What can the Exodus of Israel tell us about preparing for the end times?
The Exodus of Israel from Egypt provides an abundance of counsel on how the Lord will deliver His people in the end times.
At this point in Israel’s history, the Egyptians forgot that the Lord blessed them through the work of the Lord’s hands, the work that delivered their land from starvation and increased its territory. They cast this aside and brought the Israelites under the yoke of slavery for 400 years, according to the word of the Lord (Gen. 15:3, 4). But it was this very affliction that increased them. Persecution fosters the growth of those dedicated to the Lord. In the affliction of Israel, the Egyptians could not help but see the fidelity they held to their God. This pattern repeated itself abundantly throughout biblical history. Despite persecution by foreign powers such as the Persian Empire, their fidelity to their faith convicted others to serve the Lord.
In light of this understanding, we should not flee persecution. It is written of the faithful that their seeking to live godly lives will bring persecution upon them. Godly living conflicts with the world’s desire to live ungodly. As such, God’s people will be maligned, slandered, and even murdered. But their faith in enduring this persecution will convict others to join them and God’s people will continue to grow. Thus, we should not seek to avoid it, but be faithful through it.
Persecution can also lead God’s people to forget the Lord in their trials. They forget that He blesses them, in spite of these things. Moses’ early life reflected this. Though raised by an Egyptian, Moses did not cast aside his heritage. He identified as Hebrew and in looking upon the affliction of a fellow Hebrew, he slew an Egyptian. In this action, we can see that Moses thought that the only way to deliver this person was by taking the matter into his own hands. But this act was shameful to him, otherwise, he would not have taken care to hide his victim’s body.
He fled Egypt in shame, understanding that his people would not be delivered by violence. It was only after a humbling, 40-year life among the flocks of Jethro that Moses understood that God would deliver His people His way. The Lord, by humbling Moses, had fitted him with a character that would not seek after its own glory. But Moses still needed to learn how to trust God. He resisted his call to deliver Israel by looking to his own weaknesses. He needed to understand that God can complete His work with those He saw fit. He would give Moses the means to deliver Israel and it was his charge to carry it out. So he returned to Egypt and met his brother, Aaron, who would assist him in his work.
The reception of Moses’ and Aaron’s ministry to their people and to their Pharaoh highlight two distinct responses to God’s command to release Israel. Both the Israelites and the Egyptians heard the same message. They both received divine signs that confirmed their ministry was from God. But whereas the Israelites received the message, the Pharaoh rejected it. Like many before and after him, the Pharaoh and his people trusted in their own power. Moreover, the enchantments they could perform led the people to trust in their own works and they did not fear God.
Even as locusts and days of darkness came upon the land, few departed from their stubborn course. Very few were willing to admonish the Pharaoh for this. The power that Satan had over those who practiced their occult arts will lead many to trust in them and not God. We would do well to avoid these things ourselves.
Note also what this rebellious class did when they did not heed the word of the Lord. They persecuted those who received it. Through increasing their burdens, they Egyptians sought to bring them down with them, to encourage them to live as those who rejected the word of the Lord. When you begin to seek for the answers as to why these things are happening around you, do not look to those who have rejected the word of the Lord. They will surely lead you to repeat their errors as many did before them.
In delivering Israel, the Lord sought to impress upon the minds of His people that their deliverance came at a terrible price. Through the sacrifice of a life, unblemished by the world, they would remember that the Lord passed over them to deliver them. The blood of the lamb upon the lintels and posts of their doors kept them from the final plague that fell upon Egypt. Sin brought death and destruction upon Egypt and every refusal brought greater woe. Israel was not to forget this.
The final deliverance from Egypt at the Red Sea was anything but a silent one. At this, Israel was cornered by the sea in front of them and the charging army behind them. The enemies of the Lord were determined to destroy God’s people, whether they were armed or not. It would have been a slaughter. But God’s people, rather than trusting Him, were caught up in the perils around them. They feared for their lives, even though the Lord had just delivered them from a life of bondage.
This time called for trust and action on the part of the Israelites. A way will be made for us to escape just as a way through the Red Sea was opened. They who would be saved in the end-times must take action. They must not complain of their dire strait. They must not be overly concerned for their own provision, for the Lord will provide food for them in that moment as He provided manna for Israel for 40 years. Food does not come from man: it comes from God. In that day, people will seek provisions, but they must remember that the Lord will provide.
The victory over those who hate the Lord will be a complete victory, one that will resound throughout countless ages. No more threats will rise against them. As the news of the Lord’s victory spread throughout Canaan, the news of victory over evil will spread throughout all Creation. The mighty and outstretched arm will have proven itself over any earthly attempts at salvation, for all attempts of man to save himself will fail and pale to what the Lord will do for all His people.
But this deliverance will be preceded by purification. As Moses was humbled in his 40 years, God’s people must also be humbled before they are delivered. The Israelites, tainted by 400 years of idolatry, must receive their faith with its fulness and its power. The engine for this refining in the days of ancient Israel was the tabernacle made for the Lord. From its structure to its services, the tabernacle of the congregation was designed to flesh out the people of God’s heart for idolatry and restore the law of the Lord to them.
At its heart was the covenant that Israel agreed to keep. Through it, the Lord would cleanse His people from all iniquity and idolatry and they would be a peculiar people to Him. To this high honor, God’s people said yes. All who would be His people would do well to give the same response. The opportunity to be free from sin in the end times must not be rejected by those who seek a better world than this. True liberty and freedom can only come from trust and obedience in the Lord and those who fail to will not see it.
In the times of ancient Israel, God bore with the hardness of His people’s hearts. He knew that, even now, they would seek their own way. To keep them from this destructive path, He gave them a civil law more benevolent in its nature than one left to their own devices. Even though they suffered 400 years of forced servitude, Israel would seek to own slaves. Their own experience would not only repeat itself, it would be intensified by their own memories of the lash. Thus, the law was given to deter this.
Through observing the civil law of God, the Israelites would serve as a role model for pagan nations. They themselves would draw closer to God and eventually forsake their sins, for all God’s laws are designed to draw men closer to Him.
The tabernacle of the congregation was a primary example of this. Its services and furniture were divinely designed to teach them and others about sin and its consequences. Moreover, they learned that they had the opportunity to be forgiven of them. One who entered the court of the tabernacle with their offering was one who had sinned in the sight of the Lord. The service performed was designed to convey to the people that their sin was worthy of death and that forgiveness was given by the sacrifice of an unblemished animal. The slaying of this innocent animal and the disemboweling of it were designed to teach Israel that sin must be removed from the sinner for forgiveness. It cannot be tolerated by those who are holy to the Lord. God is a holy God and that which is unholy cannot abide among those close to Him.
At this point, the priests took over. They brought the blood to the tabernacle, where the sin was atoned for. Within this sacred space stood three articles of furniture: the altar of incense, the table of showbread, and the candlestick. There was always to be bread upon the table and the seven lamps of the candlestick were always to be kept burning. This is symbolic of eternal truth, for He who sustains the ministry of atonement and He who lights the way for it must never be left from it. They must never be forsaken in the ministry for the people of God. So were the plans of the Lord for His people. But the people rebelled against Him. Intercession and mercy alone, then and now, kept Him among them in their wanderings.
This forgiveness did not go unrecognized by Israel, for when the time came to build His tabernacle, the people gave more than was required to build it. They held the forgiveness for betraying God as a treasure greater than what they had willingly gave. The matter is still so, for forgiveness of sin is not free. It comes at a price and the system of sacrifices is a testimony to that fact. Forgiveness is not to be taken for granted in the last days, for by it God’s people will escape the fate to come upon all who seek it not.
All heaven is preparing for the day of deliverance. The intercession for sin and the preparation of His watchmen, His prophets, to give this message around the world all point to a great event soon to happen. But the world is not preparing for this. They are walking in the footsteps of the Egyptians before them. They are putting their trust in their riches and continuing to indulge pleasure after pleasure.
But as all Israel hearkened the counsel of Moses before they crossed the Jordan, all God’s people today are hearkening to His counsel to prepare for the coming of the Messiah.
He reminds them of His faithfulness, that He will keep His covenant and mercy with them who love Him. Those who do will be blessed and they will prosper in all things. They will lend to the poor and not hold back from doing so. They will not show favor to others, lest the spirit jealousy work upon them as it did Joseph and his brothers. They will be distinct in their food, their work, and even in their clothes. They do not do these things to elevate themselves in the sight of the people. They will do this because they were once enslaved by sin as the Israelites were once enslaved by the Egyptians. A mighty and outstretched arm delivered them, as well. By preparing for their deliverance, they are thanking the Lord by their obedience to Him. They will care for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. They will not exact unjust gain in their business dealings. They will know that in God’s law, He has set before them good and evil, life and death.
Choose eternal life that you may have it and have it more abundantly. Prepare, for this is the counsel the Lord has prepared for you.
To Be Continued…Check Us Out Next Time!