An ethic of redemption (Travelling Through God’s Word, Exodus, Part Five)


“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in Egypt.”

Before we give an answer to the question, “What are we to do?”, we must listen to God’s answer to the question, “What has the Lord done for us?” For Israel, there had been slavery. Now, they are free. They had been set free by the Lord. Slavery – they were never to forget what it was like. They were to remember what they had been set free from. They were to remember what the Lord had done for them.

“You shall not follow a multitude to do evil.”

We have been brought out of slavery and into freedom. We are to live as changed men and women. What is it that changes us? It’s redeeming grace. God’s grace doesn’t comes to us because we have proved ourselves worthy of being saved by the Lord. God looks at us. He sees that we are sinners, but he does not turn away from us. He turns towards us. He looks upon us in love, and he changes us by the power of his love. He doesn’t leave us the way he found us. He makes us new men and women. He raises us above the world’s way of living. This is not something that should make us proud of ourselves. It is not our own achievement. It is the work of the Lord, continuing in us. He begins by forgiving our sins. This is what he has done for us. He continues to work in us. The Lord creates in us a love for him which is stronger than our love for the world.

“Little by little I will drive out the Canaanites… .”

God’s wonderful redemption is our ‘promised land.’ We are being led towards this ‘promised land’, but we are not there yet. Our love for the Lord is not always as strong as it should be. Often, we are weak, and we are drawn back to the ways of the world. God sees what we are like, but he does not give up on us. He keeps on loving us. Our progress is “little by little.” We should not be disheartened by our lack of progress. We should be encouraged by God’s continuing love. Throughout our life of faith, it’s the grace of God that keeps us going on with the Lord.

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