I want to read out of Deuteronomy just one verse. “And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee.” Let me put the right word in there. “And thou shall remember that thou wast a slave in the land Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee.” I use that as a point of departure.

 

Pastor Melissa Scott tells us that sometimes we can read the Bible, and we so tune out on the reality of life. Of course that passage goes on to talk about that one in servitude, willing servant, to nail the ear with an awl to the door. But the frame of reference was the recognition, God’s people, what you were. I quote out of Deuteronomy. It’s very easy to read the Bible and say this picture of servitude, this picture of slavery; what was it? All you have to do is journey back into the closing chapters of the Book of Genesis. Jacob and family pushing towards the land of Egypt on behalf or because of Joseph and his favor, and they prospered in that land. Thirty years passes. And then you read in the opening verses of Exodus, “There rose up a king who knew not Joseph.” Thirty years period elapsed that enmity and hatred that begin to rise, the people numbered. It was overwhelming.

 

This new king would bring the people into bondage. It says three or four generations if you read the record given to Abraham in the Book of Genesis. The fifteenth chapter it says, “And the fourth generation.” The promise was to tell Abraham the people would go in but they’ll come back more prosperous, fourth generation. We know the picture of those that served in Egypt. Some that went into bondage went in knowing what freedom was, that we’ll call the first generation of those in bondage. They went in knowing what freedom tasted like. But those that were born in Egypt, second, third and fourth generation, that’s all they knew. They were born into that life, a life of servitude. Some served in the palatial environments that would never lend someone to say, “What could be better? If you’re here and you live in this, serving in this palatial environment, then, my goodness, it’s much better to be here than to be outside. How rough it is out there.” Contrary to those that worked under the tough taskmaster and the whip to produce and to work and the penalty of not doing it. You either preformed or they killed you.