Title: Ruth 4:14-15. Kinsman Redeemer, part 20.
The great redemptive act of the Old Testament occurs when God redeems Israel from Egypt. He was qualified, willing, and able.
Freeing His people Israel from their taskmasters and affliction is a type of the redemption through the cross of Christ.
EXO 3:1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
EXO 3:2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
EXO 3:3 So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."
The thorn-bush in contrast with the more noble and lofty trees represented the people of Israel in their humiliation, as a people despised by the world.
The burning thorn-bush represented the people of Israel as they were burning in the fire of affliction, the iron furnace of Egypt.
DEU 4:20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.
Yet, though the thorn-bush was burning in the fire, it was not consumed; for in the flame was Jehovah, who chastens His people, but does not give them over unto death.
PSA 118:17 I shall not die, but live,
And tell of the works of the Lord.
PSA 118:18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had come down to deliver His people out of the hand of the Egyptians. Although the affliction of Israel in Egypt proceeded from Pharaoh, yet was it also a fire which the Lord had kindled to purify His people and prepare it for its calling.
In the flame of the burning bush the Lord manifested Himself as the "jealous God, who visits the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate Him, and shows mercy unto thousands of them that love Him and keep His commandments" (EXO 20:5; DEU 5:9-10), who cannot tolerate the worship of another god, and whose anger burns against idolaters, to destroy them (DEU 6:15).
EXO 3:3 So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."
EXO 3:4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."
EXO 3:5 Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."
EXO 3:6 He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
EXO 3:7 And the Lord said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
EXO 3:8 So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
EXO 3:9 And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
EXO 3:10 Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."
God called forth Israel in love. God called you and I in love, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
DEU 7:6 "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
DEU 7:7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,
DEU 7:8 but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Were they really all that holy? Not so much, but we know the word holy to mean “called out” or “set aside”. Israel was called to God, set aside for Him, and with their redemption and blessing, it was a no brainer that they should follow the Lord’s way and believe in His ultimate redemption of their souls which would come through God alone.
You and I are individuals. We are the ultimate “fewest of all peoples.” God loved us and gave Himself for us. It is also a no brainer for us that we should follow the Lord, walk with Him in His ways.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
“Just as” is the key here. He has redeemed us from all things sinful, evil, and encompassed by death. He loved us and revealed that love and poured it into our hearts through the Holy Spirit when we believed upon Him.
God’s love for Israel didn’t stop when they were released from Egypt. It continued in the wilderness through water, manna, victory over armies they had no business even fighting, and ultimately, the wonderful land flowing with milk and honey, analogous to the life that Christ brought from heaven to earth and gave to us. He is the bread of life and the living water and the good soil that have all come from heaven as light to the world.
DEU 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
DEU 7:10 but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face.
DEU 7:11 Therefore, you shall keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which I am commanding you today, to do them.
There really should be no wrath or destruction from God. We must make clear here that destruction upon others in judgment must only come from God and never from men. It shouldn’t be needed because all people should believe and accept the authority of the Lord, their Creator. However, because men reject Him, their destruction is necessary. Should rebellion against our righteous God of love continue forever?
The redemption of Israel from Egypt was wrought by God, through a person (Moses), by blood (doorposts; EXO 12:13), and through supernatural power.
We noted that Moses did not want to go and the anger of the Lord burned against him. In grace God gave Moses a companion to help ease his fear, his brother Aaron.
Together they travelled through the desert to Egypt in the typical fashion with camels and provisions, taking several days.
When they arrived, they went to the settlements of the Jews and Aaron spoke the message from the Lord and Moses performed the signs that God had given him to do.
In the same way, Jesus spoke to Israel and performed many signs that far outdid the signs that God gave to Moses.
Staff becomes a serpent that is grabbed by the tail - Satan defeated.
Leprous hand is healed - cleansing of the flesh.
Water from Nile turned to blood - Jesus would die for the world.
The Jews accepted the message and the signs, and they bowed down and worshipped the Lord, revelling in the fact that God had not forgotten them. They would be set free.
So often in the plan of God, things seem to go more wrong before they go right. It is a test of faith. Will you continue to trust when sight seems to indicate that the way of the Lord will not prosper?
Not only is it a test of faith, it is also a lesson. God is faithful to His promises notwithstanding the sin and evil that may surround us. How else would we learn that? If everything went wonderfully, comfortably, and easily, would we know that God’s word is true in good times and in bad? Would we conclude that God’s promises stand firm regardless of the amount of opposition is against them?
At first glance we would say that Pharaoh was winning this fight. 1-0 Pharaoh, but Pharaoh will not score at all. His seeming victory at the first is hollow. By further oppressing Israel all he is doing is deeply entrenching in them the evil of Egypt and slavery. God wins at the front and at the end; at the alpha and the omega.
PSA 77:1 For the choir director; according to Jeduthun.
A Psalm of Asaph.
My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud;My voice rises to God, and He will hear me.
PSA 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness;My soul refused to be comforted.
PSA 77:3 When I remember God, then I am disturbed;When I sigh, then my spirit grows faint.Selah.
He is disturbed because he thinks the Lord has forgotten him and the people. His trouble had become burdensome enough that the thought entered his mind that God had forgotten to be gracious and compassionate. “Will God not deliver in grace? I have failed and maybe some of my trouble is the result of that, but when I seek Him, will He forget His promise of compassion?”
PSA 77:4 Thou hast held my eyelids open;I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
PSA 77:5 I have considered the days of old,The years of long ago.
PSA 77:6 I will remember my song in the night;I will meditate with my heart;And my spirit ponders.
PSA 77:7 Will the Lord reject forever?And will He never be favorable again?
PSA 77:8 Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?Has His promise come to an end forever?
PSA 77:9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?Selah.
Is there ever a time when my sin has become too great and too frequent for the Lord to show me compassion if I seek His face? We don’t have to answer that question.
After this pause, this man, on his own with his memory of the works of God, experiences a breaking forth through the thick clouds of his misery, a remarkable comfort. His grief is all of sudden turned to joy by faith in God’s character.
PSA 77:10 Then I said, "It is my grief,That the right hand of the Most High has changed."
PSA 77:11 I shall remember the deeds of the Lord;Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.
PSA 77:12 I will meditate on all Thy work,And muse on Thy deeds.
PSA 77:13 Thy way, O God, is holy;What god is great like our God?
PSA 77:14 Thou art the God who workest wonders;Thou hast made known Thy strength among the peoples.
PSA 77:15 Thou hast by Thy power redeemed Thy people,The sons of Jacob and Joseph.Selah.
PSA 77:16 The waters saw Thee, O God;The waters saw Thee, they were in anguish;The deeps also trembled.
PSA 77:17 The clouds poured out water;The skies gave forth a sound;Thy arrows [lightning] flashed here and there.
PSA 77:18 The sound of Thy thunder was in the whirlwind;The lightnings lit up the world;The earth trembled and shook.
All the powers of nature became His servants, as they were for Jesus on the Sea of Galilee.
PSA 77:19 Thy way was in the sea,And Thy paths in the mighty waters,And Thy footprints may not be known.
PSA 77:20 Thou didst lead Thy people like a flock,By the hand of Moses and Aaron.