Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 8
RED SEA EXPERIENCE: A PICTURE OF OUR SALVATION
Let’s turn to Exodus 12 for a moment. Remember in the last lesson we taught how the blood was applied to the door posts of the children of Israel’s homes, and as they were preparing to leave; they were to ask the Egyptians for whatever they would give them for their journey. And, of course, God had this all set up Sovereignly. You want to remember they had been slaves now for many, many years. So God is seeing to it they get their back wages. He’s going to cause the Egyptians to literally give everything they have to these parting Israelites. In Exodus 12:22 we have the specific instructions on how to apply the blood. As it had to be done in a particular way.
“And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.”
Now, hyssop was a little bush or weed that grew everywhere in Goshen. I always liken it to the ragweed here in our part of the world. They were to take this little weed, dip it into the basin of lamb’s blood, and apply the blood to those three places on the door and lintel. I liken the hyssop here to the work of the Holy Spirit. Now, I could be wrong, but I think we have a good application, that as hyssop was everywhere, not a single Israelite could say, “I didn’t have a chance to find a little bush of hyssop, so I couldn’t do it that way.” Neither can anyone say, “Well, the Holy Spirit never worked in my life.” The Holy Spirit is Omnipresent and works on every human being. I am firmly convinced that every person who has ever lived has been given the opportunity by the Holy Spirit. I’m sure some folks will say, “Well, where do you get that?” Turn with me to the Book of Titus. Hopefully, when I make a statement I can back it up with Scripture. If I can’t, then it’s just so much hot air, and means nothing. Here Paul writes to Titus:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath (past tense – it’s already been done) appeared to (how many?) all men,”
The Scripture doesn’t lie. The grace of God, through the working of the Holy Spirit, has appeared to, I think, every human being in one way or another. Now, Romans Chapter 1 tells us, one way God does speak even to pagans and those who have never heard the literal Word of God is through the effect of nature. They should be able to look into the very stars of heaven and realize that there is a Creator God to deal with. And that’s what the Scripture says. All of Scripture is constantly referring to the fact that even though all have sinned, the way back to God has been made available to every human being. Go back with me to John’s Gospel. Let’s look at the 10th Chapter of John’s Gospel – the great Good Shepherd Chapter. Jesus is speaking here of course during his earthly ministry, and He makes a perfect application of what I’m just speaking about – that no one has been shut out of God’s plan of salvation. And He uses it here in the area of a sheep fold and the sheep.
John 10: 1-3
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber (in other words he’s saying you can’t just pick and choose. There is only one way.). But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (or the door keeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” Then to verse 5:
“And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” Now, verse 9 – this is Jesus speaking:
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,…”
He is the door! Over the past 20 years plus that I have been teaching, I ask my classes this question over and over. Where is the door to the sheepfold? Now, even though you have never been to the Middle East or not in an area where you have any knowledge of sheep, I think anyone can pretty well picture a place of safety for the sheep at night, which they call the fold. So, where was the door to the sheepfold? On ground level. It wasn’t a hundred feet up in the air, or down in some cave, or across some raging river. The door to the sheepfold was ground level. Now what’s the analogy? Salvation is also always right at ground level. We don’t have to climb a high mountain, nor pay a million dollars, or shape up, or any of these things so many people have assumed is associated with God’s salvation. And the Holy Spirit has been doing His work, is doing His work, in order to bring us to the place that we walk through that door by faith. Let’s go back to the Book of Exodus Chapter 12 again. After they applied the blood, the death angel passed through Egypt, and all the firstborn of both man and beast are now lying dead. Now verse 35:
“And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians (in the King James the word is “borrowed” and that is unfortunate, because when you borrow, what are you supposed to do? Give it back, and God never intended that. So, the word “borrowed” should be “asked,” and is in many translations) jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:” In verse 36, see how the Lord is instrumental in all of this:
“And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they (and again the word should be “gave”) lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”
Don’t lose sight of the fact that, by the time we get to Chapter 25 of the Book of Exodus, God is going to give instructions to Moses and Aaron to now build the tabernacle. And where are they going to get all the required silver, gold, and linen? Well, from the Israelites, who got it from the Egyptians. See, God isn’t just spoiling Egypt to pad the pockets of the Israelites. He is looking forward to using those items Himself in the building of the tabernacle. So keep all that in mind.
“And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses (that is up there in the Delta area of Egypt in Goshen) to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.”
And the women, of course. Remember in one of our recent lessons, I used the figure that there were between three to seven million people that left Egypt. You know the Lord always gives me comfort, as shortly after that I was reading an article in the Jerusalem Post and the Rabbi used almost the identical figures, only he used three to five million. And then the other day a lady sent me a National Geographic from 1976, that was dealing with Moses and the Exodus and close to the same figure was used in that article. I think it was two and one half million. All of these figures are based on this six hundred thousand on foot. But in the very next verse, what also went out with them?
“And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.”
I bet most of you wonder, `Who was this mixed multitude?” Well, they were the hangers-on. Probably a lot of them were Egyptians and foreigners who had been laboring in Egypt with the Jews, but always remember they were not Jews themselves. They probably saw a good thing and decided to go along with them. They infiltrate into the spiritual realm, and become almost like a parasite. And as they get out into the wilderness experience and they began to murmur, this mixed multitude is the first ones to complain. Someone the other day was saying, “So many of the churches today have got problems; so many are splitting.” I told him that all goes back to the mixed multitude of Exodus. And he said “Mixed multitude, what are you talking about?” Well, I said the mixed multitude were not true Israelites.
I think most of our problems in our churches today (the ones that are constantly murmuring and complaining) usually come from the unsaved element in the church. They have no real spiritual concerns, or knowledge. But you see they can pick and destroy, simply because the very good of the local Body is not so much in their hearts, as maybe a little finer furniture, more beautiful music, a bigger organ. And it is amazing how many churches have been literally broken over these secular things. They really don’t mean that much. I can remember years ago, a lady from a different denomination than ours was complaining to my wife at work one day that they were having church problems and were about to split. And do you know what the problem was over? The color of the upholstery of their pews. They were arguing over the colors gold and blue. But you see, that’s a mixed multitude working. Now, verse 39:
“And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough….”
Leaven in Scripture always speaks of what? Evil or sin – but I prefer the word evil. Leaven is yeast, and when you put yeast in bread dough it is going to affect the whole lump. That’s the teaching in Scripture. When leaven comes in, evil, unless it is rooted out, will sooner or later affect the whole. Leaven here, speaking of evil, was to be left out of their bread dough, as they make this exodus out of Egypt. They were to take unleavened bread, because the picture in type of course is, that they are to be a separated people. Separated unto God, no longer wrapped up in the paganism of their Egyptian masters.
“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.”
Remember that 430 years as we have taught it, was from the time Abram, (and his name was still Abram) had left Haran, and had come down into the land of Canaan, and sojourned up and down the land. From that point until Jacob goes to Egypt is 215 years. And from the time that Jacob gets to Goshen till the exodus is another 215 years right to the same day it came to pass.
“And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.”
I’m saying this so will you understand that the Word of God is so true and accurate. God is in such complete control of time, and events, that he doesn’t miss 430 year’s by 24 hours. But the exact day of the 430th year ending, Israel moved out of Egypt. Now, I want to come on over to Chapter 13. God now institutes the setting aside of the firstborn. That was always indicative of a family relationship throughout the Tribes of Israel. After He established that, we read now read in verse 17:
“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, (that’s after the night of the Passover) that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines,….”
Which, of course, would be the short route. God didn’t let them take that route, so I know they didn’t cross the Red Sea at the shallow point. But they come out of Goshen and go down the shore of the Red Sea, and somewhere along the deeper part of it they are going to be locked in with mountains on one side of them, populated areas on another side, and coming in from the rear will be Pharaoh’s army – so picture that in your mind. The Red Sea in front of them. Forbidding mountains on one side; population on the other; and the Egyptian army to the rear.
“But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.”
Now, at the top end of this body of water where it’s eighteen inches deep, the reeds there are not wilderness. That’s a populated area. The wilderness doesn’t approach until further down the Red Sea, so I’m convinced they had to have crossed where it was deep. Of course it would not have been much of a miracle if they would have just had to cross eighteen inches of water.
What do you think the word “harnessed” is in there for? Well, stop and think. For three to seven million people to move completely out of an area of the nation, and to be encamped down here at the Red Sea, and ready to go through as the water parts, do you think that was a common experience? For years this had bothered me. How in the world did that many people move that far in such a short period of time? And how did they get through that Red Sea in such a short period of time – plus all their livestock? Remember cattle and sheep move very slowly. The only conclusion I can come to, and of course I can’t prove it from Scripture, except there are some verses that indicate it. It’s in Exodus 19. Let’s look at it. I want to impress upon anyone that I teach, that the God of Israel is a God that is constantly performing the miraculous. Not the miraculous as we think of miracles today. I mean real miraculous events – and this had to be one.
“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians (in other words, drown them in the Red Sea), and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”
Now, we know they didn’t fly, they walked. But I have to think somehow or other, God moved that whole group of people and animals speedily without them even realizing it. Again, I think during the tribulation, the 144,000 are going to experience that same kind of travel. They will be able to go from place to place with utmost speed, and not even realize they are doing it. So I have to think that something hastened their travel here. Now, back to Chapter 13:
“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, `God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.'”
Now, all of this should tell us something. And again so many of the writers and historians always try to leave the miraculous and supernatural out of it, don’t they? And they wonder how all of this came to be. Some of these people (not all) had known by faith, that these things would happen to God’s Covenant People. Joseph knew that the time was coming, when God would take them back to Palestine. We know that Moses’ parents had faith, when they saw he was a proper child and that God was still in their midst. Even now, as Moses and Aaron are preparing to move the children of Israel out of Egypt, where do they know they are going? Palestine. So they take Joseph’s bones with them.
“And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”
Again this same article that I had read by this historian, was making the conjecture that there was probably a volcano at the time. And that the dust provided the cloud by day, and that the volcano fire was the fire by night. Ridiculous! This was a supernatural cloud, which was the very presence of Jehovah. A cloud by day that gave them shade from that Middle East sun. And then it became a pillar of fire by night by which it gave them light to carry on their activities. The Scripture makes it so plain. Who was that cloud? It was God the Son, Jehovah, in His Old Testament personality. Don’t ever take anything away from that.
Later on in the Book when the Tabernacle is completed, what happens to the cloud? Well, it set right over the Holy of Holies. And it becomes the guiding light of Israel. When it becomes time for them to move and camp some place else, what happens? The cloud lifts up and moves. When it stopped, they were to set up the Tabernacle, so that the Holy of Holies was under the cloud. It was the absolute presence of God. This is what amazes me. How could those Jews, seeing that cloud every day and that fire each night, still be that disobedient and prone to sin.
Let’s bring it up to our own present time. Are we any different? We are no different, we’ve got just as much evidence of the power of God and His holiness. Just as much evidence of His dislike of sin. But does it scare us? Not really. So we have become just about as blase about a lot of these things as the Israelites were in spite of everything that God was doing in their very midst. If you believe these things literally, you will never get into trouble. Don’t ever try to explain them away. After all, what does God say? Without faith it is impossible to please him.