“And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed.” (Exodus 3:21)
When it came time for the Hebrews to leave Egypt, it would seem seem that the Egyptian people were much friendlier than the king – or more afraid. Whatever their motivation, the Bible says that they did not leave the country empty-handed but were “paid” for their services over the last several decades. More specifically, the Bible says they “plundered the Egyptians” (Exodus 3:22). Later, Moses would instruct Israel, that in regard to the release of a servant:
“When you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the LORD your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today.” (Deuteronomy 15:13-15)
There are things to consider here; first is, God’s people are not to be inclined to advance themselves on the backs of others. Our success shouldn’t be at the expense of those less fortunate. To the contrary, we should use our success to help others succeed as well, remembering that God used others to help us early on.
Secondly, we understand the plundering of Egypt to be prophetic in the sense that God will exact from the wicked just recompense for their theft and abuse where His people are concerned. As the Scripture says, “The wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22). It may seem as if the wicked thrive and succeed, often through unfair schemes and plans that exploit the weakness of others, but God is watching. Likewise, He is watching to see how we react to others and, most importantly, how we treat others. Regardless of what some might to do us, let us be a people who always do what is right in the eyes of our Father.
Blessings and Shalom,