the margins, if you aren’t already there. Identify with the outcast. Catch God’s heart against the sin that is killing this world and for the people He created for something much better. Then fight.
God opposes and hates genocide. He wants those who fear Him to fight against it. As believers, we must refuse to go along with any kind of genocide by standing and acting against it! God hates slavery. Not only does He hate slavery but he is on the side of the oppressed and downtrodden, the slave. He identifies with the addicted, the sick, the fatherless, the widow. Isaiah 1:17 says “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows.”
-Genocide continues today, especially in Africa. For example, the genocide in Rwanda took 937,000 lives in 1994. In the Uganda/Sudan conflict, not only is it the longest African war (20 years long), but 1.7 million people have been forcibly displaced, 20,000-50,000 children have been abducted to fight as soldiers, and 918 die weekly (that’s 130 daily). Pray for those being killed, and for those killing. Ask the Lord to reveal ways you can get involved and fight against the injustice (For more info, visit www.invisiblechildren.com and see the film Invisible Children).
-It has been said the human trafficking is our modern form of slavery. Human trafficking is the buying and selling of people, usually women and young children, and forcing them into things such as forced labor (sweatshops, etc) and sexual exploitation (prostitution, brothels, etc). A report released by the White Hose on February 23, 2003 estimated that between 700,000 and 4,000,000 people are trafficked world wide, including the thousands trafficked into the U.S. Pray for those trafficked and those trafficking. This one of The Salvation Army’s biggest social justice ministries. Find out what we are doing worldwide and how you might get involved.
Monday, June 26th 2006 continued…
Read: Exodus 2
I’m sure that most of us would agree that Moses was a revolutionary. And I believe it all started with murdering an Egyptian. The murder was stupid and made in haste. And although it may show that Moses is felling God’s heart for the Israelites for the first time, it was still wrong; God needed to refine his method of fighting.
Without God’s heart, there can be no lasting spiritual Revolution. If you’re fighting for your own cause and it’s not with God and for His justice, what you’re looking at is a revolt. Revolts are a temporary disturbance, not massive and world-changing like revolutions.
Seriously though, there is no better way to start a Revolution than to stand up for the oppressed. Only, somehow Moses must have looked like a man who loved to fight, because the Israelites didn’t recognize him trying to help the man being beaten. They probably saw him as a tyrant.
And then Moses is called away to the desert of Midian to be brought into God’s presence.
But that’s enough about Moses, because—like I said—we probably all agree that he was a revolutionary. So let’s look at some of the other characters in this story.
What about Moses’ mother? She takes one look at her baby boy and knows that he is special and should be saved. So she risks her life, and the lives of her family, to keep Moses safe and hidden for three months.
And then there is Moses’ sister. She watched her baby brother float down the river, and when the basket was found she had the guts to approach the Pharaoh’s daughter and the brains to trick her into giving the baby back to his mother.
And what about Pharaoh’s daughter? She had to have known that he was a Hebrew baby, and yet she kept him alive. Why? Her own father wanted Moses dead. She put her own life at risk to save him.
When first reading this story, it’s easy to overlook these people. In a war we don’t think about the people who build the airplanes or the ones who are in factories making ammunition, but without them the war isn’t possible. To be a part of the Revolution, you don’t have to be on the front lines killing Egyptians or ordering the Pharaoh around—although that could be fun—you just have to be obedient to your calling.
Q: Moses had a murder on his record. What sins do you need to repent of today to position yourself to accomplish God’s purposes in your life?
What is God calling you to do?
Where is God calling you to fight? How is he calling you to fight?