For years I had heard the story of Egyptian bondage. For years I had searched the Old Testament for reasons this happened. I looked for a reason. The closest thing I could come up with was Abraham’s improper offering of a sacrifice in Genesis 15. I was missing the point as have most others who have read these stories. God was telling Abraham HOW He was going to accomplish the bringing in of the Christ-child. Abraham had grown a little concerned that his “heir” was not going to be. So, like the rest of the world, Abraham tried to help God out a little. “Behold to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is my heir. And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, ‘This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine won bowels shall be thine heir.” Genesis 15:4 Once we know what is being discussed, we can get in on the discussion! Abraham believed but God was going to show him how He would accomplish the promise.
Why did the house of Israel go into Egyptian bondage? Most people do not know, yet they tell the story over and over, again. Again, God deals in types to explain the anti-type (the physical to explain the spiritual). It seemed unduly unfair for the house of Israel to go into punishment as this. We have felt sorry for them for years, yet, we have never known the plan of God. “A picture is worth a thousand words”, they tell us and a story, allegory, parable is even better!! Do not ever begin to think Jesus only used parables in His earthly ministry, He used them throughout the Old Testament, we just have not seen them as such. A parable, they tell us is “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning”, true, so what is the story meant to be told by the 440 years of Egyptian bondage of the Jewish people?? To understand the parable/story/allegory intended, we have to again go BACK to the text and see the story line. God was telling Abraham HOW He would accomplish His purpose, an heir was coming through Abraham’s wife (even though she would be impregnated for 40 more years) and NO substitute would be acceptable!
The story of Egyptians bondage is no different that the truth of our bondage in sin before we were led out of this bondage by the servant of God, Jesus Christ. Our plight is/was no worse for us than it was for them. Like them, we are in a strange land, “this world is not our home IF we are children of God.” Being enslaved to sin is no worse than being enslaved to some Egyptian Lord; most of us just do not see it that way.
Moses came, born in the death threat of male children under 2 years old, as did our Lord. When prepared by God, Moses returned to lead his people, they rejected him. He worked miracles (called plagues) to prove his calling. So did our Lord. John 14:11, 15:24 Moses led them across the Red Sea, Christ leads us into His blood in the watery grave of baptism. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, Mark 16:16 Moses was the great law-giver, Christ the greater. As Moses led the children of Israel 40 years in the desert preparing them for entrance into the promised land so Christ sent the Holy Spirit and worked with the Church of Christ 40 years before they were free from Judaism and “go into all the world”. Moses required ALL those who were apart of his covenant to be circumcised, Christ requires ALL of us who are apart of His covenant to be spiritually circumcised as we are baptized into Christ. Colossians 2:11-13 As those who crossed the Red Sea were released from their Egyptian bondage so all who are baptized into Christ are forgiven of their past sin. This is not coincidental; this was given so God could explain HOW He was to accomplish the salvation by the heir of Abraham. Galatians 3:13-16 Don’t feel sorry for the Jew; feel sorry for yourself IF YOU HAVE NOT OBEYED THE GOSPEL!!