God the liberator
By Jason Fileta, Vice-President for Tearfund USA.
Of all the ways God could choose to identify himself to his people – as the creator or the giver of life – here He chooses to call Himself the ‘God who brought you out of Egypt’.
God liberating His people from slavery was so central to His identity, it became the name God’s people would continue to call Him by for thousands of years. In fact, we see this in Luke 4 when Jesus reads the scroll of Isaiah, declaring the year of the Lord’s favor and taking on this identity for himself by saying simply, ‘Today, this scripture has been fulfilled.’
For some, God as liberator has been spiritualized to the point of losing actual connection to liberation from the evil and sin in our world – including the collective sins of racism, inequality, violence and discrimination. Since racial injustice has entered the collective consciousness of the church, many of us who have experienced racism have watched with sadness as some Christians declare that God is unconcerned with these matters. In such moments, I find comfort in these verses from Leviticus and Luke because God is who He says He is. I am free to rest in Him, not in the debated ideas or constructs of Him. He is who he says He is – and when He reigns, racism will be no more.
God who rescued his people from slavery, we cry out to you today. When the world tells lies about you and your heart and your concern, help us rest in the truth of who you are. Surround us with brothers and sisters who remind us of who you are. Thank you for your love and liberation.