Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 7
MOSES, THE DELIVERER OF ISRAEL
Turn to Exodus, Chapter 4 once again. We now know that Moses and Aaron have been joined together, because when Moses cried that he didn’t have a tongue that could speak, God in His anger said He would let Aaron be his mouth piece. This is what brought the two brothers together. Aaron now becomes the spokesman, but Moses is the one through whom God does the speaking. So Moses and Aaron approach the Children of Israel there in Goshen, so let’s look at verse 29:
“And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:”
“And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people (The children of Israel).”
“And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.”
Now we go into Chapter 5:
“And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.”
“And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD (Or we would have to say “Jehovah,” because the word LORD is always indicative of the term Jehovah. As I’ve pointed out in another lesson, everything in Egypt was a god: a frog, the moon, sun, every animal you could think of, and each of them had a name. So when Moses and Aaron came and said the God of Israel, Jehovah, is going to lead the children out, Pharaoh’s natural response was, “Who is Jehovah? He doesn’t mean anything to me.”), that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.”
He’s going to learn, but it’s going to take a while. In everything there is a reason. These people were just as human as we are. Their government functioned even as government does today. How many people realize that when Pharaoh was confronted with losing the Israelites, what was he really going to lose? He would lose the backbone of his economy; they were his workers. They were the ones that were getting all the daily work done. The Egyptians had become the upper-class elite. They did nothing but make sure those Jews got the work done.
I always like to compare this even to America, especially the South, before the Civil War. Why were our plantation owners so uptight about losing slavery? That was the backbone of their economy. How would the American farmer do today if the government would say, “We are going to take all of your farm equipment away from you. You can’t use tractors or combines anymore.” What would they do? They’d go crazy. Because after all, how could they get their crops in the ground, and get them out, if they didn’t have their machinery? This is what was confronting Egypt: take the Jews away and they’ve got nothing. And so Pharaoh says, “I will not let them go!” They were faced with something they couldn’t cope with.
“And they (Moses and Aaron) said, ‘The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.'”
Why the three days? Well, you see, three is a significant number in Scripture. We have the Triune God; that’s where everything begins – The Trinity. So everything in creation rests upon trinities of sorts. The creation itself rests upon a basic Trinity of time, space, and matter. Take any one of those three away and you don’t have a universe. That’s what the whole function is. It’s matter, whether it’s the planet, moon, or you and I as people; we are matter moving through space, in a given period of time. And that’s what makes the whole universe function. I like to use water as an example. What is it? It’s a liquid. It’s a solid. It’s a gas. And so it is in all of creation, you have so many of the things that rest upon a three.
Here, in Exodus, what do you suppose God has on His mind when He tells Moses and Aaron that He wants Israel to go three days journey into the wilderness? There is only one thing that can separate a person from slavery, and, remember, this whole Book of Exodus is a picture of redemption. First, Israel redeemed out of Egypt, but it’s the perfect picture of you and I being redeemed out of the shackles of sin, and brought to a life of freedom. Now, the three days are indicative of, I’m sure, the resurrection. Let’s go to Matthew Chapter 12 and consider verse 38:
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.” Notice that word again, “Sign.”
“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and no sign shall be given to it, but the sign of a prophet Jonas.”
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Way back in Exodus, God is already giving us a picture of basic premise. And that there is no setting us free from the shackles of sin, anymore than there was any reason of expecting Israel to be set free from Egypt, unless they could have three days separating them from their place of captivity. And it’s the same way in our salvation. If we try to ignore the basic premise of the Gospel again, and that is that Christ died, was in the grave three days and three nights, and rose from the dead, then we have no Gospel. But when we put ourfaith in that Gospel, those three days and nights in the tomb separates us from that old life of sin and bondage. And this is what we want to keep so clear in our thinking, that Israel had to be separated from Egypt, but it took the three days journey to do it, as it took the three days and nights in the tomb to separate us.
Now, I’d like to go back to Exodus for a moment before coming back to the New Testament.
“And the king of Egypt said unto them, ‘Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.'”
“And Pharaoh said, ‘Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.'”
What Pharaoh is going to make sure of, as much as he can, is that he does not lose these captives. It is the same when we come into the spiritual realm. Who, also, is going to do everything he can to keep from losing his captives? Satan! Keep that uppermost in your mind: Satan will do anything to keep from losing one of his captives.
Let’s now go to II Corinthians 5. A year or two ago, I was getting a piece of farm equipment ready to go to the field, and I noticed a big beautiful spider web. This big spider was just sitting up there in the corner waiting for his victim. And while I was working on the old brush hog, a big locust flew into that spider web. I would have thought the locust would have gone right through the web, but he couldn’t. He hit the spider web, and as fast as a stroke of lightning, that spider came down and wrapped the locust up in webbing so tight it could hardly move, and in a second it was completely helpless. And when the spider had him completely immobilized, he went back up to his corner and waited for the next one. But I don’t even like to see a locust die, so I took out my pocket knife and I cut the web off that old locust. He dropped to the ground, he lay there for a minute, and then he took off.
Now, I have to think that had to be the happiest locust that ever lived. But you see, what I had in my mind, even as I watched all of that? It is exactly where you and I were. Every person born in the human race is dead spiritually. And as we move on up through those little innocent years, Satan begins to wrap his web. Then by the time we reach the age of accountability, eight, nine, ten, or whatever you want to call it, he has us completely wrapped in his web, as the spider did to the locust. Listen, there was no way that locust could have ever got out of that web, but by an outside power. My pocket knife set him free.
It is precisely the same way in the spiritual realm. The lost person, even though he doesn’t realize it, is totally bound up in Satan’s web. And nobody can cut that web but the power of God Himself, and this is what we have to see. Now, let’s look at what Paul says to the Gentiles at Corinth:
II Corinthians 5:14,15
“For the love of Christ constraineth us (Or drives us on); because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were (how many? Not just the worst, but) all dead:”
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
What do you see in that last statement? That’s the Gospel by which we are saved! See how Paul always brings that out. Now, he may not say the whole thing, but he’ll either say that you have to BELIEVE in the One Who rose from the dead, which indicates His death, or He may speak of His burial and His resurrection. Whichever way, He’s always showing us the complete picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as our Gospel:
II Corinthians 5:16
“Wherefore (Since Christ has accomplished everything that needs to be accomplished.) henceforth know we no man (Not even Jesus) after the flesh (Now, you may ask how do we know he’s talking about Jesus? Read on): yea, though we (and I’m sure he’s speaking of himself) have known Christ after the flesh (And as near as chronologers that I’ve studied can tell, Paul and Christ were about the same age. So when Jesus began His earthly ministry at the age of thirty, Saul was also about the same age. Paul was a young up -and-comer Jew in Judaism, and so they may have never crossed paths, yet Saul knew who Jesus was. He knew all about Jesus, but of course he didn’t know Him. And so Paul can rightly say, yes we knew Christ in the flesh), yet now henceforth know we him no more.”
Do you know what he is saying? He is flying in the face of too much of us here today. And what is it? They preach Jesus in his earthly ministry, and that’s all well and good, as far as it goes. But, beloved, there is no salvation in simply understanding His earthly ministry. We have to go to where? The Cross. We have to go to the resurrection, otherwise, as Paul said here, we know Him for nothing. And we must go beyond that. Now as we know Him as the Christ after the resurrection. Now verse 17:
II Corinthians 5:17a,18
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:”
What has happened? We’ve had that web cut off. We have been set free! And we are no longer under the shackles of Satan. We are now as Israel, who was brought out of Egypt, and set apart for God. However, we will see in the coming chapters in Exodus, when things got a little rough, where did the children of Israel want to go? To the old life in Egypt. And isn’t that the problem with so many believers? Oh, as soon as things get a little tough, then the tempter comes and says, “See, you were probably better off back where you were before.” But don’t you believe him. That’s the working of Satan, always appealing to the flesh. But, old things are passed away. Verse 18:
“And all things are of God, who hath (now what’s that next word?) reconciled (You will remember when we started the study of Exodus, I said Exodus is a Book of Redemption. It’s a picture of being bought back. And reconciliation is a next of kin to redemption. When two people are estranged, and they get their act together, and can come back together, what do we call it? Reconciliation. It’s the same thing, practically, as being redeemed, and brought back with a price. Paul uses this word here in regards to you and I. That God has) us to himself by Jesus Christ (His work on the Cross, but He didn’t stop there when He reconciled us; when He gave salvation, what else did He give us?), the ministry of reconciliation.”
In other words, God expects everyone of us, when He gives opportunity, to be ready. In other words, when we get the opportunity, we have to tell that person, wrapped in Satan’s web, “Listen, God has done everything that needed to be done to set you free; to reconcile you to Himself. That is the ministry of reconciliation.
II Corinthians 5:19,20
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
Why has God left us here? To be what? Verse 20:
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ (What’s an ambassador? If you know anything about government or current events, an ambassador is a representative of a government not in his own homeland, but in a foreign land.) You may remember many years ago the best selling book called the Ugly American? It was an exposé of the horrible life style of our foreign-service people. They were giving foreigners the totally wrong picture of what America really is. They were being drunkards, immoral, and just simply not representing so-called Christian America. Nevertheless, we all understand that ambassadors are to represent the home government in a foreign environment. Now, let’s read on) as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
II Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Now, getting back to the ambassador part. As soon as we become a child of God, by faith in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, we become citizens of Heaven! Paul teaches that the believer already (even though we are left on the earth) has citizenship is in heaven. This got the early believers in trouble with the Roman Government, when they would give their allegiance to nobody but their God. Why? Because their citizenship was in heaven. And their Roman citizenship was now secondary. We must remember, we are left here as ambassadors of heaven, where our home really is, where our citizenship is and we are to represent that citizenship as we walk on this earth.
Let’s turn to I Corinthians Chapter 6. This also relates to bringing Israel out of Egypt. Because as soon as God brings the children of Israel out of Egypt, they are to be a separated people, as we will see in the next lesson. The instructions were clear-cut: they were to have nothing to do with the people around them. They were to be a separated, holy, nation of people. Again, the lesson fits right in with you and I today. Unfortunately, what has happened to Christianity, is that it has reached the place where it is no different. Most people can’t tell a Christian from a non-Christian by looking at his behavior and lifestyle. But that is not what God intended. We are to be different, not an oddball. I don’t ascribe to the fact that just because we are Christians, we have to be odd-balls, and walk with a long face. Without question, if anyone has a reason to be joyful, it’s a Christian in this perplexing world.
I Corinthians 6: 9-11
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.”
“Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
“And such (what’s the verb?) were (past tense) some of you: but ye are washed (Oh, not in water, but by an act of a Sovereign Holy God.), but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Now, that reminds me of another verse. Come back to John’s Gospel. Here we have Jesus washing the feet of the apostles. The reason I came across this thought, was because Paul said, “We are washed.” And, of course, when you think of washing you think of water. But in the spiritual realm we are not cleansed by washing with water, but by an act of God.
“Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, ‘Lord, dost thou was my feet?'”
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.'”
“And Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never was my feet (You can almost see old Peter can’t you?), Jesus answered him, ‘If I wash thee not (His feet), thou hast no part with me.'”
“Simon Peter saith unto him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head (wash me all over, give me a bath).‘”
“Jesus saith to him, ‘He that is washed (He’s been cleansed, not by water but by the blood of the Lamb.) needeth not save to wash his feet,'”
What is the lesson? Oh, they were cleansed at the bath house, but as they would walk home through those dusty streets, their feet would become dirty and, consequently, they needed washing.