“And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” – Genesis 15:13-14
“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 12:40-41
“Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” – Psalm 143:7-8
It was the first day of school (a day no mother takes lightly). I pulled into the parking lot twenty minutes ahead of schedule, anxious to see how my new fourth-grader had fared. I craned my neck, watching as other kids climbed on buses and ran to their parents’ cars, and I imagined Joey struggling to stuff way too much stuff into his new backpack.
Then came the text, “Joey wants to know when you’ll be here to pick him up.” It was our sweet and wonderful church secretary. Puzzled, I replied, “I’m sitting in the parking lot…”
You would think that, in nine years of motherhood, I had built some sense of reliability in Joey’s mind, but he somehow still questions my ability to come through.
And then it hit me – I do that to God all the time. “Greta wants to know when you’re going to fix this.”
In Exodus 12, God’s timing and God’s deliverance come together in a spectacular way. And a timeless truth is stressed in the text. Though the day of deliverance was a surprise to the Children of Israel, it was a day that was settled and scheduled in heaven, long before the problem even existed. With that sovereignty in mind, let’s look at a few scriptural truths that might help us through our seasons of waiting:
- God’s Day is perfect timing. (Genesis 15:13-14, Exodus 12:40-41, 51, Galatians 3:17) The amazing truth is that God promised this deliverance to Abraham 430 years in advance. Isaac had not even been born yet, but God told Abraham that his descendants would be strangers in a strange land, who would be enslaved, and who would then be delivered by God, Himself. God even referenced the number of 400 years, and Exodus 12 confirms twice that deliverance came on the “selfsame” or exact, appointed day.
- God’s Day is about more than just you. (Genesis 12:1-3, Exodus 15:37-38, 41-42, Psalm 145:18, Galatians 3:6-14, I Timothy 2:3-4) We all want deliverance or blessing for ourselves, but we rarely understand that God is working on the behalf of those around us as well. Exodus 12 mentions “a mixed multitude” and restrictions are given later in the chapter regarding the passover observance and the “uncircumcised”. The Children of Israel left Egypt accompanied by Gentiles who had joined themselves to God’s people one way or another, and like us today, they benefited from God’s fulfilled promise to His chosen people.
- God’s Day requires readiness. (Exodus 12:34, 39, Matthew 26:41, I Corinthians 15:58, 16:13) The Children of Israel did not know the hour that they would have to leave, but they knew they had to be ready. There are multiple heavenly truths in the concept of “unleavened” bread, but in Exodus 12, the ability to move when God said, “Move,” was more important than waiting for better bread. We all need to build the kind of margin into our lives that makes us available for God’s divine appointments and God’s appointed deliverance.
- God’s Day will exceed your expectations. (Genesis 15:1-5, Exodus 3:8, 12:35-36, Deuteronomy 6:10-12, Joel 2:25-26, Ephesians 3:20-21) The Children of Israel didn’t just leave as freed slaves; they were “more than conquerors”. Loaded down with supplies provided by the eager Egyptians, as well as gifts of gold, silver, and clothing. They left with spoils like they had just won a war, because God came down and fought on their behalf.
I love Exodus 12:41, where the Host of Heaven, led by the Great I AM – the God Who came down to deliver His people – marches out of Egypt with the Children of Israel. Promise upon promise kept, all in response to faith and obedience (Genesis 15, Exodus 3, Hebrews 11:8-13).
Today may be the hardest, most hopeless day you’ve lived in a long time, but there is coming a day – a day of God’s choosing, a day of change that will glorify Him and serve His eternal purpose (Isaiah 43, 54, Ezekiel 36:25-32). I beg you to wait for it. I have no idea when it will be or what it will look like, but if you stay faithful to God, dear friend, He will be faithful to you.
And what a day, glorious day, that will be.
Keep waiting and praying. God is faithful. His deliverance may not be the deliverance you have ordered for yourself, but it will be the perfect, perfectly-timed deliverance that brings Him glory and accomplishes His will. Don’t miss it.