The Exodus—The Plan of Redemption
I. The Exodus—The Plan of Redemption
Nearly four centuries had passed since the children of Israel came to Egypt in the days of Joseph. "And the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, and multiplied and waxed exceeding mighty and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph" (Exodus 1:7-8). The new king, set harsh taskmasters over the Israelites and set them at hard labor in the fields and in constructing cities and walls. This lesson is rich in typology, for through the deliverance of Israel from bondage, there is a type of God's plan of redemption for fallen man. See I Corinthians 10:1-11, for authority for using the flight from Egypt for example or ensamples.
A. Forty Years in Egypt
1. The Birth of Moses
Pharoah became fearful that the Hebrews would rise up and overthrow the Egyptians, so he commanded the midwives to kill every newborn male Hebrew at the time of birth. "But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive" (Exodus 1:17). Then Pharoah commanded all his people to destroy the baby boys by throwing them into a river (Exodus 1:22). After Moses was born, he was hid three months by his parents, Jochebed and Amram. When they could no longer hide him in their home, his mother made an ark of bulrushes and waterproofed it with slime and pitch. She hid him each day in the reeds along the river. His sister, Miriam, watched baby Moses from the shore.
One day while on her way to wash herself at the river, Pharoah's daughter chanced to find the ark there among the reeds. She had the ark brought to her and when she opened it, Moses wept and Pharoah's daughter had compassion on the small baby. She determined to take the child and bring him up in the palace. Miriam offered to contact a Hebrew woman to nurse the child for the daughter of Pharoah. "And Pharoah's daughter said unto her. Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it" (Exodus 2:9). The woman (Jochebed) took the child and nursed it and received wages for nursing her own baby. "And the child grew, and she brought him (Moses) unto Pharoah's daughter, and he became her son" (Exodus 2:10). (Jochebed nursed him in her own home.) The same river that could have been the means of destruction of Moses became his salvation, just as Jesus can become a Saviour instead of a judge, by following His plan of salvation.
At the crisis of the Civil War, a New York State farmer was drafted for the army. His wife had died and left him the sole support of a family of little children. He was wondering what he could do, when a young man of the neighborhood who had none depending upon him came to his house and offered to go in his place. For the sake of his children the farmer accepted the offer. The generous friend marched off to war. In the first engagement he was shot and killed. The news filtered back to the New York farm. The man took his horses from the field and drove to the scene of battle. There he sought until he found the body of his friend. He carried him back to his home and laid him tenderly in a grave in the village churchyard. From the hills he hewed a stone and cut upon it these words, "He died for me."
2. Moses' Choice
When Moses was grown, he went out one day among his brethren and saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. He killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he saw two Hebrews fighting and attempted to separate them. One of them said, "Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian?" (Exodus 2:14). Because Moses had gotten ahead of God's will, his efforts to lead were rejected by the people. He was unprepared at this stage for the task which he would later perform. (See also Hebrews 11:23-29).
B. Forty Years in Midian—Moses
Moses realized that his deed was known and fearing revenge by the Pharoah, he fled to the land of Midian. There he met and married Zipporah, a daughter of the Midianite priest Jethro.
1. Moses' Call
One day as Moses was tending sheep, he beheld a bush burning. Upon closer examination, he was amazed when he saw it was not consumed with the fire. God called to him out of the midst of the bush giving him his call for his life's work. God told Moses that He had heard the cries of the people and that He would use him to deliver them from bondage and lead them to the promised land.
2. God Proves Himself to Moses
Moses expressed doubts that he could do the job, and so God had him to cast down the rod he held in his hand. When he did so, the rod changed into a serpent. God had him pick it up by the tail and it turned back into the rod. God told Moses to put his hand into his bosom. Moses obeyed and when he took his hand out it was white with leprosy. Then Moses was told to thrust his hand back into his garment. When he removed his hand, this time it was healed. Thus he was shown that God could make him victorious over all things that would confront him. Likewise God's people today can totally trust in the Lord, knowing that He will triumph over the devil, the world and the flesh.
C. Moses the Deliver
1. Moses Before Pharoah—Ten Plagues
Moses, obeyed the Lord, returned to Egypt, went to Pharoah and told him that God had said, "Let my people go." Pharoah desired to keep the Hebrews in bondage and rebelled against God's will. Disaster came to Egypt in the form of ten plagues. Notice that the things the Egyptians worshipped: frogs, cattle, sun, the Nile river and nature were used to demonstrate God's great power. After each of the first nine plagues, Pharoah would agree to let the children of Israel go, but in each instance, he would later have a change of heart. This set the stage for the most dreadul plague yet to come.
2. Passover—Deliverance by the Blood
The Lord told Moses to speak to the congregation, and tell them to take a male lamb of the first year without blemish for each household. They were instructed to kill the lamb, and to strike its blood on the two side posts and the upper door post of the houses. They were then to roast the lamb and eat it that night, along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were to eat it in haste with shoes on their feet, loins girded and staff in their hand, because it was time to leave Egypt. At midnight the Lord passed through the land of Egypt and killed the firstborn of every household which did not have the blood upon the doorpost of the Hebrew's home, He passed by that house and the inhabitants inside were safe. Salvation in this age is dependent upon the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (I Corinthians 5:7). The blood of Jesus must be applied through obedience to the gospel. If the Lord did not find blood applied to the doorpost, instant death resulted. The blood of the innocent lamb is symbolic of the blood of the "Lamb of God" that delivers from spiritual bondage.
3. Deliverance Through the Red Sea
Pharoah at last agreed to let the Hebrews go. The Lord led them out of Egypt with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day (Exodus 13:21). After the people had left Egypt, Pharoah changed his mind again and sent his army after the Israelites. God led the Israelites to the Red Sea. When the people saw Pharoah's chariots closing in on them, they cried out against Moses. Moses told the people, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which He will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever" (Exodus 14:13). Moses lifted his rod and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided (Exodus 14:21). The people miraculously crossed over upon dry ground with the waters as a great wall on either side. In every situation the Lord will always make a way of escape for His people. (See I Corinthians 10:13.) The Egyptians were in pursuit, but as soon as the Israelites got across, the Lord had Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea. The waters fell on the Egyptians and they were all drowned. "And Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore" (Exodus 14:30). Salvation is the whole process by which Christ rescues mankind from sin, brings him back home, and makes him a child of God.
See it in a picture: A house is burning. There is a violin in it, a Stradivarius. A music lover, knowing that the valuable violin is in the burning house, rushes in at great risk and saves it. That is salvation. The violin, however, was damaged by the heat. The music lover then takes the damaged violin to an expert craftsman. He repairs it, for he knows its value. Now the violin is saved from the fire, and its damages are repaired. A great violinist takes it, tunes it, and it speaks to us. That is salvation! The complete salvation of the violin is its rescue, its repairs, and its ability to function as its creator designed it to do. Jesus Christ rescues from sin and death; He restores the soul, and He puts a new song into the heart. In typology, Egypt represents bondage, or sin. The Red Sea is a type of baptism for ". . .all our fathers. . .were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (I Corinthians 10:1-12). A future lesson shows how that entering the promised land is a type of receiving God's promise. There were battles to be fought, giants to face and walls to bring down. Thus we see again God's plan of salvation: repentance (leaving Egypt), baptism (crossing the Red Sea) and then moving into the promise of God.