#5  (The “Great Escapes” Series)




TEXT:         Ex. 3:7-10; 12:31-51


INTRO:       The greatest tyranny on our planet is not communism.  It never was!  It isn't dictatorships, as horrible as many of them are!  The greatest enslavement of humans has not been in the political arena as much as it has been in the heart!  The greatest slavery man has known since the dawn of time is SIN!  This problem of slavery is still with us today.  It is so powerful that our entire human race is held without hopes of freedom, is there an escape from SIN? – YES!


Israel in Egypt symbolized man's enslavement by sin.  God had to make a way of escape because Israel could not free herself!  Pharaoh symbolized Satan; his godlike power was so great that no one, not even another nation could conquer Egypt!  After nearly 400 years of slavery Israel had just about given up hope of ever tasting freedom again ... UNTIL God came to her rescue and provided a way of escape!


PROP. SENT:    As powerful as sin is over the human race, God has provided a means of escape by His Son Jesus Christ!  This escape route is available to all who wish to escape from "EGYPT!"




A.   Slavery!    3:7-10

1.   There is nothing humorous about sin though TV likes to joke about it and those who preach against it!

a.   The truth about sin is that it brings misery to both those who practice it and those who are affected by it!

b.   Sin is the breaking of God's laws, laws designed to do good for all!

2.   Some people pat themselves on the back because they believe they are pretty good and don't sin much, they don't see themselves as being enslaved although they would admit to breaking a few commands once in a while.

3.   Some of the Israelites were a little better off than perhaps others -- yet none of them were completely free.  They belonged to EGYPT, and Pharaoh held absolute power over their lives!

a.   They were miserable!  The honest sinner admits the misery that sin brings over his/her life and those of their loved ones!

b.   Sin keeps God's intended best from coming to us.

4.   The first decades in Egypt were perhaps not too bad, but now nearly 400 years later the toll of bondage was showing it's hold and pain on the people!

a.   Sometimes bondage takes time to reveal itself and its true nature.

b.   This is why sometimes people don't see much wrong with sin at first!

c.   People who sin may be having a good time until people get hurt from their sins or they hurt themselves!

d.   People always convince themselves that they can help themselves without their need for God!


ILLUS:     Near Watsonville, California, there is a creek that has a strange name: “Salsipuedes Creek.”  Salsi Puedes is Spanish for "GET OUT OF IT, IF YOU CAN."   This creek is lined with quicksand and the story is that many years ago in the early days of the California surge a Mexican laborer fell into the quicksand.  As he struggled to try and free himself another worker came by and saw his unfruitful attempts, wanting to help him he began shouting instructions to no avail, finally he cried out to him "SALSI PUEDES!" ... good advice, but impossible for the man to follow!  Hence the name of the creek to this day!  This is the world's advice to the many that are drowning in sin, "GET OUT OF IT, IF YOU CAN" ... while watching one by one the impossibility of any man really escaping from sin.  Sin has made slaves out of us! – Source Unknown


5.   It is very difficult for any one to be rescued if they don't see their need to be!

a.   God was willing to come to their rescue because they finally were crying out in recognition that they were enslaved without hope through their own efforts to free themselves!

b.   For years they had enjoyed great prosperity in Egypt ... they had really grown numerically, they had felt safe, but now the reality of slavery had dawned on them!

c.   The consequences of slavery were making it noticeable now!

6.   They wanted to be free but couldn't do it by themselves!  They cried out to God for help!  (The right step toward true freedom!)


B.  Suffering    3:7-10

1.   God is not indifferent to man's suffering and pain.  Sometimes it seems like it goes on and on forever, but God is moved by our pain!

a.   Their suffering had been a useful tool to get Israel to reach out to God!

b.   God sometimes allows pain in our lives to draw us to Him, to keep our attention!

c.   Pain also reminds us of our true nature, that we are weak and need help!

2.   There is a time when God says “enough” to our suffering and pain, and in compassion He responds.

3.   The suffering of sinners from the consequences of sin should move the hearts of God's people to have compassion on them, to condemn sin but not sinners!


ILLUS:     William Booth could not sleep one evening where he lived in London, England.  He got up and walked down through the poor side of London in the dark.  There he saw what he never had seen before during the comfort of his home while he usually slept away the night.  As he walked he passed impoverished lives, some beaten and sickly, humans so rotted away from the ravages of poverty and life addicting problems that it boggled the mind!  Elderly, the sick, children were sleeping on curbsides.  When he returned home he told his wife, "I've been to Hell!"  From that experience came the dream of the SALVATION ARMY ... he was moved by compassion on those enslaved by the ravages of sin, their own and others! – Source Unknown


4.   God hates slavery!  The only reason someone can go to Hell is that God will NEVER make a slave out of anyone -- if they choose to reject His love and go their own way God will permit this, even though it breaks His heart and they choose to reject heaven!  It is not God that rejects us; it is the other way around!

a.   God's love frees us, from ourselves and from sin!

b.   Thus we can enjoy a real relationship of love by turning to Him!

c.   Otherwise we keep ourselves in slavery to sin!

5.   Israel was sick of slavery, it was a miserable way to live.

a.   All the glory of Egypt had lost its glitter!

b.   The prosperity no longer existed, it was gone!

c.   There was no security in bondage!

d.   The reality of being slaves was now obvious to all!  They wanted out!

e.   There was no future to slavery!


II.  FLEEING EGYPT!    Ex. 12:31-42


A.   Strength    12:31-36

1.   Israel lacked the strength to escape, God therefore sent the 10 plagues to let Pharaoh know that he had better release God’s people!

a.   What little strength Israel had was still too short of bringing a great escape!


ILLUS:      Sometimes people think that if they try hard enough they can overcome sin without God's help.  They might have some measure of success in the short run, like the man who set out to prove that flight was possible by human power.  On June 12, 1979 a young man made aviation history by flying a pedal-powered plane across the English Channel.  It took him 3 hours to fly the 22 miles; he rarely reached a height over 15 feet high ... and he landed absolutely exhausted from the flight!  While this was quite an achievement it will never replace powered flight!  We need a greater power to really take off! – Source Unknown


b.   Our human strength over sin leaves much to be desired, and those few times we have had some measure of success in our own power are not that worthy of bragging about!

2.   Israel was only too glad to get help from God in escaping from Egypt!

a.   It is interesting to note however that this help through the plagues did make their life more miserable in the short run while still in Egypt!

b.   Becoming a Christian may not always make your life here in "Egypt" smoother ... it might create some hostility from others who still reject God!

c.   When it does make matters more difficult just remember the future ... you're heading for the Promise Land, so don't despair in the present sufferings!

3.   With God's power at work on their behalf the Egyptians were only too happy to let them go!  In fact they insisted on it!

a.   They even paid Israel to leave Egypt ... gold, silver, food, etc.

b.   Israel actually plundered the Egyptians of their wealth ... back wages for their years of slavery!  They got the wealth they finally deserved from all the years of serving without pay ... and so will we one day!

4.   All the efforts at trying to save themselves without God had failed until they recognized 2 things:

a.   The source of their failure to help themselves … their sinful heart!

b.   The source of power to get free ... God's enablement!

c.   The failure to recognize the SOURCE can leave one still in bondage!


ILLUS:      Many years ago in a mental hospital an unusual test was designed to determine whether a patient was ready to leave and go back into the world, or whether they needed to remain captive in the unit.  They would bring a candidate for release into a room where a water faucet was left on so that the sink overflowed and was pouring onto the floor.  They would hand a mop and bucket to the patient and ask them to mop up the water.  IF, the patient had enough sense to first go to the source and shut the faucet off and then mop up the water they would release them.  But if they started mopping up water first, they kept them!  All their efforts were in vain if they could not first recognize the source of the problem before putting forth great effort to clean up the mess!  This is true with all "GOOD" programs in this world that try and solve the problems of crime, poverty, sickness, hatred ... they are doomed for failure or little good unless we deal with the source of the problem -- SIN!  Change the human heart (which only Christ can do!) and you have a chance to make these programs work!  Other­wise the mess will continue to pour out just as fast as you clean it up! – Source Unknown


B.   Salvation    12:37-42

1.   Israel was free once they recognized the source of their problem and the real source of their escape ... then God led them out!

2.   This escape by God's help got ISRAEL OUT OF EGYPT, although the next 40 years would require a long process of getting EGYPT OUT OF ISRAEL!

a.   Their initial salvation took them out of Egypt's bondage. (Justification)

b.   The next 40 years God would work with them to free them from the influence of Egypt in their heart.  (Sanctification)

c.   It was easier getting Israel out of Egypt than it was getting Egypt out of Israel!

d.   While our initial salvation experience is immediate and dramatic the process of salvation unfolds throughout our lifetime and takes a number of steps.

3.   The "great escape:"

a.   The initial escape was quite glorious ... crossing the Red Sea and leaving Egypt!

b.   The ongoing escape in the wilderness was difficult ... the journey to the Promise Land!

c.   This is still true when God helps us escape "Egypt!"

d.   It had been a long drawn out captivity, 430 years total ... but at least they were now free ... God's power brought about their escape and His power would keep them in the journey too!


III.  FREEDOM EXPRESSED      Ex. 12:43-51


A.   Separation      12:43-51

1.   The Passover became a model acted out of their salvation experience, the same way in which we celebrate communion!

a.   Therefore it was not to be celebrated by "outsiders" or "foreigners"... those who didn't participate in their faith in God!

b.   The Passover was only valid for those who EXPRESSED their faith through obedience to the commands of God earlier, those who were real followers of God!

c.   This "faith + works" is not a foreign concept in the Bible ... James links them.

d.   Real faith has works to show!

2.   It is important to realize however that non-Jews by birth were not rejected by God's love here ... ANYONE who participated in obedience to God's Word and who embraced God was free to celebrate the blessings of Passover!

3.   God states clearly here the importance of "SEPARATION."

a.   The word "HOLY" means this, “to separate.”

b.   Like Passover, communion is not a rite where you receive God's grace, it is a celebration of having already received God's grace!

c.   Even in 1 Cor. 11 Paul mentions that a man "should examine himself to see if he is in Christ" and says that some in Corinth were sick and had even died because they had eaten “in an unworthy manner” ... meaning without being saved or right with God!

4.   We are to be separate from the world, not physically, but certainly in every other way.  We are different!  Our actions and values should reflect it!

5.   When salvation is real so are the actions that flow from it!


ILLUS:      Luis Palau, a missionary evangelist was holding a crusade in Peru.  A terrorist woman by the name of Rosario decided to kill him during one of his crusades.  This woman had already killed 12 policemen; she was an expert in the martial arts.  She was greatly offended by the Gospel of Christ and these foreigners teaching about salvation.  During the crusade she sat in the stands contemplating the best way to kill Luis.  While trying to come up with a plan, she listened to the message of God's love and her need of confession of sin, suddenly she fell under conviction for her sins, broken she accepted Christ as her Lord!  It was 10 years later that the Evangelist Luis first met her in person, by this time she had not only turned her back on terrorism but she had assisted in planting 5 churches!  She was an active worker in her church and an avid witness for Christ in the community and she had founded an orphanage that housed over 1,000 children!  She had separated herself from her sinful life as a Christian, and her salvation was expressed in everything she did, it was real!  REAL SALVATION HAS REAL FRUIT IN EVIDENCE!  – Source Unknown


6.   Freedom is only real if it is expressed!


B.   Symbolism     12:43-51

1.   The point of making Passover a regular annual practice was to continually remind Israel through these symbolic rituals of the great realities of their salvation!

2.   Just doing "Christian" rituals however adds nothing to you spiritually!

3.   If you understand the meaning of those practices and you let the meaning minister to your heart it will however have great value!

4.   The escape from "Egypt" was real ... it still is today!  Have you tired of the bondage of "Egypt" (sin) and wish to escape its slavery?  There is a way out!


CONCLUSION:   Israel could not escape by her own strength!  This is a picture of the power of sin over us; we need God’s help to "escape from Egypt!"  God delights in saving those who will accept His offer, it is possible to be really free from the power and bondage of sin!  Are you still living in "Egypt" or are you heading toward the "Promise land?"