First: God preserves His people in the face of wickedness.
The conflict in Exodus is between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. The way God always works through history is to preserve his people in the face of wickedness. God defeats this kingdom of darkness by the triumph of the kingdom of His Son. God will send an even greater redeemer. The purpose of redemption is to usher in new creation.
Exodus is all about showing the glory and might of our God. He has no rival and no equals. The application is this: who alone can take on and defeat evil and wickedness? YHWH, the LORD. He does this through keeping His covenant. He does this in an unassuming manner.
God works today to preserve his people in the face of evil and wickedness. Jesus himself prays for you:
John 17:15-16 15 "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.It is an incredible comfort to know that God keeps us from the evil one.
Second: God preserves us by redeeming us from under wickedness.
i) Jesus’ fulfillment: God preserves Jesus—e.g. from Herod. Satan tries to destroy Jesus just like Pharaoh seeks to destroy Abraham’s seed.
Revelation 12:1-5 NAU Revelation 12:1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
ii) The church of God today: The church is persecuted and must overcome. The seven churches in Revelation are encouraged in the midst of persecution as they are shown rewards for those who “overcome”. “Overcome” is repeated 8 times in Revelation 2-3 and it is tied throughout the book to the victory of Christ on the cross and His triumph in His return.
ESV 1 John 2:13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.Believers are wandering in exile. We await our Exodus where we are taken to be with the Lord. Part of this entails overcoming evil in the world around us.
ESV 1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 5:4-5 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith. 5 Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Third: God preserves us despite our wickedness.
Our redemption does not come because of our goodness. Our redemption does not come because we can preserve ourselves from evil.
We do not overcome evil:
i) Fighting and taking up our sword.
ii) Exalting ourselves as champions of righteousness and goodness.
iii) Using the church to seek the political prestige of being a ‘prince’ or ‘judge’. (the people of God can be involved in these roles but these roles in a secular government are not the kingdom of God). All work is done to God’s glory but not all work ushers in the kingdom. I am not speaking against Christians serving in political office. I am speaking against the association of evangelical values with politics so that we are a voting block rather than a faith.
The temptation is to fight to preserve ourselves as rather than to trust that God alone preserves His people. This temptation can lead us to seek the triumph of God's kingdom through means other than those God has given.
We overcome evil by:
i) Standing firm in trust in Jesus. Seeing that He is the true overcomer and I just ‘come along for the ride.’
ii) By walking through continual faith and repentance. Humilty.
1 Peter 5:5-6 5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,iii) Proclaiming the Lordship of Christ. We are to announce good news.
James 4:6-10 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
iv) Bearing kingdom fruit of good deeds and love, which entails:
- Praying for our coming redemption and the persecuted saints
- Helping the sick, the poor, the orphan, the widow. Show compassion and mercy; meekness, gentleness.
- Being concerned with justice. Not just ‘political justice’ but with truth, fairness, equality.
- Enduring hardship.