“I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment” (Ex. 6:6).
Surely there is a final exile coming for those sinners who will not turn from their wickedness and rest upon Christ for salvation. This exile is the dreaded second death — the lake of fire — described in Revelation 20:11–15, and it is eternal. Yet since God is gracious and does not delight in the destruction of the wicked (Ezek. 33:11), He has provided ample warning to His fallen creation that this ultimate exile is coming. One of the ways He has done this is through the provision of many anticipations or types of the final exile to come. Chief among these is the expulsion of His people from the Promised Land in 722 and 586 BC for their flagrant covenant violations (2 Kings 17:7–23; 24:1–25:21), and, we should note, the exile of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:22–24). But there are other exiles mentioned in Scripture as well, including the time Israel spent in Egypt under the pharaohs “who did not know Joseph” (Ex. 1–2).
Unlike the final exile, from which no escape is possible, our Creator has made a way for fallen men and women to be rescued from these lesser exiles, a way that also guarantees that they will enjoy blessing in the new heaven and earth. This way of escape is simple, and it has been essentially the same throughout history. All that it takes to be saved from exile and restored to a full, blessed relationship with the Lord is to embrace Him as the great Deliverer. Casting off all attempts to rescue ourselves, we can be freed from the state into which we were born — traitors who refuse to bow to God as King and instead serve another as our sovereign.
This is the basic point of Exodus 6:1–8. In calling Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, the Lord promised to be the one who would rescue them from their burdens and deliver them into a new relationship with Himself. All the Israelites had to do was abandon their plans of self-rescue and instead wait for God to move His outstretched arm and judge the Egyptians (vv. 6–8).
Placing one’s destiny in the hands of Yahweh the Deliverer remains the only way to be rescued from exile. Only now we know more fully that it is Christ the Deliverer who finally fulfills God’s promise to free His people from eternal exilic bondage (Matt. 1:21).
Coram DeoLiving before the face of God
Even those who affirm justification by faith alone may act as if they need to do more than trust Christ to be declared righteous. Some think that they must trust Christ and go a certain number of days without sinning. Others believe salvation requires faith in Christ plus a certain number of hours of Bible study or evangelism. While these extra things are fruits of faith, they do not justify us. Faith alone in the great Deliverer redeems us from exile.