Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord: Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me.” (Exodus 4:22-23)
In this verse we see the heart of the issue in regard to Pharaoh’s control over the Hebrews -– the Adversary was holding God’s son captive and the time had come for him to be redeemed. Looking at it from a different perspective, let’s consider Egypt as being the womb, and Pharaoh was the one who desired to see the baby (Israel) aborted. God’s intention was to see His son delivered thus Hosea said,“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” (Hosea 11:1)
Later, when Moses led them out of Egypt, God told them to pass through a gorge that eventually opened up at the edge of the sea. So, just as a new born baby must first descend into the birth canal, God caused 2-3 million people to pass through a very narrow path while Pharaoh pursued them from behind. When it seemed they would be overtaken, God caused an east wind to split the waters of the sea allowing them to cross over on dry land. In a sense, the water broke and God’s son emerged from the midst of the sea, never again to be enslaved to Pharaoh.
All of this, coupled with the prophecy in Hosea, was intended to point us to the Messiah who, as an infant, stayed briefly in Egypt. In Matthew’s Gospel it is recorded:
And he (Joseph) rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Matthew 2:14-15)
As for us, the pattern within this story is also a prophecy. First of all, each of us had to be delivered from our bondage; we all had to be born again that we might be regarded as the sons and daughters of God. Moreover, we understand from the prophets that, one day, God will once again gather His people and bring them into the land given to Abraham and his seed to live in a kingdom governed by Messiah. In that day, however, His people will emerge from every nation on earth — not just Egypt. And so it is written:
Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, “Give them up!” And to the south, “Do not keep them back!” Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:5-6)
Blessings and Shalom,