(Image courtesy of http://www.bible.ca.)
God told Abraham in the book of Genesis, "I will bless you and make you a great nation.  The number of your descendants will be as numerous as the sand on the seashore, or the stars in the heavens."  This promise was given when Abraham was 100 years old and his wife was ninety - and they had zero children.  But God is always faithful in fulfilling His promises.  Fast forward past Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph and his brothers, and the promise is fulfilled.  During Israel's captivity in the land of Egypt around the time of Moses, God blessed Abraham's descendants so that they were in the millions.

The correlations between Israel's captivity in Egypt and the captivity of sin into which all mankind is born are remarkable.  Each story reveals the great power and glory and grace and love of the one true God.

No one chooses to be captive.  The millions of Hebrews did not choose to be born into captivity, working day after day for the Egyptians, building them monuments and pyramids and working their fields.  Neither had they a way out of their captivity.  They were stuck working, their wages never gaining them more freedom.  They thought there was no way out.

So it is with mankind.  We do not choose to be born into captivity, yet each one of us is born into sin.  As a result, we are captive to it, perhaps not realizing it.  No one who knows they are in captivity and a slave of something would willingly stay there.  Still, each one of us is born into the captivity of sin.  The father of lies - the devil - kills, steals, and destroys all who remain in such captivity, and he holds them there by lies.

The devil is a great liar.  He enticed the first man and the first woman into captivity of sin thousands of years ago.  He lied to Adam and Eve and told them something that was the opposite of what God had said.  "If you eat of this fruit of the tree, you will not surely die," the serpent (the devil) told Adam and Eve.  But God had charged them earlier with the command, "If you eat of it, you shall surely die."  Adam and Eve chose their own way over God's, being seduced by lies; thus, they were the first captives of sin - and we, their offspring, suffered the same captivity, just as the Hebrews born after their father's captivity also suffered the same.  Just like the Hebrews working in captivity could not gain their freedom by working in slavery, so neither can we today - who are born working in sin, receiving the wages of sin which is death - enjoy freedom from working in captivity.

But God is faithful.  He raised up Moses to bring His people from captivity into freedom.  God told Moses to tell Pharaoh the truth, that the Hebrews were God's people and they must be set free in order to worship Him.  Pharaoh would not listen, however, so God showed His power to save by sending upon the Egyptians ten great plagues.  Finally, by the power of God, the Hebrews were lead out of captivity into freedom, where they could worship the Lord their God, for He made them not for captivity but for blessing.

Similarly, God is faithful to us today.  What we, as captives, are powerless to do in ourselves, God has done for us by sending us a deliverer: Jesus.  Greater than Moses, Jesus calls all those who will to repent of their sins done in ignorance and to follow Him to eternal life - to freedom!  It is by the power of God - the same God who performed the ten great plagues in Egypt for His people - that we are set free today from our captivity unto sin.  Apart from Jesus, there is no freedom from sin.

In the years following Israel's freedom, God commanded them to remember the day of their freedom by celebrating the Passover.  My wife and I have celebrated the Jewish Passover Seder in recent years as well.  In the ritual of Passover, the story that is repeated and remembered throughout the entire Seder is the journey from Egypt's captivity to God's freedom in the Promised Land.  That is the focal point of the entire Jewish religion.

We, as Christians, celebrate the great grace and salvation of the same God of the Hebrews, who has brought us from death into life, from captivity to freedom.

May God guide you into a richer and deeper and fuller study of the ideas presented in this article, for this writing has certainly not delved deep enough into the loving kindness and power of our great God.  May He enlighten you to the riches and the joy and the freedom that is in Christ Jesus, by whom every man must be saved.  Amen.

"There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:9-13).