Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 8
RED SEA EXPERIENCE: A PICTURE OF OUR SALVATION
A lady called from Colorado the other day, and said how much she was enjoying the programs. She explained that what she really likes about our teaching is that we don’t go by what men say, but rather what The Book says. I have always tried to take that approach, even if people don’t agree with me. I just want to get them into The Book, and let them see what the Book really says. Many times we say things they don’t agree with, but at least it makes them get into The Book and see why they don’t agree; and many times it brings them around to our point of view. We don’t hue to any denominational line, we just teach the Word as the Spirit has led us to teach it. We trust you will be blessed by it.
Let’s go back to Chapter 10 of Exodus for a few moments, because the last time we taught, we had gotten to the place where Pharaoh was obstinately refusing to let the children of Israel go, and so, consequently, God was bringing in plagues. I would like to make one comment about the plagues. Always remember, if you don’t have any problems with the plagues in Egypt, then you shouldn’t have any problems with the Book of Revelation. Many of the things that took place back in Egypt under the plagues will repeat themselves in the Tribulation, only it will be on a worldwide scale.
I also want to remind you that so many writers (secular and theological people alike) will try to associate these plagues and other events in the Book of Exodus with natural phenomena saying these things just happened to happened. For example, I was reading one explanation the other night. This writer said it was not unusual for waves of locust to come into that part of the world. And that’s true, but when God sent a plague on Pharaoh, it wasn’t just a chance happening or phenomena; it was a miraculous act of God. Another example is the parting of the Red Sea. The skeptics will say they crossed at the shallow end of the Red Sea, and it was only 18 inches deep. Along with this, a tidal wave could have come in from the Mediterranean, and that could explain how the Egyptians drowned. Well you see, that’s all just hogwash. All of these events were the miraculous, powerful working of an Almighty God. And this is the only way we can explain it.
As Pharaoh is now coming under the pressure of all these plagues, he’s trying to do some compromising with Moses (and I don’t think we covered them in our last lesson, so I’ll just touch on them.) He offers several compromises. First, he said if you want to leave, go ahead but don’t go very far. What did he imply there? Well, don’t go so far that I lose control of you. Go for a day or two, worship and come right back. Now, that’s exactly how Satan deals with the lost person. The lost person may start getting an appetite, and the Holy Spirit may be wooing him, and bringing him under conviction. But what’s the first thing the old devil says? “Well, you can get a little religious, but don’t get carried away with it. Go ahead and go to church Sunday morning but forget about it the rest of the week.” See, that’s Satan’s ploy, even today.
Then secondly, Pharaoh comes back and says, now how many of you are going to go? I’ll let your men go, but I want to keep your children. And isn’t that again exactly how Satan works today? Oh you know every parent loves to see their kids get the best of everything. We want to see them successful, and in our day and time in the materialistic world we live in, all we are doing is getting into a compromise with Satan, “Well I guess you can have my kids, for after all they’ve got to make it in this world. They need to do what everyone else is doing.” But that’s not the Lord’s idea, nor His approach whatsoever. And then finally, Pharaoh comes to the place that he is so put out with Moses and Aaron. So now, look at the Scripture with me. He says in Exodus 10:28:
“And Pharaoh said unto him, `Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.'”
And Moses’s response is almost enough to bring a smile to your face. Moses knew because God had told him at the very beginning, that the last plague was going to be super special. And this, of course, would be the plague of taking the life of all the first born. When Pharaoh makes this statement now, Moses just comes right back in verse 29 and says:
“And Moses said, `Thou hast spoken well,…'” (Pharaoh, you have just said a mouthful. I will see your face again no more.) When we get into Chapter 1, God encourages Moses by telling him:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, `Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go…'”
And we know that’s exactly what happened. Then in verse 5, Moses said:
“And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.
(even the livestock – imagine what that would do to a society or an economy.) And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a (what’s the word?)difference…”
You know, it is interesting that throughout Scripture we get tidbits of information of how God is in control of wildlife, or the animal kingdom. Here he is going to make sure that even an Egyptian dog won’t bark, when Israel gets to move out. Then in the New Testament, when Peter was concerned about tax money, what did Jesus tell him to do? “Go down to the sea shore and there will be a fish with enough money in it’s mouth for your taxes and mine both.” What does that tell you? He is totally in control.
Many times I repeat myself, but I do it for a purpose. Some of these things don’t sink in until they are just hammered into us. Now, all through Israel’s history, beginning with Abraham, God is constantly reminding them they are not like everyone else on earth, but they are different. They are his Covenant people and they were never to intermarry with anyone but those of the nation of Israel. They were to have no real social contact with the pagan people around them. But socially they were to remain a separated people. I always like to emphasize, and this shocks people, never did God instruct the Jew to go out and proselyte the Gentiles. Did you know that? They were never instructed to go out and win the Gentiles even to their religion. And I know this is kind of hard to accept, because we are of the opinion that God wanted those people. Of course he did. He didn’t want them by the Jews proselytizing per se, or evangelizing, because he was dealing strictly with this Covenant nation of people, whom he is going to set aside, and make them different.
I’m saying all of this to get you ready for the day we get to the New Testament. And when the apostle Paul begins going to the Gentiles, how did the Jews feel about it? Well it upset them. Who in the world has the right to go to those pagan Gentiles? We don’t want to be too hard on these Jews because of that. After all, for almost 2000 years, God has been telling them, and proving to them that they were different, and it took them a long time to get that out of their system. And that’s why, of course, Paul and Peter in the Book of Galatians, Chapter 2, have the confrontation that they had. See, Peter just couldn’t get that out of his system, that he could go in and sit down and maybe have a ham sandwich with those Gentiles believers in Antioch. So when his fellow Jews came up from Jerusalem, Paul says what about Peter? “Hey, you withdrew.” Peter went right back to that old mentality that after all Jews could not fellowship with Gentiles. But that’s the beauty of the Church. Now, in the Church Age, Paul especially emphasizes that there is now no difference. See? And it all has to be brought back to the Old Testament, where now God says here in Exodus there is a difference. And let’s not forget that as we study Israel. Now, Moses continues:
“And all these thy servants shall come down unto me and bow down themselves unto me, saying, `Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee:’ and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. And the LORD said unto Moses, `Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.’ And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.”
We are going to let go of Pharaoh for a little while, and we are going to come into Chapter 12, which again is a benchmark chapter, I think. Much like Genesis 12, because here we have the introduction of Passover. Now, we have just come through the Passover season, and if you have been reading your daily paper, and in other news media, then you know that the Jews, at least the Orthodox Jews have been making a big to-do over Passover. They are still practicing it, they still cleanse their house of leaven from top to bottom. And it all goes back to this institution of Exodus Chapter 12. Now, let’s look at it:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, `This month (it’s the month we call April) shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.'”
In other words the Jewish calendar is now set up in such a way that April is the first month of their religious year. I don’t like to use the word religious, but this time it fits. Now, verse 3 and 4, and the LORD is still speaking:
“Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying `In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.'”
In other words, there is never to be a shortfall. There is always supposed to be enough. He doesn’t say so much about the amount left over, because he tells how to deal with that. But they had to make sure that there was not a shortage, and of course the lesson is coming in just a moment. Now, continuing on with verse 5, The Lord is still speaking:
“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:…”
What you have here is the beautiful illustration of Whom? The Lord Jesus. He too was, according to our Bible, without spot, without blemish, without sin. But in order to prove that he was spotless and sinless, how long did he minister? – three years. And so, as this lamb was kept for three days to be completely observed, the household would look for any blemish or sign of poor health, or anything that might be wrong with it. If at the end of those three days the lamb was whole, then they could kill it for the Passover sacrifice. And it was the same way with Christ. He spent that three years up and down the land of Israel. He was under complete scrutiny of the religious authorities, more or less, and by the ordinary man in the street, He wasn’t hidden from anyone. And yet no one could ever point a finger at Him, and accuse Him of a wrong doing. He was without spot, without blemish; He was blameless. Now, after they had proved the lamb:
“And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire,…. (here again comes that beautiful illustration of what his death on the Cross really amounted too.) Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire;….”
Now, the fire here, as I see it, was indicative of judgment. That just as sure as Christ went through the fires of judgment as He hung there on that Cross in order to bring about our salvation, this Passover lamb was also roasted with fire. It was not to be prepared any other way. You remember that even as we go on into Israel’s religious experience, what happened to all of their sacrifices that were offered upon that brazen altar? They were burned with fire. It was the place where sin was being judged. We are living in a day and time, where we hardly ever hear about sin anymore. We don’t even know what sin is. It’s to the place where every man does whatever he thinks is right in his own eyes. I was telling someone the other day that I’m always reminded of that last verse in the Book of Judges. Let’s look at it, because it’s so appropriate for the day we are living in. The Book of Judges is the account of Israel’s rise and fall. Over and over again, she would go down in rebellion and sin, and God would raise up a judge, and bring them out, and they would be spiritual for a while and then the process would start all over again. But as the Book ends:
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
Do you know what it was? It was almost anarchy. It was a spiritual famine and Israel was destitute. There was nothing to guide them. We are quickly getting there within our own society fabric. I have to feel that this is the problem of so much of our inner cities. These kids are being raised with no direction or restraint. And consequently their attitude is, “I can do what ever I want to do. And no one is going to make me account for it.” This is going to lead us to more and more trouble as I see the whole picture. Let’s come back to Exodus once again. The children of Israel were to roast the lamb with fire, and stand at the table as they were eating, and they were to have all their clothes on. And the LORD said:
“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S Passover.”
Again, let’s get a brief picture of the Jews now. They are in Egypt, in their little huts of one sort or another, because they had a door. They were to apply the blood to the two side posts and the upper door post. I’m convinced that no Jew in Egypt understood what was going on here. But I am just as convinced that God already had the final picture in mind, and that was he was drawing an outline of the Cross. He doesn’t say just put the blood on the door. But the instruction was on each side post and at the door top.
“For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.”
Every one of the plagues were directed at the gods of Egypt. In other words, God just proved that their pagan worship had nothing to do with Him whatsoever. He destroyed them at will. I’ve stressed it ever since we started our study back in Genesis, that ever since the Tower of Babel the whole human race until Abraham was saturated in paganism, in polytheism (that’s the worship of many gods) and so when Israel comes on the scene as His separated, different, Covenant people they are the only people on earth who did not worship many gods. I know that is hard to swallow, but its the truth of history, all of these people of the world are steeped in paganism.
And so Israel is that little group alone that has the knowledge of the one true God. And I know we say, `Why didn’t God send the Jews out into those pagans and enlighten them?’ Well He wanted to in time. But again He’s going to instruct them first. He’s going to prepare them, and until they are ready, He won’t give them that permission. There were exceptions of course, He sent Jonah up to Nineveh, that Gentile city. And He responded to Naaman the Syrian General, but other than that, He has nothing to do with these pagan non-Jewish people. Because he’s dealing only with the House of Israel. On the night of the Passover, the death angel is passing throughout Egypt and is killing the firstborn of man and beast, but verse 13 God says to the Nation of Israel:
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you,….”
If you don’t mind marking in your Bible, underline “When I see the blood“ because that’s the crucial point. He doesn’t say, “If you behave yourselves.” He doesn’t say, “Now if you have been living relatively sinless.” He doesn’t say, “If you will worship me in a particular way.” He says only one thing, and what is it? “…when I see the blood….” Now, if you can picture in your mind for just a little bit, the gross darkness that has come upon the land of Egypt. And yet up there in Goshen every Jewish family has put the blood on the door posts as instructed.
And as the Scripture said they would, they could hear the weeping, and wailing, and the mourning, throughout the communities of Egypt. And yet, every Jew who was behind that door with the blood applied was safe. They had nothing to worry about; they were absolutely secure. Not because of anything but the blood on the door. If they had scoffed and said, “What difference would three spots of blood on my house door make?” Well, they too would have lost their firstborn. But evidently no Jews were lost, at least the Scriptures doesn’t say they were. So every family must have had the blood on the door.
In the next lesson we will be going into the New Testament, and see that you and I as well, if we are under the blood, are safe and secure. But always remember, that doesn’t give us license to sin willfully. But if we are under the blood we are just as safe as those Jews were behind their door. Like I said, we will be going to the New Testament, and we are going to see how this whole Exodus from Egypt was God’s redemption of the nation. And it was based first upon a person, which was Moses. It was upon the blood, the Passover lamb. and thirdly, the power of his word. So the power of God is going to be exercised when the children of Israel stand before the Red Sea. Then what happens is the power of God moves in and the Red Sea opens up and Israel goes across on dry ground.