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Out of Egypt Have I Called My Son

December 11, 2008

In contrast to the Galilee area of Israel which was lush, beautiful, and nourishing to the soul,
I found Egypt in the Cairo and pyramid area to be dry and dusty with cities of the dead, dead religion, and temples built to the no-gods. Spiritual darkness often forms the background for the light of truth as God commands His light to shine in the darkness and uses darkness to mark the contrast between the living and the dead, between truth and lie, between Christ and anti-Christ.

We were in a Coptic Egyptian church in Cairo. There's a map there that celebrates the Holy Family's sojourn in Egypt. After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, after the visit of the Magi, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to get up and flee into Egypt until further notice. So Joseph, Mary, and the young child Jesus departed into Egypt. "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Out of Egypt have I called my son." (Matthew 2.15 quoting Hosea 11.1)

Hosea prophesied to the Northern kingdom of Israel during a time of military prominence and economic prosperity under Jeroboam II. The people attributed this prosperity to Baal instead of Yahweh, mixing Baal worship with the worship of Yahweh. Hosea denounced this idolatry and warned of consequences for violating the Covenant.
He brings the indictment for sins of the nation, impending judgment that will result without repentance, and the promise of ultimate restoration upon return to Yahweh. In Hosea 11 God loves the nation like a father for his son. "When Israel was a youth I loved him. And out of Egypt I called My son." (Hosea 11.1) It was this love that caused God to call His son Israel out of Egyptian bondage, but that love was not reciprocated by Israel.

While we don't see a prediction of the Messiah in Hosea 11 we do see Matthew using this text to contrast Israel and Christ, triggering us to examine parallels between Moses and Christ and between Israel as God's son and Christ as God's Son.
Somehow Christ's flight into Egypt is connected to Israel's Exodus experience. In deliberate parallels Matthew shows that Christ succeeded in every area where Israel failed. Christ fulfilled what Israel was called to be.

1. The Scriptures refer to both Israel and Christ as God's son. (Ex. 4.22, 23; Mt. 2.15; 3.17; 4.3, 6,).
2. Both experienced persecution, Israel under Pharaoh and Christ with Herod's attempts to slay Him among the slaying of the children in Bethlehem.
3. Both persecutions involved the death of infant males. Only if the Hebrews followed God's provision under the Passover would their families be spared. (Ex 11, 12; Mt. 2.16)
4. Rachel weeps for her children (Jeremiah 31.15; Gen. 42.13) but God in His mercy promises "they shall come again from the land of the enemy and there is hope in thine end, says the LORD, that your children shall come again to their own border." (Jeremiah 31.16, 17) The Jeremiah prophecy is fulfilled with the slaying of the infants in Ramah, but Jesus is spared, and the hope of a new Exodus through Christ persists to comfort.
5. Both sought refuge in Egypt during a time of distress, Israel at the time of famine (Gen. 46) and Jesus in God's care of His family at the threat of destruction. (Mt. 2.14, 15)
6. Protection for Israel came through Joseph (Gen. 47ff). Jesus had the protection of his earthly father Joseph (Mt. 2). Both were protected ultimately by God. (Gen. 50.20; Mt. 2.13-23).
7. Both were called from Egypt as a child. (Hosea 11.1; Mt 2.15)
8. Returning from Egypt proved critical to both Israel as to its development (Hosea 11.3, 4) and to Christ (Mt. 2.21-23; Luke 2.52).
9. Obedience and fulfilling God's call figure in both; Israel proving to be the disobedient son and Christ proving to be God's obedient Son who fulfills all righteousness.
10. Both Israel and Christ were baptized (Ex 14; 1 Cor. 10.1, 2; Mt. 3.13ff). Israel disobeyed God shortly after (Ex 15.22-26); Christ pleased His Father (Mt. 3.17).
11. Both went into the wilderness to be tempted, 40 years (Exodus-Numbers) for Israel and 40 days (Mt. 4.1-11) for Christ. Israel failed the hunger and thirst test, the tempting God test, and the worship/service test. Christ did not, quoting Deuteronomy 8, the message Moses gave at the end of the 40-year sojourn in the wilderness.

Israel's calling was to be the true servant son of the living God (Is 42.1-7). Failing, God said He would raise up a new servant (Is 49.1-7) distinct from Israel who would restore Israel, the suffering Messiah (Is 52.13-53.12; cf. Mt. 12.17-21).
Christ is this Messiah, God's Son, called out of Egypt.

Christ's life also parallels that of Moses. As infants both were miraculously spared from plots to annihilate infant males. Moses led God's people out of Egypt, crossed the Red Sea (a baptism according to 1 Corinthians 10.1, 2), journeyed through the wilderness, and received the Law of God. Just as Moses led Israel in the original Exodus, Jesus leads His people through a New Exodus. Jesus is the Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.

Jesus completes the true purpose of both Moses and Israel. He fulfills Hosea 11.1 in that He completes, establishes, and finishes God's purposes for the Servant Son.

Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Word, the true Light. John 1.11, 12 says:

He came unto His own, and His own received Him not, but as many as
received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on His name.

Do you believe on His Name? Are you a son of God through faith in Jesus Christ? Then hear the call of the Father today: When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. God is calling His sons out of Egypt, out of slavery to sin, out of bondage, out of the worship of the no-gods, out of the world system, out of dead religion, out from among the dead, out of the graves in the cities of the dead, out of darkness, out of the dust of Egypt to shake even the dust off your feet and not bring anything of death with you. Come out of Egypt for Christ has disarmed principalities and powers and made a public spectacle of them through the Cross. Come out of Egypt and into your destiny in Christ, into life with the love of God shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit.

This Christmas season see the miracle of Jesus' birth. We were in Bethlehem. We saw the shepherds' fields. We were in Egypt, in the Galilee, at the Jordan, in Cana, in Capernaum, in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, in the Garden of Gethsemane, at Calvary, at the Garden Tomb. Jesus is more than little baby Jesus in the arms of His mother. He is more than a baby in a manger. He is God the Son sent by the Father to save. Rejoice and be exceeding glad! We hope you enjoy seeing some of the fruit of your giving to MCM. Our Barnabas distribution helped about a hundred families or more. Our mission to the Middle East brought us now to a total of 65 nations where God has sent MCM teams on strategic spiritual warfare missions. MCM is making a difference globally, and you become part of this work of God as you pray, give, and go with us.

Please give generously, gladly, graciously, and as the Holy Spirit guides you to enable us to minister in Christ's Name to the lost, to the hungry, to the thirsty, to the broken, to the displaced, to the forgotten, to the orphaned, and to the poor. Thank you!

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas season,

Mary Craig

P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests.

Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect in whom My Soul delights…
Thus says God the LORD, He that created the heavens and stretched them out;
He that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it;
He that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand,
And will keep you, and give you for a Covenant of the People, for a light of the Gentiles;
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison,
And of them that sit in darkness out of the prison house:
I am the LORD: that is My Name; and My glory will I not give to another,
Neither My praise to graven images.
Behold former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them….from Isaiah 42

Merry Christmas
&
A happy New Year!


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