Exodus Three records the call of Moses to lead God’s people out of Egypt. 400 years have passed with the people of God waiting for the inheritance of the land promised to Abraham. In that land they would experience the blessing of God so that they might become a blessing to the nations. God has caused them to multiply in Egypt but allowed them to endure hardship that they might be grateful for deliverance and for the blessing of dwelling in the land. In Egypt they have witnessed firsthand the desperate plight of nations who do not know the true God.
God calls Moses to lead the rescue from Egypt. His leadership will flow out of his knowledge of God, i.e. that He is the ‘I AM’, He is Holy, and He is the God who makes and keeps covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Moses’ leadership in rescuing God’s people from Egypt prefigures Jesus, who is greater than Moses because He is the ‘I AM’, He is Holy, and He is the God who makes and keeps covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jesus redeems not from the bondage of Egypt but from the slavery of sin and Satan and brings us into union with himself, where we find the rest and blessing typified in the ancient land of promise. As we experience rest and blessing in Him we fulfill our calling of being a blessing to the nations.
Paradoxically, the New Testament calls the church to remain physically in Egypt like environments because spiritually they have been delivered to a place of rest and blessing in Christ. The ancient people of God were delivered from among the nations into a land of blessing from which they were to mediate blessing to the world. The new people of God in Christ dwell among the nations finding their place of blessing in Christ and in and through Him, they mediate blessing to the nations.
Often believers have an escapist mentality causing them to seek safer and more restful surroundings, where they believe they can prosper as the people of God. Prospering often means, sprawling campuses, even hot tubs and saunas, Christian schools, Christian ball teams and the Christian duplication of most anything that will avoid contact with Egypt like nations. Soon the thick walls of the Christian bubble become nearly impenetrable. Egypt and the nations are only viewed through the shatterproof glass. Within that protective bubble the remedies for the maladies of the outside world are concocted, even though they’ve never walked the streets of Egypt or tasted a falafel.
Contrariwise, the gospel calls urban believers to create new communities in the midst of the nations, risking a blurry line between assimilation and separation, rather than trading mission for isolation.