Awaiting a Savior
As we enter the Advent Season this morning, we wait expectantly. We await a savior as the Israelites did. We know of Jesus, and we know Jesus will return - though we don’t know when. The Israelites and where we are in our series.
We left off with Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob in Egypt. He’d risen to a high station in that country, and his brothers come down due to a famine throughout the region. When they find out they are dealing with the brother they sold into slavery, they are afraid, but he lets them know that though they intended it for evil, God intended it for good.
We read in Genesis 50:20
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
The fact is that God is still guiding the path of the Israelites. God is in control - God will fulfill his promises.
So now, we see the descendants of Jacob - the twelve families of his twelve sons are all in Egypt.
Remember, we have the promise made to Abraham, has been spoken to his son Isaac, and to Jacob as well. It is passed from one generation to the next.
Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob had been in Egypt and was able to provide for his family and their descendants. Through him Pharaoh saw the Israelites in a positive light.
Then, as happens with all of us Jospeh dies. And on his deathbed he says to his brothers:
And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
The idea of the promised land for them all remains, but they are in Egypt, and we enter the book of Exodus.
In the first chapter we read:
But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.
And then a new pharaoh arose over Egypt. This one did not know Joseph, nor his family. He is worried about the way the Israelites have multiplied -
And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us.
and so he sets up a plan to oppress them.
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”
Instead, the Israelites just keep multiplying to the point that the king of Egypt sets out a declare that all male children of the Hebrews shall be killed by the midwives. But they don’t do it, for they fear God. So Pharaoh made another declaration:
Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”
And the people wait for some sort of relief, holding on to the promises that had been made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Then we get to chapter 2 of Exodus and we have the birth of Moses. His mother hid him for three months so that he was not cast into the Nile and then, she sort of obeys, but not really. She puts Moses in a basket and places it in the reeds by the river bank. He is found by Pharaoh’s daughter. And she raises the boy as her own. She named him Moses, for she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
I want to stop here and remind you of how we see recurring themes throughout the Scriptures.
Here remember we had Joseph in Pharaoh’s house and that gave him a voice for God’s chosen people.
Now, we have Moses, born of the people, but again finding a way into Pharaoh’s house.
God would call to Moses - But he wouldn’t want to go.
In chapter 3 of Exodus God tells him I will send you to Pharaoh,
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Then he’s worried about what the people of Israel will say:
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
God says that famous phrase:
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
He goes on with they won’t believe him, he’s not eloquent, and finally his fear:
But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
Have you ever felt that way?
Still, the Israelites are waiting. Hoping for a savior of some sort.
They need a leader.
They need a rescuer.
They have a promise and they are holding on to it.
Advent is the season of hope.
As we are here, we know that our saviour has come, and that he will come again.
We look at all that is going on around us, and we wonder - will there be peace?
Will there be a rescue.
Jesus tells us over and over again as he celebrated the passover with his disciples, a meal that recounted God’s leading the Israelites out of Egypt - REMEMBER.
And he promises, he will return.