So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
- Matthew 2:14-15
“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.
- Hosea 11:1
“Neither Egypt of old, nor Babylon, nor Rome can destroy the royal seed. Out of all dangers the church must emerge the better for her affliction. ‘Out of Egypt I called my Son,’ is a text worthy to be made a proverb, for it is true throughout the history of the chosen seed. They are called out from among the surrounding race of rebels, and when the call comes, none can hold them back. It is easier to restrain the sun from rising than to hold the redeemed of the Lord in perpetual servitude. Who shall block up their road? God is still calling them out, and until the last of his elect are gathered in, it will still stand true: ‘out of Egypt’ and out of anywhere else that is like Egypt, out of the worst and vilest places, out of the places where they are held fast in bitter bondage, out of these ‘I called my Son.’”
- Charles H. Spurgeon, from his sermon notes
“Out of Egypt I called my son.” And indeed, Joseph went to Egypt and in a dream an angel told Joseph that it was safe to return to Israel. God called out his Son. Herod was dead, but due to Herod’s son being in power, Joseph went to Nazareth, far enough away to raise his son (God’s Son) in anonymity.
Hosea’s mention of a son being called out of Egypt could have been dismissed as an old reference to God providing the Exodus of the people of Israel from their slavery in Egypt. But Hosea did not write “sons.” This is not history, but prophecy.
And Egypt was a place of refuge. Jacob (Israel) and his family moved to Egypt in the great famine, Genesis 46, but before him, Abraham had gone to Egypt for refuge due to a famine, Genesis 12. Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon and in defeat took refuge in Egypt (1 Kings 11:40), only returning after Solomon’s death and the tragic missteps of Rehoboam. Jeremiah told the governor, Johanan, to stay in Jerusalem, but Johanan retreated to Egypt for refuge, taking Jeremiah and Baruch with him (Jeremiah 43:4-7).
Many went to Egypt, never to return.
Have you escaped to a place of refuge? With the hustle, bustle, and noise of the holidays, would you not like to do so? Yet, God usually calls us to the hot spots, not the places of refuge.
I have heard a lot from body builders and others of that type who say that we cannot grow muscle unless we have resistance, stress. But I would like to take it a different direction. My wife and I took our boys, with commemorative first-year passes, to Epcot a few months after it opened and a return to the Magic Kingdom where I had bought the passes a year before. In one of the exhibits, a scientist was growing tomato plants, by pulling them upward. Their roots were in the soil, but rather than be tied off, allowing them to bush out, the scientist used women’s nylons, to not bruise the vines and tied them above the plant. With the stretch of the nylons, the plants grew taller, branching out as they went. I had never had as good of a crop of tomatoes until the next year after our vacation when I tried my hand at the experiment. It’s tricky in that pulling too hard can damage the plant, and you constantly have to retie the plants as they grow, and they seem to grow faster. Of course, you must have the nutrients in the soil, but the plants are healthier, larger, and more bountiful when constantly being directed closer to the sun, yet not in direct sunlight.
We each need our refuge, but we also need to know when it is time to come out of Egypt. God has work for us to do.
And I have said it before, but today is “the” day.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.