Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 7
MOSES, THE DELIVERER OF ISRAEL
Let’s pick up where we left off last lesson, by turning to Exodus Chapter 5. Moses and Aaron have confronted Pharaoh; have made their demands that Israel is to leave Egypt, for at least the three day journey into the wilderness for their sacrifice to the Lord their God. Remember, Pharaoh, rebelled at such a thought. After that, he made it more difficult for the children of Israel. Look at verse 7:
“Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore:”
I don’t know how many of you have heard the term “higher criticism,” but higher criticism was that group of theologians of the late 1800’s who began to scoff at certain parts of Scripture, that they thought were unbelievable. And this is one of them. They didn’t believe you could use straw to make bricks. Who had ever heard of such a thing! But you know, as I’ve said so often in this class, bless the archaeologist, most of them are agnostic and atheists, or whatever. But, at least, when they find something that is in line with Scripture, they do report it. About 1920-30, the archaeologists coming out of Europe, working in the Middle East, found the ancients did, indeed, make brick with straw. It was part of the binding. The Word of God is so very, very true! So they had to go out and get the straw themselves, rather than having someone bring it to them, and yet maintain their quota of production. And so they began to cry:
“herefore they cry, saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'”
“‘Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein, and let them not regard vain words.'”
“And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, ‘Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.'”
“Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.”
Your quota maintains the same. So things keep getting worse, and finally, the children of Israel are beginning to wonder if Moses and Pharaoh know what it’s all about. And they come unto them in verse 22:
“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said LORD, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?”
“For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”
That is a common reaction from the human standpoint. God has said He would deliver them, He would take them out. Moses and Aaron confront Pharaoh, who in turn lays more burdens on the children of Israel, and makes life even more miserable. Now, they are beginning to wonder, is God really going to do what He said He would do. Let’s look at Chapter 6:
“Then the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.'”
“And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, ‘I am the LORD:'”
“And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty,”
Now, in the Hebrew, that’s El Shaddai, and it is unfortunate really that it was translated simply Almighty, because the word “Shaddai” implies so much more than that. It implies the sustainer, the providing, the provisions, the security blanket. God was literally the security of His people, and that was all involved in that Hebrew word of Deity, El Shaddai, “But by the name JEHOVAH was I not known unto them.” Remember, the name in Jehovah implied I AM. We studied about Moses and the burning bush a couple of lessons back and the I AM. There are seven distinct names of Jehovah, that are used in God dealing with the nation of Israel. In fact the name Jehovah, primarily the Name of God, as He deals with His Covenant People. I don’t know if I can remember all seven of them, but when Abraham found the ram in the thicket, he called the place Jehovah-Jireh, which meant, “The LORD will provide.“
If you go to Psalms 23, What’s the first verse? “The Lord is my shepherd,… – in the Hebrew it is Jehovah-Rohi, which means “The LORD our shepherd.“ Another one is Jehovah-Rophe, which means “The LORD that healeth.“ When He brought Israel out of Egypt, He told Israel if they would be true to His commandment He would keep them from the disease of Egypt. And as a result He was called Jehovah-Rophe, the healer. Another one is Jehovah-Nissi “The Lord my banner.” This came about when they had to hold up Moses’ arms during battle for victory, it was Jehovah who won the battle. Then there is Jehovah-Tsidkenu, which means “The LORD out righteousness“ Then we have Jehovah-Shammah, “The LORD is there or present.” We also have Jehovah-Shalom “The LORD our peace“ or “The LORD sends peace.” Now verse 4:
“And I have also established my (What’s the next word?) covenant (those of you who have been with me from Genesis l, now realize why we spent so much time on the Abrahamic Covenant. To reiterate, all of Scripture is going to rest on the Covenant that God made with Abraham.) with them (The nation of Israel), to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.”
“And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.”
God will never forget this Covenant, but there are a lot of people that think God is all through with the Jew. They think God’s forgotten all about that Covenant that He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But don’t you believe it.
“Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you (The Nation of Israel) out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will (What’s the next word?) redeem;”
I tell you all the time that this is a Book of Redemption. Here it comes: God says I’m going to buy you back, I’m going to pay the price to set you free from the bondage of Egypt. Paul, as well as others, also speaks of our redemption. We, too, have to be redeemed. In fact, let’s look at the little letter of I Peter:
I Peter 1:18,19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from you vain conversation (or your manner of living) received by tradition from your fathers;”
We often think of the Jews being steeped in traditions, but how about people today? It’s no different. They are steeped in the traditions of their fathers and they think they are going to make it. But listen, tradition is not going to help anyone make it. And sometimes we have to break some traditions in order to come to the truth of the Scriptures. But how were we redeemed? Verse 19:
“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
Now, let’s look at what Paul says in Roman Chapter 3:
“But now (In verse 20, he’s talking about the deeds of the law) the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;”
Remember all of Scripture fits into the overall plan:
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that BELIEVE (Of course we need to know what to believe); for there is no difference:”
No difference between whom? Jew and Gentile. This is what got Paul in trouble with his Jewish people, he was maintaining there was no difference. And as we’ll see back here in Exodus, as soon as God pulled Israel out of Egypt, what does He tell them? You are different! I’m going to make you different. I’m going to set you apart. He then instructs them that they were to have nothing to do with the pagans around them. They were not to intermarry with them. This is why it was so hard for the Jews of Paul day to suddenly come out of that tradition, that they were different. And now, this little Jew tells them there is no difference.
“For (how many have sinned?) all (not just the Gentiles) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
When I come to Romans Chapter 3, I always remind people, that if you are going to be instrumental in bringing someone to a knowledge of salvation, start with this Chapter. I think most of you have probably heard of the Roman Road; those six or seven verses you can use, within the confines of the Book of Romans, to bring someone to a knowledge of salvation. They are so easy to use. Here is the very first step of faith, on the road to salvation. And what is it? We must realize that we are sinners.
So many people think they are good enough. And there are a lot of good people. We were talking about that a little while ago. Those people who are better than I would ever hope to be. But, they are going to be lost. Why? Because they have not trusted what God has done! It’s the only thing you and I, as believers, can claim. It isn’t what I do that will get me to heaven.Nothing can be done to get us to heaven. We have to rest on the fact we are sinners, and have fallen short. We are sons of Adam. So this is the first step of faith: to believe what God says about who? Me! I’m a sinner. But he also says that about you. Now, even though God condemns we can be Verse 24:
“Being justified freely (no strings attached) by his grace through the (and here is the reason I came to these verses) redemption (the purchase price that has been paid for the salvation of everyone, if they will simply BELIEVE the Gospel) that is in Christ Jesus:”
Let’s not stop there, since there is not a period.
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (now, we will explain that word more in detail when we get to the Tabernacle in the Book of Exodus, because that’s where the word “propitiation” comes into full bloom.) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”
I wonder if now would be a good time to cover something that came up the other night during one of our classes. They wondered if I had that on tape, or had covered it in one of our television programs. I told them, “I didn’t think so.” Now may be a good time to take a quick look at this concept of being redeemed by the purchase price of God, which was His blood. So let’s give it a try anyway.
Come back with me to John’s Gospel, and while you are looking at that I’ll remind you of what the Book of Hebrews says. Hebrews says that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission or forgiveness of sin. It is a mandate of God. I know a lot of people may frown at that, but nevertheless, God is Sovereign and can do as He sees fit. And for His own reasons, He has demanded that there must be the shed blood. Of course, the animal sacrifices were all looking forward to that, they were examples of it. But the animals’ blood couldn’t take away sin, but they looked forward to the One Who could. And that, of course, was the blood of Christ.
Now, here in John’s Gospel, we have the resurrection morning, and as the custom was, they anointed the body of the deceased with herbs and spices, even a day or so after they were buried. And they were not buried under ground as we think of it, but placed in a cave of sorts.
“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.”
We all all know what follows: Peter and John hear it from Mary, and what do they do? They run full speed to the sepulchre. And again I get a kick out of Peter, he was bigger and more slow of foot than John, so John got there first, but he stops – he was more timid. But here comes old Peter, just a-huffin’ and a-puffin.’ I can just picture it. And what does Peter do? He bursts right on in and looks the situation over. And now timid John realizes that’s it’s safe and he goes in also:
“And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying: yet went he not in.”
Here is where Peter arrives and went on in the sepulchre.
“Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,”
“And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.”
Then in verse 8, John gets the nerve to join Peter:
“Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed.”
Up until now, did these disciples believe that Jesus was going to rise from the dead? No, they had no idea that He would rise on the third day. They should have, but they didn’t. But now they see the evidence and the Scriptures say they BELIEVED. Now verse 9:
“For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”
So they leave, and we pick up with Mary. Remember this is all in the predawn hour:
“But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,”
“And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.”
I always comment to our classes that all these things were so commonplace in Israel. What would you and I do, if we went to the cemetery to visit a grave, and all of a sudden there were angels standing around? I’d probably pass out. And I believe in angels. But I don’t believe they make visible appearances in our day and age. But this didn’t frighten Mary. She talks with them. Verse 13:
“And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.”
“And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.”
I pointed out something when we were talking the other night. And now we must go to Isaiah 52 for a moment to explain, as there are a couple of verses here, and I suppose a lot of people don’t know they are in here.
“Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.”
“As many were astonished at thee (now watch it) his visage (or his appearance, remember this was a prophecy concerning Christ) was so marred more than any man, and his form more(marred) than the sons of men.”
You want to remember, what Jesus went through, even before the Cross? He went through the scourging that literally made a man’s back look like hamburger meat. He had the crown of thorns pushed on His head. He had His beard ripped out. And He had taken all the sins of the world upon Himself. So, keep in mind,that was the last picture Mary had as He hung on the Cross. Now, back to John’s Gospel.
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, ‘Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.'”
“Jesus saith unto her, ‘Mary,'”
Can’t you just hear Him? Oh, that voice of endearment. They had known each other so closely for three years, and she recognizes that voice, and look at what she attempts to do. Something very human. She was going to give Him a bear hug. And what does Jesus say? Verse 17:
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not (take note that just a few hours later He tells doubting Thomas to touch His side. But here He tells Mary not to touch Him. And what is the reason?); for I am not yet ascended to my Father (Do you see what it said?): but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”
I call this the first ascension, and in Acts the second ascension. Quickly come back to Hebrews, and I think we can explain it. Hebrews Chapter 9; and in this chapter Paul is rehearsing the Day of Atonement. The high priest would go into the Tabernacle on the Day of Atonement. He would first enter with the blood of an animal and sprinkle it back behind the curtain in the Holy of Holies, on the Ark of the Covenant (the Mercy Seat) for his own sins. He would then go back and take the blood of a second animal and sprinkle it on the Mercy Seat for the sins of the nation. Now, drop down to verse 11.
“But Christ being come a high priest (now we must have a high priest. Aaron was the high priest of Israel, Melchisedec was the high priest of all, a picture of Christ, our High Priest) of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;”
Or creation in other words where is this Tabernacle? In heaven. And so into that Holy of Holies in heaven:
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once (Not just once a year, but once for all times.) into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
What did He present in the Holy of Holies in heaven? His own blood.