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Exodus: Plucking up the Carpet

Words of Faith Final

Exodus: Plucking up the Carpet
Words of Faith 9-6-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Today we will begin a study in the book of Exodus. Exodus is the second of the first five books of the Old Testament, which are referred to collectively as either "Torah" or "Pentateuch." The English title "Exodus" means "a going out" or "departure." The major event of the first half of the book is the Lord bringing Israel out of Egypt. Moses is the author of Exodus, and it picks up the narrative of Genesis by focusing on the time when the sons of Jacob (1:1-6) have grown into the people of Israel (1:8).
The Book of Exodus divides into two sections. The first section (chaps. 1-18) deals with the plight and deliverance of Jacob's descendants from the oppressive policies of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II; the second section (chaps. 19-40) deals with the worship of the redeemed nation. The first delineates God's mighty deliverance; the second, their preparation for quiet, obedient submission in worship.
We will see many powerful themes that relate to our experience as believers. We will see that God has reached out to us to set us free from the bondage of sin and death, He has given us identity as the people of God, and He takes us into a land of Promise.
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Exodus 1
These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: [2] Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; [3] Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; [4] Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. [5] The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.
[6] Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, [7] but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them.
[8] Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. [9] "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. [10] Come, we must deal shrewdly with them, or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country."
[11] So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. [12] But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites [13] and worked them ruthlessly. [14] They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.

The story of the Exodus begins with a description of increasing discomfort. At the end of Genesis, the people of Israel settled in the land of Goshen in Egypt. "Goshen" means "drawing near." It was a place for the family of God to draw near to one another.
Here the people multiplied and prospered for generations, but after a time, the close relationship between Joseph and the house of the Pharaoh was forgotten. The sheer number of Israelites living in Egypt became a threat to the king. Many scholars estimate that this "nation within a nation" had grown to about 2 million! So the king began to oppress the people of Israel with hard labor.
Some surely cried out, wondering how God could allow such a thing. Oppression and forced labor are terrible things! Had God abandoned the people? Had God forgotten his plan? Certainly not; in fact, just the opposite was true. God was getting ready for a magnificent redemption and a new beginning. He was preparing the people to return to the land of Promise.
So why not just tell the people it was time to go? The problem was that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had grown very comfortable in the land of Goshen in Egypt. They probably did not have a close sense of trusting the Lord. That would have been reformed in them. Many had long forgotten the idea of living as a nation following after God and sharing the light of God. So how do you get a nation of people to move out of a comfortable nest and fly on their own?
There is an excellent illustration in nature. It has been long observed in the wild that as a mother eagle creates an enormous nest for her babies, she first starts with thorns, briars, broken branches, and sharp rocks. This seems strange, but she then layers the nest with grass, and leaves, soft feathers and fur from animals she has killed. Into this soft nest she lays her eggs. After the baby birds hatch and grow to flying age, they are often reluctant to move out of the comfort of the nest. The mother eagle begins pulling up the soft carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp thorns, brambles, and rocks to the surface. The nest becomes more uncomfortable as more of the bedding gets plucked up. Eventually, the growing eaglets leave the nest and learn to fly.
It seems that the Lord was pulling away some of the soft carpeting in the nest of Goshen so that the people of Israel would be motivated to fly.
The great truth here is that God is at work in all things. The discomforts of life that come our way are often allowed by the Lord to get our attention or move us in a new direction. The soft carpet is plucked up so we will venture out in faith, learning to trust in Him. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
Has God allowed discomfort to come your way? Has some of the comfort been plucked up from your life? Is there an uneasiness that has developed? For the Israelites, following God would mean a geographical change. For us, the change may be more in the spiritual geography of our life than the physical. As we begin this new study of Exodus, it is a great time to listen for the ways that the Lord may be prompting us to move out of a comfortable place and learn to fly in new ways.

Dear Lord, Show me Your plan and Your path for me. Prompt me to move out of the comfortable place where You have caused me to grow. Move me into the Promise that You have for the future. Move me into the deeper places of trust in You. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.