Keep in mind a scripture from back in Exodus 9:15-16 (NIV)
For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this VERY PURPOSE, that I MIGHT SHOW YOU MY POWER AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED IN ALL THE EARTH.
Chapter 13 — The Lord (Jehovah — The Supreme God) said to Moses that each of the first-born males had to be consecrated to HIM. They “belong to HIM.” This was to remind the people of their DELIVERANCE through God. The month this was done in is called Abib, which is the same as Nisan. It was to serve as a reminder for GENERATIONS to come. Jesus was Hebrew so he was consecrated according to the Law as well. Take a look at Luke 2:21-23:
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”)
The consecration was to serve three purposes
- Remind the people of how God DELIVERED them.
- Show how great God’s respect is for human life in contrast to the pagan gods who their worshipers believed, demanded HUMAN sacrifice!
- A foreshadow of Jesus Christ’s REDEEMING us, buying us back at a HIGH price for our sin once and for all.
I noticed in this chapter that the term “the Lord’s mighty hand” was used 4 times. And the word REDEEM was used three times.
And then there is Pharaoh — GEEZE —- no, no, no, yes, no, yes, no, LEAVE….!!!! NOW… he is determined to go after them and bring them back!!! DID the 10 plagues and the death of all the firstborn of Egypt NOT get through to the guy???? GUESS NOT.
Verse 19 — Moses, sweet Moses, “took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”
Verse 21 — “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a PILLAR OF CLOUD to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day not the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”
NOW THAT is what I call a SIGN that they were on the right path!! BUT guess what??? We have Jesus Christ as our REDEEMER, the HOLY SPIRIT who lives in us to guide us and nudge us in the right things, AND we have the WORD. These are our pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night!!!
Chapter 14 — At God’s direction the Israelites began wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert … with Pharaoh in pursuit of them. “But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and ALL his army and he Egyptians will KNOW that I AM THE LORD.
Verse 14 states: “The LORD will fight for you, you need ONLY to be still.” DOES THAT NOT bring the peace that passeth understanding over you at this very moment!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!! 🙂
Can YOU IMAGINE what the Israelites thought when the sea PARTED …. with WALLS of water on EACH side of them… as they walked thorough on DRY LAND!!??? THAT is a sight they would NEVER forget!! … Or, would they??? God reminded Moses that HE will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army!!!
Verse 19 — THEN the angel of God who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long!! God had HIS people protected all the way around!!! WE STILL HAVE THIS SAME PROTECTION TODAY if we are children of God.
The Egyptians pursued them, at the LORD’s command Moses closed the water and all the Egyptians died. “Not one of them survived!!”
This chapter ends saying “when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people FEARED the LORD and put their TRUST in HIM and in Moses his servant.”
Chapter 15 — Then Moses and the Israelites SANG this song to the LORD —- This is a song we used to sing a lot in our church MANY years ago. I thought I’d add it here in case you might want to give the LORD praise for the seas He has opened in your life Psalms 22:3 states: “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel”. Here ya go —
The Israelites have seen AWESOME miracles, plagues, witnessed being DELIVERED, REDEEMED, the RED SEA divided so they could walk through it on dry land, and then watched it close and kill the Egyptians who were after them. They have sung songs of praise to their LORD…. and as Israel is lead from the Red Sea to the Desert of Shur they traveled three days without finding water. When they did find it, it was bitter. AND YOU GUESSED IT…. they begin their complaining. This is their FIRST complaint on the journey. Moses cries out to the Lord and HE shows him some wood to remove the bitterness.
We end this chapter with the Lord making a decree and a law for them in verses 25-26
There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. He said, “IF you LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE LORD YOUR GOD AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT IN HIS EYES, IF you pay attention to HIS COMMANDS and KEEP all his decrees, I WILL NOT bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, FOR I AM THE LORD WHO HEALS YOU.”
The Lord who heals is “Jehovah Rapha”
And the Lord brought them to Elim, “where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped near the water!!” WOW!!! Just compare the environment of Elim to that of the desert, no water and then bitter water!!
So many nuggets of things we can apply to our own lives in our reading today. People are people and we still deal with the same type of tests the Israelites faced and share the same characteristics the Israelites displayed.
- We ALL go through tests,
- God sends HIS abundance and blessings,
- Our expectations are elevated because we so enjoy the blessings,
- Disappointments with shattered expectations,
- Complaints begin from the disappointments,
- God provides… maybe not what we expected or asked for… but what we NEED. And MANY times it is exceedingly abundant above all we could have ever even have thought to ask for!! (Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Sharing HIS love,