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The Need for Redemption

Exodus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:04
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The Need for Redemption (1:8–22)
A. Political slavery (1:8–10)
B. Economic slavery (1:11–14)
C. Social slavery (1:15–22)
D. Spiritual slavery (1:8–2:25; 9:1)
The first half of the book focuses on Israel’s departure from Egypt:
the historical setting (1:1–2:25);
In Genesis 12:2–3 God made His covenant with Abraham, promising to make him into a great nation, that through this people all nations on earth might be blessed.
Exodus continues talking about God’s relationship with this people and this grand covenantal purpose.
One might reasonably ask, “Why were the Israelites in Egypt?” Consider two related reasons.
First, Joseph, Jacob’s son, was taken to Egypt because his jealous brothers sold him into slavery. He gained favor in the eyes of Pharaoh and ended up helping to save lives by stockpiling food. In the ensuing famine, all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain (Gen 41:57).
Second, during this famine, his family went to Egypt, and Joseph provided food for them (Gen 42). The family ended up resettling in the Nile Delta.
In verse 7 we see the Israelites following the command God had given in the garden to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28).
God had later told Jacob, “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will come from you, and kings will descend from you” (Gen 35:11). Eventually, the Israelites filled Egypt (Exod 1:7, 20).
In Exodus 12:37 we read that their number expanded to six hundred thousand men, plus women and children!
“Redemption” is one of the greatest themes in Scripture. Later, we will see the meaning of this term more fully (ga’al, Exod 6:6; 15:13). As the Redeemer, God came to Israel’s rescue, protected them, and restored them.
Main Idea:
Today title to the message is “The Need for Redemption”
In verses 8–22 we find four reasons Israel needed redemption.

Political Slavery (1:8–10)

In Egypt, the Israelites were immigrants. They came to Egypt as refugees. Things started out favorably, but as the text says, the new ruler in Egypt “had not known Joseph” (v. 8).
Exodus 1:8–10 NKJV
8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9 And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; 10 come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.”
Now the Israelites lived in fear because they were discriminated against. Pharaoh said, “Let us deal shrewdly with them” (v. 10).
As a result of discrimination, God’s people had no political freedom. Because of the rising Israelite population, they were perceived as a threat to Pharaoh, and this prompted his evil actions.
Pharaoh’s harsh treatment would soon come to an end, however, and God would eventually make Israel into a great nation.

Economic Slavery (1:11–14)

Pharaoh used Israel for slave labor. Notice the language:
“heavy burdens” (v. 11 ESV), “oppressed” (v. 12), “worked the Israelites ruthlessly” (v. 13), “bitter with difficult labor,” and “They ruthlessly imposed all this work on them” (v. 14).
These phrases describe their enslavement. The Egyptians used the Israelites for construction projects and for agricultural projects.
In comparison to the Nazi regime, we see that Pharaoh does not go as far as Hitler. Why? He knows that he needs them—but not all of them.
The injustice we read about here bears some resemblance to our day. People of power continue to abuse the weak for their own devilish reasons.
Some report upwards of thirty million slaves in the world today.
Tragically, human trafficking is now the second largest organized crime in the world.
Two of the main roots of this evil include sexual perversion and financial greed. Despite the existence of injustice like this, we believe that God remains a God of justice standing on the side of the oppressed.
God’s people should also aim to glorify Him by imitating His character.
The Scriptures describe God and His justice in many ways:
The mighty King loves justice.
Psalm 99:4 NKJV
4 The King’s strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Psalm 103:6 NKJV
6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.
Psalm 146:7–9 NKJV
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. 8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. 9 The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
Later, God instructed His people to act for others the same way He acted on their behalf:
Deuteronomy 10:18–19 NKJV
18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Isaiah 1:17 NKJV
17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

Social Slavery (1:15–22)

As the story goes on, we see how the Egyptians acted brutally and violently against the Israelites.
This began with Pharaoh’s evil decision in verses 15–16.
Exodus 1:15–16 NKJV
15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”
He initiated a state-sponsored genocide that demanded the killing of all the male Hebrew babies. This reminds us of the Deliverer who survived the ruthlessness of another dictator.
Just as Moses lived in spite of the genocide, so Jesus lived through the baby-killing leadership of Herod (Matt 2:16).
The pharaohs command is clear: kill the boys.
But why did Pharaoh do this?
It seems that he attempted to slow the growth of the Israelites and to make them fear him.
Now they lived in constant terror. Think about it. Nine months of dread. Remember, ultrasounds did not exist. On delivery day, the “It’s a boy” report devastated parents.
However, God would deliver them out of this eventually. The final, most devastating act of judgment that God would inflict on Egypt was the death of firstborn sons (Exod 4:23).
The Passover would forever remind God’s people of God’s redemption. And later, when Israel would become a new society, one of the things that they would emphasize was social justice and the sanctity of human life. Today happens to be Sanctity of Life Sunday.
After Pharaoh’s decision, look at the two midwives’ decision (1:17–22).
These two women heroically did not listen to the king. Instead, they “feared God” (vv. 17, 21).
While they did fear the king, they feared the King of kings even more!
Pharaoh realized what they had done and called them in for questioning: “Why have you done this?” (v. 18).
They told him the Hebrew women were “vigorous.” Essentially, the Hebrew women gave birth before the midwives could even say, “Push!” They just kept having babies in the most remarkable way.
Now, some argue that they lied, and God was not pleased with them. But did they lie? We do not have their entire statement recorded, but what we do have is factual: they said, “These women are vigorous.”
Even if they did not give complete testimony in Pharaoh’s court, I think this is an example of “We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29).
The text is honoring these women, who lived up to their names (Shiphrah—“beautiful one,” and Puah—“splendid one”).
Next observe God’s decision regarding the midwives. We read in Exodus 1:20, “God was good to the midwives.”
To what extent did God deal well with the midwives? He blessed them with families (v. 21).
We should remember that these women did something for us. Because they rescued the babies, we will be raised from the dead! How so?
If you do not have these women, you do not have Moses, the exodus, David, Mary, or Jesus. The women are so important that Moses even mentioned them by name, yet you do not see the name of Pharaoh anywhere in this text. (“Pharaoh” means “Great House,” just as “White House” personifies the US president.)
Pharaohs wanted their names remembered. They built pyramids to be remembered. Yet the only names remembered are those who feared God and protected life.
In hearing the midwives’ response, Pharaoh became infuriated. He demanded that all boys born to Hebrew women were to be thrown into the river. He likely chose the river for one reason,
You see the Nile was viewed as a god, so this shifted the blame. Egyptians viewed the Nile as a giver and taker of life; thus, they might have thought they were doing the will of the gods.

Spiritual Slavery (1:8–2:25; 9:1)

Pharaoh appears in archaeological records with the snake on his crown.
It makes us think of the promise in Genesis 3:15, where we read of the enmity between the triumphant seed of the woman over the opposing seed of the serpent.
Pharaoh lived out the serpent role by killing boys. Egypt was the enemy of God, and God must deliver Israel so that “they may worship [Him]” (Exod 9:1).
This story shows us a cosmic, spiritual battle, not just a battle between Moses and Pharaoh.
God’s goal, then, included more than simply getting His people out of Egypt. He wanted to get Egypt out of His people.
Luke underscored this truth in Acts 7:39
Acts 7:39 NKJV
39 whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt,
Stephen, in recounting the exodus and the events thereafter, said, “In their hearts [the Israelites] turned back to Egypt.”
Even after leaving Egypt, Israel faced the temptation of turning their backs on God.
In Exodus 4:22–23 we read of this spiritual purpose:
Exodus 4:22–23 NKJV
22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” ’ ”
God’s desire extended beyond liberating Israel from political, economic, and social slavery.
He desired worshipers. He wanted Israel (like Adam) to know and worship Him.
Further, He wanted to use Israel to make worshipers from all nations.
Therefore, God responded to all of the dimensions of Israel’s slavery. He did not just free them from social-economic-political oppression and let them worship any god. Neither did He just free them spiritually without changing their awful situation.
God continues to be concerned for physical freedom, and especially spiritual freedom.
Some of us have not experienced the enslavement of these first three forms (political, social, and economical); but everyone understands this last form (spiritual slavery).
We need spiritual deliverance. But some around the world, victims of human trafficking for example, are enslaved in all four ways. We must pray for their deliverance. Pray for those who are oppressed and afflicted. Pray for those who are spiritually captive by darkness and lostness.
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