Having once been a place of salvation for the Israelites in a time of famine, Egypt had since become a place of oppression.
The new Pharoah was anxious to subjugate this growing number of incomers. Seeing in the Israelites a ready and expendable workforce, the Pharoah set them to work as slaves in building sites and fields, driven by relentless taskmasters.
Throughout seemingly endless days, the Israelites laboured under the hot sun. Driven, unfree, fearful and exhausted.
For us, the sources of our own Egypt may be internal rather than external. It could be our attitudes, our ways of seeing ourselves, or our anxieties that confine us.
- Where are you unfree?
- What drives you incessantly?
- What fears narrow down your existence?
- Who or what are your taskmasters?
Then the Lord God said.
‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt;
I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters.
Indeed, I know their sufferings,
and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians,
and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land,
a land flowing with milk and honey’. [Exodus 3.7-8]
Take in these words about the stance of God to our unfreedom…
- seeing our misery
- hearing our cry
- knowing our suffering
- coming down to deliver us from oppressors
- bringing us out to a good and broad land.
We don’t wholly understand the roots of our unfreedom, let alone how to find this good and broad land of our liberty. Yet God sees, hears and knows our struggles and desires to lead us to where we can flourish.
As Lent begins, open your heart and mind to God’s invitation to you – God’s hope for you. How might this journey with God begin?