“That We Might Have Hope” (Rom. 15:4)
Exodus Chapters One And Two
GOD’S LITTLE FLOCK IN THE WORLD
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
The Church in the world is the “little flock.” It has always been so. In the Old Testament it was not even all Israel who were God’s people, but always only “the remnant” of Israel, for “they are not all Israel that are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham” (Rom. 9:6-7). God’s children will always be a minority in this world because the devil is this world’s prince. Christ has defeated him, and his days are numbered; still, the vast majority of people in their blindness follow him to his doom.
Despised And Persecuted
The Church is not only a minority in the world. It is a despised and persecuted minority. This is the history of God’s people, recorded in the Bible. At the end of Genesis God’s people consisted of one extended family, the family of Jacob (Israel), only seventy in number. At the beginning of Exodus (three and a half centuries later) we read that “the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them” (Ex. 1:7).
But mighty as they had become, they were enslaved by the Egyptians who tried to reduce their numbers, first by subjecting them to hard labor, then by trying to kill every male child born to them. The children of Israel seemed doomed, as the more powerful Egyptians marked them for extinction.
But there was something about the children of Israel that the Egyptians did not reckon with. The children of Israel had prospered because the Lord had blessed them. The more the Egyptians afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew (Ex. 1:12). Every plan to reduce their numbers failed.
In fact, the most vicious of the plans of Pharaoh God used to raise up a deliverer for His people. Pharaoh commanded that every son born to the Hebrews should be thrown into the river. But when Moses was born his mother hid him. And when she could not longer hide him she put him in an ark of bulrushes and laid it among the reeds near the river bank where he was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, who then took him to the palace and raised him as her son. The education and training that he received in Pharaoh’s palace helped to prepare Moses for the role God had laid out for him: to lead His people from Egypt to the Promised Land.
Delivered By The Power Of God
When Moses reached adulthood in the royal palace, he was not yet ready to lead his people. He killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew and hid the body in the sand. Moses had to flee the country. Israel would not be delivered by the might of a man but by the power of God.
Moses dwelt in the land of Midian until the Lord called him to deliver His people. Years passed, and the people cried to God because of their bondage. It probably seemed to them as though He did not hear them. But He did hear, and He remembered His covenant of grace with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He went forward with His plan for the children of Israel to make of them a great nation and to place them in their own land, a plan that would culminate in the coming of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.
The experience of the children of Israel is that of the people of God in all ages, and it is that of the Church today. The Church remains God’s little flock, viewed by the world as alien, persecuted by the world, always appearing to be doomed to extinction. Yet it is preserved by God, saved from its own sins by God’s grace through the Deliverer He has sent.
We Christians today keenly feel the smallness of our numbers compared to the unbelieving world. We feel the world’s hostility. Yet God hears our prayers and remembers His covenant of grace with us. He says; “Fear not, little flock.” He preserves us in the faith in the midst of an ungodly world, and leads us safely to eternal life.
–Pastor John Klatt