“(I) will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment”.
Ex 6:6 NIV
People today tend to think of God as being a rather quiet, gentle entity, hanging around in the background, concerned mainly with what people do “in their spiritual lives”. He is a kind and friendly helper who wipes our tears and gives us strength to carry on.
The Bible has other ideas and images. In the ancient world there was a system by which, if a piece of land was likely to fall into alien hands, a family member in a position to do so, went and paid the debt that was owed and so prevented the owner from sinking into poverty. Further, when something was vowed to God, the owner had to pay the market price in order to fulfil the vow. And, within the family circle a redeemer was the next of kin who had the right to avenge a murdered relative. In the story of the exodus from Egypt God promises that he will be Israel’s redeemer. It involved mighty acts on the international scene. It will take “an outstretched arm” and involve meaningful actions that will restore justice and set his own people straight. The action of rescuing his people would mean that he, Israel’s God, would be seen to be vastly superior in the world over against the lifeless and impotent gods of the Egyptians.
For Christians, Jesus Christ is our redeemer. He pays the price for our sins (or debts) and sets us free to be whole, to be human and to be right in God’s eyes. He guarantees our standing before Almighty God, and enables us to have the status and character of children of God.
Lord, my redeemer, thank you for the price you paid.