The Book of Exodus, survey.
Pr Edi Giudetti
The book of Exodus has been the study of the week for you all, leading into that incredible middle book called Leviticus.
Many are the foreshadowing’s in this book, profound are the pictures of our Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps none more profound than the death of the first born and the Passover.
Jesus, the only begotten son of God, slain for the sin of the world, that the judgement of God will Passover all who believe.
The Passover was the grace of God for his people in Egypt, as is the love of Christ for the people of the world.
The Book of Exodus reveals to us the bondage, the deliverance, the discipline and the guidance of the Children of Jacob and it shows also that it represents so closely the world and what Jesus has done for those in the world.
- Our enslavement to sin
- Our deliverance from sin
- Our restraint of sin
- Our guidance and hope though Christ.
Genesis ends with a coffin in Egypt, the story of the Exodus begins where Genesis leaves off.
Joseph is dead and the tribes are described.
“And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.”
Not long after the death of Joseph there arose a new King over Egypt which knew not Joseph. Immediately you get the strong impression that this King was not of the line of the Old King.
For if he was of that line he would no doubt have heard of the wonderful blessing the family of Abraham was to the people of the land and how, through Joseph, they have given the people of Egypt warning of the famine to come. A warning so complete, a knowledge so timely that the entire wealth of the nation was now concentrated in the hands of the king which did know Joseph.
Some of you who came to the study last Sunday afternoon had seen the historical reference to that time, how the power and wealth of Egypt was shared among the many leaders who’s lands followed the Nile Delta. And how the archaeological evidence showed a massive transfer of that wealth being concentrated in one man, the King of Egypt.
So we can certainly surmise that now, after a certain period, the New King which arose was not of the Line of the Old Kingdom, for he might not have been so quick as to enslave the people who so richly blessed his family and his nation. Clear it may seem now that this New King was indeed a New King and not a son of Pharaoh. It was this New King that enslaved the people of God, it was this new King that determined to deal wisely with the family of Israel.
The first reasoning was the fear of multiplication of this family, fear was placed into the heart of the King that perhaps they may fall out to their enemies and fight against him. So they afflicted the people, they enslaved the people and burdened them with great burdens until the cry of the people came up to God (Exo 3:9).
History tells us that their bondage was severe, their lives no longer continued into old age, but the men began to die much younger, few living beyond the age of forty years (Sorbo, 2014). Cut down in what would be the prime of their lives, the time that they are to be the most productive the most beneficial, the most blessed. Their bondage has taken their feet from under them and they are no more. Yet the more they afflicted them the more they multiplied. (Exo 1:12)
They took the lives of the male children, they tried first by delicacy the then by decree. First they tried through the midwives, but the midwives feared God and saved the male children alive, for they said “the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.” (Exo 1:19) and God blessed them.
Then it was by decree; a declaration went out that all the male children should be thrown into the river. The same river that brought them plenty in the years of Joseph, both by its flow and at that time by its drought. It would be this river that Pharaoh thought would be pleased to receive the bodies of the young children of Israel. Yet it would be this very act, that would bring about the training and teaching of “he that should deliver Israel” in all the ways of the Egyptians.
Repression is that which binds people, it enslaves them, it keeps them from being free, free to will and to do of Gods good pleasure.
Egypt in the Bible is the picture of man without God, enslaved to sin.
But what is most exiting is that God is in control. He does not plan to allow the people to suffer in servitude, he does not plan to permit his children to be burdened by the bondage, but to be free to serve him in righteousness that it may go well with them.
Why? Because the end of sin is death, but God is the bringer of life. Bondage and servitude brings about an early grave just like enslavement to sin.
There is no good that comes from sin. Man is enslaved by sin, bound in iniquity the Bible tells us, there are none that doeth good no not one… they are together become unprofitable…. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Rom 3:12-18)
There can never be a good end to sin, Egypt is a picture of the world in the bondage of sin. It is this bondage that would cut man down before his time. This repression that would hinder man from achieving much that will bless him for eternity.
15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. 22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
Turn to Back in your Bibles to Genesis 15:13-14
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
Now turn forward in your Bibles to
The history recounted by Stephen and martyred for his recollection.
17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. 20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: 21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
So Moses left Egypt and dwelt in the land of Midian. After 40 years God had determined to deliver the people and speaks to Moses through a flame of fire in a bush;
33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. 34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. 35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.
What we witness in this turning of the scriptures are that the people were at ALL TIMES in Gods hands, they were LED THROUGH THESE TRIALS!!!!! The children of Israel where strangers in a strange land but GOD was leading them invisibly.
But there are some things very interesting in the passage above in the Book of Acts that we did not see in Exodus.
Steven, such a wonderfully inspired historian gives this incredible account before his martyrdom,
24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them….
Steven tells just what was motivating Moses. Moses EXPECTED that the people should have known that God would deliver them by HIS HAND!!!
Brethren let me summarize for you what we have just learned.
- Egypt, though a real nation who truly did afflict the people of God, is also a picture of the world in sin.
- The bondage and repression of the people of God, is a picture of man under the bondage of sin.
- Just as God desired to deliver his people for the bondage of Israel, so too did he desire to deliver the world from the bondage of sin.
- Just as Pharaoh desired to slay all the male babes to protect his throne from overthrow by the multitude of Israel, so too did Herod slay the babes of Bethlehem to protect his throne from “he that is born King of the jews” (Matt 2:2).
- Now it can be seen that out of both events, a deliverer was to come, one for the nation, the other for the world.
- And both deliverers EXPECTED the people to know them!
Appling this point on RESCUE, another consideration;
- The deliverance of Moses from Egypt was for an appointed time and determined by the God revealed to them as JEHOVAH.
- The deliverance OF Jesus from Sin is also for an appointed time determined by God the father, revealed to US through Christ / Emanuel.
Both deliverances are limited by time.
One was the length of their sojourn in Egypt
The other, the length of our life in the world
One was known (430 years).
The other is immanent.
Gods grace to the Egyptians lasted as long as Israel was in the land.
Gods grace for you will last only as long as you are alive.
If you are saved, Grace will no longer be necessary at death.
If you are not saved today, Grace will not be available at death.
The only limit that is upon you, is time, a limit we do not have the length of.
But know that, if your trials come large and your bondage to Sin is recognised, IT IS GOD Who is leading you through the trials.
This next point I have called RESTRAINT.
It refers to the time between chapter 16 and the end of the book of Exodus, a time where God had begun to discipline his children. Restraint is a fair synonym for discipline because that is essentially what discipline is. Discipline restrains sin and error, forego discipline, you forgo any restraint of sin.
No sooner had the children of God left Egypt than they began to murmur, to complain.
Turn to Exodus 15:23
23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
Within a few verses of the victory song that gave praise to the Lord for the most incredible deliverance ever witnessed by any man, the people began to murmur and doubt. It was not the concern over the lack of water, the land that they came to has less the 10mm of rain per year, but it is the mind that goes behind the murmuring.
Imagine that God would deliver them with such a great deliverance from bondage, only to let them die in their freedom for lack of such a simple resource.
Isn’t that sometimes our murmuring? Delivered from our enslavement to sin only to complain about how we shall now live when we sin. Is not God able to complete that which he begun?
So God provided a tree to make the bitter waters sweet, and the people quenched their thirst…..and before they hungered they had rest under the seventy palm trees and the twelve springs of Elim in verse 27.
Then they Murmured again, this time for hunger
There will be time that God gives us to rest, times of refreshing. But these are not times in which we are to loiter. We too should come to hunger and thirst after righteousness.
The people hungered, wishing even to return into bondage, so God gave them Angels food, he rained bread from heaven. This heavenly Bread the bible tells us is a picture of Christ, he is the true bread that came down from heaven. He is the one who both brings the dead to life and sustains life. He is our manna.
But this manna that the people were to gather every day, a portion enough for each some more some less but a portion enough to sustain them, is also what you are doing now if you have been diligent in your reading of the Bible. The word of God is that which we take in every day, it is that which sustains us.
But the people yet sinned before the Lord by taking leave of their tents on the Sabbath day to collect the manna; God rebuked them. Turn to Exodus 16:28
28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Even before God proclaimed the ten commandments as one unit directly to the People, they were already informed about the rest of the Sabbath day unto the Lord. Commanded they were to gather twice as much on the sixth day that they would not break that communal holy day God has set for them. But they broke it none the less.
God restrained his children from sinning more against him. He rebuked them sharply, and immediately and he showed them his devoted love and care. He dealt with them just as we are to deal with our children. He dealt with them, also as he deals with us. When we grieve his Spirit through our own sin, we are chastened of the Lord as sons and daughters.
Chapter 20 the Lord gives no less than ten commandments. The underpinning of the worlds legal system has its origin here. Israel where given the ordinances of God, this was the profit of that nation which set them apart, it was not given when they were in the land, else we would think these Laws were specific to them, but it was given in the wilderness, where the world seems to reside.
This was their regulation; turn to Exodus 20 that we might see the context. In chapter 19 Moses was commanded to go down and restrain the people for coming up to the mount. God took that opportunity to have him numbered with the people as he proclaimed his commandments to them directly from heaven.
20 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
- 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
- 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
- 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
- 13 Thou shalt not kill.
- 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- 15 Thou shalt not steal.
- 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
At no time in history has there ever been a better representation of a Holy and Righteous law than here. Each one perfect and holy and just.
The breaking of ANY of these TEN commandments are SIN and are still SIN.
NOT ONE OF THESE TEN COMANDMENTS HAVE EVER BEEN EXCISED. EACH STILL APPLY TO EACH PERSON ON EARTH TODAY REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WE WANT TO OBEY OR NOT!
Christian let me make this as plain as I can to you; The breaking of any of these commandments is still SIN!
Though it is true that keeping none of them will save you, it is also true that breaking any of them condemns you in sin. If you are born again, you will not perish but that does NOT GIVE YOU LICENCE TO BREAK A SINGLE JOT OR TITTLE FROM THE LAW.
“The first commandments directs us to make the Creator the object of our supreme love and reverence. That is right. If He be our Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Benefactor, we ought to treat Him, and none other, as such. The second forbids idolatry. That certainly is right. The third forbids profanity. The fourth fixes a time for religious worship. If there be a God, He ought surely to be worshipped. It is suitable that there should be an outward homage significant of our inward regard. If God be worshipped, it is proper that some time should be set apart for that purpose, when all may worship Him harmoniously, and without interruption. One day in seven is certainly not too much, and I do not know that it is too little. “The fifth commandment defines the peculiar duties arising from family relations. Injuries to our neighbor are then classified by the moral law. They are divided into offences against life, chastity, property, and character; and I notice that the greatest offence in each class is expressly forbidden.
Thu the greatest injury to life it murder; to chastity, adultery; to property, theft; to character, perjury. Now the greatest offence must include the least of the same kind. Murder must include every injury to life; adultery every injury to purity; and so of the rest. And the moral code is closed and perfected by a command forbidding every improper desire in regard to our neighbors.
Weighed and Found Wanting. DL Moody ‘An Infidels Testimony’
I am sure some of these affect you even today. I am sure that each of us have trouble with one or more of these commandments today.
To the Christian there is typically FOUR that are the most common struggle.
- The Sabbath day:
The Sabbath day is the one Commandment that not only is represented in scripture BEFORE the Ten Commandment’s where given, (ie. the manna in the wilderness) but was in fact Ordained from the creation of the Universe.
God had this particular day directly in mind when he set the timeframe for creation brethren (Exo 20:11). Note also that it was a COMMUNAL DAY and not an individual day. The Last day of the week to Israel became the first day of the week to Christian.
It is not a popular subject unfortunately these days. It’s one we all have struggled with and one many still do. But let me encourage you.
The famous Olympian Eric Liddell was scheduled to run a race he was sure to win Gold for his nation in the 1924 Olympic games. He knew several months earlier that he was slotted in to this race and gave notice immediately that he will not run on the Lords day.
The 100m race takes less than 15 seconds to run. Not a whole day, not an hour, not even a minute. But he desired to Honour the Lord for the whole day lacking not a second.
From the entire nation of England he got only one letter that gave him credit. It simply said “Those who honour me will I honour”.
This is something I will speak to more when time permits.
Adultery is also one many Christians struggle with. Single Christians particular commit this Sin, it is also referred to as Fornication. and is also referred to by Jesus as Looking with lust. Pornography has dealt a hard blow to people in these days particularly, and many men are falling as a result of it. Many men and women are stunted in their spiritual growth due to this sin.
The greatest feeling they have is one of shame. Not willing to even lift their faces to the Lord because of their shame. But it is not new. Many of the Godly men of old struggled with lust, many still do.
But let me encourage you.
12 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Lying and covetousness
Seem to go hand in hand. For to fulfil the one you must desire the other.
People seem all the more to lie when they covet. They may not covet goods only; they may covet an appearance. To look good in front of others, to tell stories, to exaggerate a claim etc.
Both are subtle, one is committed without, the other committed within. A lie is told or lived; covetousness is a state of the heart.
Again, more to deal with another day.
Israel; suffered the bondage, received deliverance, experienced rebuke and were delivered the law.
You; enslaved to sin, received the saviour, chastised as sons, and given his sustaining words.
And to you who have not yet accepted the grace and love of the Saviour. To each we must know that in trial particularly, God is leading. If he is leading, then know he has the best for you in mind.
Repent, seek his forgiveness for you sin, and seek his strength to abide in him. Run from this city of destruction and into the arms of the Saviour. Friend, he will either be your Saviour, or he will be your judge, this is Christ the Lord, run to him and not from him.