Then you will come, you and the leaders of Isra’el, before the king of Egypt; and you will tell him, ‘Yehoveh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert; so that we can sacrifice to Yehoveh our God.’-Exodus 3:18
So God gives Moses a list of the following points he is to communicate to the elders of Israel.
-the God of your fathers has appeared to me at the burning bush.
-His name is YEH-HO-VEH
-This YHVH is well aware of the suffering of His people
-The time has come for YHVH to free His people
-He is going to bring them into Canaan, a land “flowing with milk and honey”
And then we’re told that when Moses first confronts Pharaoh, he’s to hit him up with the following request:
“let us go three days’ journey into the desert;
so that we can sacrifice to Adonai our God”
Doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd?
Why not just demand a once and forever release?
Implied in this request is that the Israelites will just go on a little mini-vacation to get some R&R and then head right back into bondage.
What good does that serve?
Well, some will say it was just a negotiation ploy because God already knew Pharaoh wouldn’t comply.
When Pharaoh arrogantly refused, then God would use that unreasonable unfairness as more than enough justification to smite Egypt with the mighty plagues he had in store for Egypt.
While this makes sense, there’s another more important reason here.
I mentioned earlier that although the Israelites had been enslaved, for the most part they felt a sort of comforting oneness with Egypt that made it difficult for them to sever ties with this foreign land where they had been born and raised.
Think of a guy working at a prestigious corporate job he or she secretly hates.
He’s been there many years and wants to leave but has been “enslaved” by the money, perks, and approving nods he receives from society, friends, and family.
Well, the Israelites in Egypt were of similar mindset.
Sure they hated their slavery but they were also so attached to this admirable and sophisticated society they were part of, even if they were second-class citizens.
God had to slowly free them from not only the physical grip Egypt had on them, but the mental grip as well.
This process wasn’t going to take place overnight.
So God started by letting Moses know that Israel had to separate itself from Egypt.
God needed to have Israel all to Himself so that He could show them what proper worship is about.
There’s an awesome spiritual takeaway here.
True freedom can only be found in God!
Practically, that means true freedom equals obeying God’s commands.
This is what God has created you for and you will NEVER be happy doing anything else.
As King Solomon already discovered so long ago, you can have all the money in the world, all the sex in the world, indulge yourself in all the enticing entertainment the world has to offer, and you’re still going to come up empty.
True freedom can only be found in YHVH.