Is it okay to have favourite books of the Bible? I have found that Exodus is one of mine and I am so pleased that I will be blogging about my pages in this incredible book. I guess it is the story lover and teller in me that enjoys following a set of characters, to see how they develop over the pages. Exodus is the story that is fulfilled in one man’s lifetime. His name was Moses. It tells of the mass departure of GOD’s people from Egypt. But it isn’t just about the physical moving, it was about the spiritual moving too.
The beginning of Moses’ story is so familiar, but as I was reading this page I noticed the number of times that water was a factor in the story. I live in the incredible city of Brighton, UK. This city is built beside the sea so access to the beach and vast horizon is easy. I was only saying to a friend this last week how we are drawn to water. We flock to the seaside on a sunny day, can’t resist throwing a pebble into the waves and find rest in the sound of the water lapping against the shore. Water is a visual subject that I can relate to.
We had left the story of the Israelites in Genesis. They were settling in Egypt after Joseph had provided for his family in the famine. Exodus picks up the story anywhere between 200 and 400 years later. The old Pharaoh was long gone and new Pharaohs had risen and fallen. At some point one of these new kings had seen the Israelites, who had grown in number, as a real threat. He oppresses the nation. As a side note, the more the people were oppressed, the more they grew. Nothing can stop the blessing and favour of GOD.
The Pharaoh saw that the oppression of the people was not enough to quell them so he uses the water of the Nile to drown the babies. The water brings death.
GOD, however, uses the water to deliver Moses to safety. He was put in a papyrus basket and given to the mercy of the Nile. The water separated him from his family. It is ironic that the Pharaoh’s own daughter then rescues this baby boy, she drew him out of the water (Exodus 2:10) and that he is raised in the palace.
The other incident with water happens some time after, when Moses is grown up. He had fled Egypt because of the murder he had committed and was out in the desert. When Moses was in danger, GOD led him to a well where he rescued his future family. It was at the place of water that GOD put him back into a family.
Water had been a symbol of destruction. In the account of the flood, everything had been wiped out except for those that were safely inside the ark. GOD promised that He wouldn’t flood the world again, but the enemy still wanted water to bring death. This “new king” was attempting re-establish the curse of water over mankind. This “new king” does not have the power to curse something that GOD has declared good. GOD has redeemed water to bring safety and life.
I am reminded of the prophetic words of Joel speaking of the Spirit of GOD being poured out on all people – a very watery language.
28 ‘And afterwards,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29
GOD has ordained that He will pour out His Spirit on all people. I don’t think that pouring just involves a little drip of moisture, it speaks of drenching. As I have so helpfully discovered in the pages of the Bible, GOD is an extravagant GOD. Being immersed in GOD’s Spirit means being covered in the presence of GOD. Our frail and imperfect souls would not be able to withstand that holiness. Yet what would kill, now brings life! I am resolving that I’m not going to let the enemy tell me that being refreshed, washed, drenched and immersed in GOD’s presence won’t do me good. It is the place is safety and life. I’m also learning that what was once a place of harm, GOD can … and will redeem because He is always good.