Before the American Civil War, The Liberator was an influential weekly newspaper that campaigned for abolition. For 35 years, founder William Lloyd Garrison demanded the immediate emancipation of all American slaves. Though controversial, he stood his ground. As he wrote in the very first issue: “I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice.” The paper ceased publication at the end of 1865, its goal accomplished.
Moses was chosen by God to accomplish the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. On October 3rd, he looked like a somewhat pathetic choice, but with God on his side, the slaves’ freedom was won, and decisively so. Everything happened just as the Lord decreed: The firstborn of Egypt were struck down, but Israelites with the lamb’s blood on their doorposts were spared (vv. 29–30).
Egypt’s defeat was total and humiliating (vv. 31–32). Pharaoh who had said he would never see Moses again, on pain of death, was forced to summon him to the palace and set the Israelites free. He even requested that Moses bless him! The former slaves’ departure was rushed, just as God had said it would be (vv. 33–36). The Egyptians were somehow both afraid—please leave or we’ll all die—and “favorably disposed” toward the Israelites, showering them with gold, silver, and clothing: “So they plundered the Egyptians” (v. 36).
The Israelites numbered 600,000 men, or in total probably about two million people. “Many other people” left with them, perhaps other slaves or even some converted Egyptians (vv. 37–39). There was no doubt who had won the victory: “The Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt” (v. 42). Four hundred and thirty years of slavery came to a dramatic end!
>> Though they take some artistic license, movies such as The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt can help the life of Moses come alive for you and your family. Why not plan to watch one together?
Doubt comes easily and naturally to us, but when we contemplate the miraculous way You freed Israel from Egypt, we are awed by the power You have to fulfill Your promises with precision. We worship You, God of Power!