One cannot escape noticing constant references to Egypt in the Bible. It not only stands for the nation but also for some sinful attitudes. And it also stands for God’s redeeming power which was displayed in the nation of Egypt to deliver His people Israel out of it.
First of all Egypt reminds us of misplaced confidence. Through Joseph God had preserved the children of Israel and caused them to grow into a nation there. But God never wanted Egypt to be a permanent resting place for His people. Even then in later years we find the people of Israel turning to Egypt for help instead of seeking God’s help.
Therefore through Ezekiel God said: “Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help.” Remember, your confidence should be in God and not in man or some past provision of God.
Secondly, Egypt always can cause you to turn back. So God said: “You are not to go back that way again.” If you look at Israelite history as they got out of Egypt you can see that the pull of Egypt was still tugging at their hearts. At the encountering of the slightest difficulty the Israelites would think of returning to Egypt.
The Book of Nehemiah says that they even appointed a leader to take them back to Egypt to their slavery. Some of their statements during such crisis reveals their attitude: “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than die in the desert.” “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost–also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onion and garlic. But we have now lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
Thirdly, Egypt stands for sin and slavery. A Christian has to live in this world. He is not taken to heaven as soon as he is saved. But by God’s grace he is enabled to get Egypt out of his heart. Both Jacob’s and Joseph’s wish at the time of their death is an example of this attitude. Both of them wanted to be buried in the Promised land.
Though they were in Egypt their hearts were not influenced by it. On the other hand there are people who are influenced by Egypt in their Christian lives. Of them Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.”
Finally, Egypt is a reminder of God’s mighty power and deliverance! Remember, the king of Egypt did not allow God’s children to worship God. Then God displayed His awesome power in Egypt. He brought out His people by plundering the Egyptians.
More than that the deliverance came when they observed the Passover when the Passover Lamb was sacrificed and its blood put on the doorposts. The “exodus” (exit) from Egypt was through the blood of the Lamb. In this context remember Jesus’ statement, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Peter added that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers through the precious blood of Christ, the lamb without blemish or defect. So remember that your way out of Egypt, your exodus from sin and slavery to freedom is through the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore you cannot deliberately keep on sinning after God’s delivering you out of Egypt’s sinfulness and slavery to His freedom and fullness. That will be equivalent to trampling the Son of God under foot and treating as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant, so says the writer of the Book of Hebrews.
So the thought that should rule your minds when you think of Egypt is expressed by Paul when he wrote to the Galatians: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
God says in the Book of Leviticus: “I am the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.”