It has been 400 years since Joseph had been a leader in Egypt. It seemed the mantle of leadership was not handed down to future generations. This foreigner was in authority for a season. For a few generations his work was remembered and the Israelites lived alongside the Egyptian people in peace. We discover the legend of a man who rose to save an empire has diminished. The new King of Egypt did not know the stories of Joseph nor was he inclined to honor history. When he looked across his great nation he observed a people who had growth to outnumber his own. He believed the descendants of Jacob to have sufficient numbers to overthrow the political powers. He acted fast to make the people no longer neighbors but slaves. They became the workforce by which the great cities would be built. The labor was hard causing the people to bend under its load. The midwives were ordered to begin killing the male children of the Israelites as they were born. They had moved from an honored family to a people of servitude.
God promised a deliverer and it came in the form of Moses. Moses had been raised in the house of Pharaoh’s daughter. He grew up to be a strong man who was troubled to see the load his people had to work under. He killed one Egyptian who was mistreating an Israelite. He then fled Egypt to save his own life. After Moses comes to terms with his own relationship with God, he is called to go back and lead the Israelites to freedom. Several times on the journey to the promised land we find the Israelites contemplating returning to Egypt. How can someone who has tasted the sweet flavor of freedom desire bondage? Possibly because they understood bondage. They did not understand freedom. Freedom required a different kind of work. It may have not been the back-breaking, under-the-whip experience of slavery but, it was a load they were unaccustomed to. The personal responsibility that comes with freedom is not for the weak or faithless. It is much easier to be complacent and satisfied with a life of bondage. This is not just an Old Testament issue. With grace comes personal responsibility which the complacent find burdensome. They would rather hold on to a doctrine which teaches freedom while in the midst of slavery. In this they can give excuse for sinfulness while claiming redemption. They dismiss the scriptures that reminds believers Christ came to destroy the work of the enemy, to, live in freedom found in keeping step with the Spirit, and becoming new creations where the old bondage is gone. Many people understand this when it is put into political terms like patriotism but, neglect it in spiritual matters. Reject complacency and embrace personal responsibility that comes with freedom. Spiritual victory and abundant life in Christ will be the result!