What If We Are the Pharaohs In Our Own Story? Blogging Through Our Sermon Series

A couple weeks ago, the pastor from our satellite campus preached on Exodus in a sermon entitled “Free at Last!” You can listen to it here.   Pastor Tom offered, “Imagine waking up and remembering the promises of God in the midst of 400 years of slavery”. The short answer (and I don’t be sound smug) would be – that would be extremely tough.

I tend to see things in lifetimes and 400 years seems too long for God to “fulfill a promise.”  This seems quite natural for many of us to agree with given our  instinctive reactions.   On a larger spiritual scale, 400 years takes on a different look. On my best days, I imagine waking up to that promise would stretch my faith. I may even one day dare to leave my oppressor along with the rest of my 2 million people. That sounds crazy doesn’t it?  As Tom continued to remind us, “Every one loves a good liberation story.”

I know I am prone to exaggeration and dramatization, but if I’m being honest, I cannot intelligently identify myself with the type of slavery that the Israelites faced in Egypt, the slavery of Africa or today’s modern day slavery (in the forms of injustices like human trafficking, forced prostitution, forced manual labor, etc.).  Most of us can’t and I think we need to be sensitive here.

At the same time, there are other forms of slavery like in in the forms of bondage, drugs, alcohol, various sex-addictions to name a few. We probably know too many terrible stories and may the Lord give mercy for the stories that are near us (and of course to all who struggle).

As I was listening to the message, my mind was curious about what we as a Church have been in bondage to for the last say 400 years. What do we need collectively need to seek deliverance from? My friends and I talk a lot about the “consumer church”, suburban materialism, entitlement issues and so on but I’m afraid that while those are deep issues, the central problem is deeper still.

It seems we hold our souls in bondage to ourselves instead of truly giving our lives to God. And we do it collectively. We as Christians do that as a Church.

I’ll admit that sounds intense – what we’re holding ourselves prisoners?

Yes I think so.

The mental picture is even more disturbing. We’ve locked ourselves in some type of a cell. But instead of it being dark, and gloomy with terrible sanitation, we’ve personalized and accessorized and customized it. We have our favorite pictures on the wall, our favorite show on the LCD, our favorite music playing. – we’ve done everything to make sure it doesn’t look like a prison cell but that doesn’t stop us from looking out the window wishing for something better – something that better defined “freedom”.

Another angle to see this is we usually identify with Moses or the enslaved Israelite but I think it would be wise of us to envision us as the Pharaoh. He is the one who has hardened his heart, he is the one that cannot let go. Even as God is revealing His glory to him, he is fighting for control.

When I started to see Christianity as something that was life-giving rather than a philosophy of life, my idea of freedom matured.  Among the needs and answers for the Church today, I’d like to submit that if we can free ourselves from our own slavery, release ourselves to the open promised land that God has invited us to and live in obedience to that vision – the Church would be different, the world would be different, we would be different and it would be good different.

There were approximately 2 million Israelites that escaped Egypt in the Exodus. There are approximately 2 billion people globally that identify themselves as Christians – we should really make a break for it.


  1. Hey, that was the thesis of my book…sort of. ;-P

  2. 1. I’m always honored that you stop by here.
    2. I knew what I was saying was brilliant – thanks for letting me plagiarize.
    3. Discovering the God Imagination is the best book that I never reviewed here (a sudden attack of some perfectionist nature got the best of me).

    Hope all is well – catch you soon.

  3. Man, I wish I had preached this sermon! Nicely put, Tim!!

  4. Soo challenging! “Fighting for control” Well said!

    Thanks for sharing!

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