The topic of deliverance is used heavily in the Old Testament, with some 261 references throughout the book. The great telling, the story that was shared over and over again, was how God delivered his people out of the hands of the Egyptians, but that is only the beginning. It seems God’s people constantly found themselves in bondage, and once again God would set them free: from the Philistines, the Amorites, and Syrians, to name a few.
So imagine when the Israelites were once again in bondage, this time to the Romans, when God promised deliverance they were probably thinking they would be freed politically. Even the great prophet Isaiah said, “And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a savior, and a great one, and he shall deliver them” (Isaiah 19:20). Once again mentioning the story of Moses and then referencing the Savior as the great deliverer. But God wasn’t about to send the lion they were all anticipating, instead He would send a lamb.
E.T. Sullivan wrote, “When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home out of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.” (The Treasure Chest,p. 53.)
And so The Deliverer would be born a helpless baby to some obscure mother, under circumstances of great faith. What must it have been like to confess to her betrothed, Joseph, that she was pregnant? We don’t know how that conversation went, but we do know that Joseph decided to “put her away privily” (Matthew 1:19) which tells us that he didn’t believe her at first. How was he supposed to believe her when this had never happened before? Can you imagine the faith of this young woman, the tears she must have shed? Can you imagine the faith of Joseph, when the angel appeared to him, and told him, “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:20)?
The birth of the Savior was surrounded by faith, not only in those who had looked forward to a Deliverer, a Messiah, for centuries, but also in those that were called to raise the Lamb who would be raised up for us all. So this chosen vessel went forth, she carried him in her womb, and she carried the weight of His position on her shoulders. She created a place of safety, a home for He who would spend his ministry homeless. She encircled in her arms the one who would later encircle us all. She fed the child who would later feed thousands. She taught to walk He who would teach all mankind to walk in His ways. She nurtured Him, gave her life for Him as all mothers do, and she was there at the foot of the cross as He gave His life for her.
God would set His people free, not from the Romans, but from sickness, sin, pain, poverty, heart ache, sorrow, suffering, and death. And unlike the rescue from the Egyptians, or the Philistines, this deliverance would be for all mankind and for all people. This deliverance would require great faith from all people and in all times. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: … He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
How grateful I am for that tiny babe who was carefully placed in the very capable hands of a mother. Mr. Sullivan said the greatest forces in the world are babies, and I would like to add to that, mothers. She delivered Him and He would deliver us all.