Delivered from the Dominion of Darkness
Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Three things were true of Israel when God delivered them from their slavery in Egypt. This section of Scripture is not the Passover experience but the crossing the Red Sea. Pharaoh had let Israel go, but then changed his mind, again, to hunt them down and bring them back into slavery. Passover set them free from their bondage; the Red Sea separated them from the authority of Pharaoh on a permanent basis. The people of God experienced three things: 1. They experienced the great power of the Lord; 2. They feared the Lord; 3. They believed in the Lord, or in different terms their faith was deepened because they experienced His power in this redemptive deliverance.
When we are saved these elements are true for us too. Our faith response to the gospel is akin to Passover. Christ leads us out and He also delivers us from the dominion of darkness (Satan) by transferring us into the kingdom of God’s Son. This transference from one authority to another is very similar to the Red Sea experience – God permanently separated Israel from any present or future threat of Pharaoh “taking them back into slavery”. Galatians 5:1 speaks about the fact that it was for freedom that Christ set us free. Israel was set free from the oppressive authority that kept them in bondage for 430 years. While it had its moments of anxiety and fear for Israel (Ex. 14:10-14), they had to rely on God’s deliverance, not their own resources, and God provided a powerful and spectacular deliverance. In the same way God not only delivers us from the slavery of sin but also from the death sentence of sin. He separates us from Satan’s dominion even when he would like to rush out like Pharaoh and take us back into slavery.
NEW MODE OF EXISTENCE
This also affirms that Satan has no authority over our lives anymore. He will try and intimidate us, harass us, accuse us of all kinds of being disloyal and so on. He is the great accuser of the brethren and his greatest weapon of choice is fear. If fear prevails it is hard to act in faith. Satan is our personal enemy, but God eliminated that real and present danger when He eliminated Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea.
But that does not mean that once God took Israel out of Egypt things were easy. It was very difficult to take Egypt out of Israel. Their journey to their own land, the Promised Land, was plagued (sorry for the pun) with Israel getting frustrated with the process and desiring to go back to Egypt. They had spent over 400 years in slavery, but that is what was comfortable and intuitively natural for them. It was very hard to break old behaviors and values to adopt new ones that God wanted them to embrace. Learning new beliefs, adopting new values and priorities, willing to be intentional about new behaviors and habits would take time. God wanted them to reflect the character of their God and manifest that in their new life under His authority. They had been introduced into a new mode of existence, but it will take a lot of learning and breaking old ways of thinking and living to become comfortable and free to serve God instead of Pharaoh. The same is true for us. When a person is saved it is not just from the dominion of Satan, but a whole way of life that has dictated their behaviors and habits for their whole life. It always takes time to learn new ways of living.
The Christian life has many things to overcome but as we experience the power of God to deliver us, we will learn to fear Him and believe in Him as Israel did with God’s redemptive process with them.
In His grace, Pastor Brad Little