Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 10)

SAMSUNG“Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’ So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” Galatians 3:5-9

As we saw in the last part of our study in Romans, God “preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand.” Abraham knew the “gospel of God” and preached it himself. Did any other Hebrew prophet preach the Gospel before Jesus Christ? The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:2 that God promised the Gospel of Jesus Christ beforehand through His “prophets” (plural). That should mean we can look through the Old Testament and find other prophets preaching the “gospel” centuries before Jesus Christ began His preaching ministry on earth. So, can we? Can we find other Hebrew prophets preaching the “gospel?”

Continue reading “Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 10)”

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 9)

SAMSUNG“… which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures …” Romans 1:2

ho proepangellomai dia ton propheton autou en graphais hagiais – “which he promised beforehand through the prophets of him in writings holy”

The word “which” is a relative pronoun that points back to the words “gospel of God” in verse 1. The “gospel of God” is what “He” promised “before.” Who is He? The context of verses 2 and 3 are clear that it is God the Father Who promised – “which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

This is a powerful and amazing statement. God the Father promised His “gospel” at a prior time (beforehand) “through” His prophets in the Holy Scriptures. The Greek word proepangellomai  is translated “promised beforehand.” It’s in the middle voice and carries the idea of the “subject” of the promising of old through proclamation participating in the results of the action. The subject of the action had a vested interest in the outcome of the action. Think about that for a minute. Who proclaimed the Gospel beforehand? God. Who participated in the Gospel during Paul’s preaching of it? God. Thus, “the gospel of God.” It’s all of God!

Continue reading “Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 9)”

Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 2)

SAMSUNG“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.” Romans 1:1

Most biblical scholars accept as fact that the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Romans. Among the small number of critical scholars who do not believe Paul wrote Romans, they mention Tertius being the writer because of Romans 16:22 Continue reading “Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 2)”

A History of Worship – Pt 7

 

Worship Words

(This study is an expansion of the worship section in my book, “A History of Man’s Quest for Immortality,” Fifth Estate Publishing, 2007)

God saved Israel from slavery in Egypt. Moses led the people of God across the Red Sea on dry land and God brought the great waters crashing down on the heads of the Egyptian soldiers. Israel’s freedom from their slave masters was complete and their new relationship with God was underway. Moses began by leading Israel in a song of praise to God. This is the first recorded worship song of Israel, so notice carefully the words God inspired Moses to sing. It has great importance in understanding how and why God wanted His people to worship Him. He wanted Israel to know that there was no other god like Him. God also gave Moses insight into Israel’s future and what they would accomplish when He brought them into the land He had promised to Abraham many years before.

“I will sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. The LORD is a man of war; The LORD is His name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; They sank to the bottom like a stone. ‘Your right hand, O LORD, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces. And in the greatness of Your excellence You have overthrown those who rose against You; You sent forth Your wrath; It consumed them like stubble. And with the blast of Your nostrils The waters were gathered together; The floods stood upright like a heap; The depths congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword, My hand shall destroy them.’ You blew with Your wind, The sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters. ‘Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders? You stretched out Your right hand; The earth swallowed them. You in Your mercy have led forth The people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength To Your holy habitation. ‘The people will hear and be afraid; Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed; The mighty men of Moab, Trembling will take hold of them; All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away. Fear and dread will fall on them; By the greatness of Your arm They will be as still as a stone, Till Your people pass over, O LORD, Till the people pass over Whom You have purchased. You will bring them in and plant them In the mountain of Your inheritance, In the place, O LORD, which You have made For Your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established. ‘The LORD shall reign forever and ever.’ For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them. But the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.” Exodus 15:1-19

God inspired Moses to use His Holiest Name in this first song of worship: Yah and Yhwh (LORD). God also inspired him to use El and Elohiym (God). Notice also some key phrases which speak to God’s special relationship to Israel:

  1. my strength and song
  2. my salvation
  3. my God
  4. My father’s God
  5. The LORD is a man of war
  6. Your right hand, O LORD – glorious in power, dashed the enemy in pieces
  7. greatness of Your excellence
  8. glorious in holiness
  9. Fearful in praises
  10. doing wonders
  11. You have redeemed
  12. guided them in Your strength
  13. the greatness of Your arm
  14. Your people
  15. the people Whom You have purchased
  16. You will bring them in and plant them In the mountain of Your inheritance
  17. For Your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord
  18. The LORD shall reign forever and ever

This short song contains immeasurable evidence of God’s deep Love and Devotion for the people of Israel. Though Israel treated God terribly for centuries, His Love for them has endured. How did Israel treat God terribly, you ask? Read the next 3 verses in Exodus –

“And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, ‘Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:1-3

Do you see that? Israel had been free from their horrible slavery in Egypt for just six weeks and already they’re complaining against God’s plan for them. Isn’t that just like human beings? We cry and cry to God – “Oh, Lord! Help us, Lord! Help us! Oh, Lord, just get me out of this mess and I’ll obey you forever and ever” – and the first time things get a little rough we start complaining – “Oh, Lord! Why is this happening to me? Oh, I wish I could be back where I used to be when things were so much better.” Just like a human. We’re either crying or complaining. What happened to the worship? to the praise? to the songs of joy? What happened in six weeks that would change the people of Israel from worshipers to complainers? They got hungry.

Think about that for a moment – the Israelites got a little hungry and they wished they were back in Egypt where they had pots of meat and ate bread to the full. I think they suffered from selective memory syndrome. The Egyptians had treated the Israelites terribly for years, but the only thing God’s people remembered was the little bit of food the Egyptians would allow them to eat. God demonstrated His amazing Power over the Egyptian gods and army, but all the Israelites could think about was their stomach. Just weeks earlier, they had all sung to the Lord about His strength and greatness and here they were with no faith in God’s ability to feed them. So, how did God respond to the growing unrest? “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you.” (Exodus 16:4) God fed the people of Israel bread (manna) from Heaven and it supplied their needs for 40 years until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

That was probably the last time the people of Israel ever complained about anything – right? Look at the next chapter in Exodus: “Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water, that we may drink.” (Exodus 17:1-2) Instead of worshiping God and being thankful for what He had done for them, Israel started up their whining and complaining campaign – “And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, ‘Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst? (Exodus 17:3) The people were also saying some pretty bad things about God, testing Him and His Word – “Is the LORD among us or not?” (Exodus 17:7) What did God do about it? “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” (Exodus 17:5-6) Yes, God is extremely Longsuffering.

This story of Israel’s complaining and disobedience is repeated throughout the Bible, but God has always been true to His Covenant with Abraham. God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob two things – land and the Seed. No matter what Israel did against God, the Lord was Faithful to His Covenant. No matter how bad, how ugly, how sinful, how awful things became between Israel and God – God was always Faithful.

And things did get ugly –

“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, ‘Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And Aaron said to them, ‘Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bringthem to me.’ So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.’ Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Exodus 32:1-6

Excuse me! Are these the same Israelites who God freed from bondage in Egypt? Are these the same people who walked across the Red Sea on dry land and witnessed God’s destruction of the Egyptian Army? Are these the people of Israel who ate bread from Heaven and drank water from a rock? Is this the same Israel that defeated the mighty army of Amalek? Are these the same people who saw the Glory of God resting on the top of Mount Sinai as a consuming fire? Are these the same Israelites who turned their back on the God they knew to worship a blind, deaf and dumb golden calf? Yes, I believe they are. How ugly is that? How absolutely pitiful. How human. God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt for the express purpose of protecting and providing for them while they served and worshiped Him – and what did they do? They served and worshiped an object of their own creation instead of the Creator. How sad.

Not unlike today – would you agree? God opened the door of salvation to every human being on the planet – Jews and Gentiles – through His Son Jesus Christ, and what do they do? They serve and worship objects of their own making. Study the history of man’s quest for immortality and that is what you will find – the human race serving and worshiping objects of their own creation.

It’s easy to read about Israel and wonder how they could be so foolish – but can we not see our own foolishness? Who or what do we serve? And I am talking to Christians as well as non-Christians when I ask this question. Who or what do we serve? You don’t think Christians can fall into the same spiritual trap as Israel? Look at what Jesus told some of the churches of the 1st Century.

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write … Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” Revelation 2:1, 4-5

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write … But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” Revelation 2:12, 14-16

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write … Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.” Revelation 2:18, 20-23

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” Revelation 3:1-3

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: ‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:14-19

What does our Lord want from us? Obedience and worship. Let’s give God what He wants. He certainly deserves that – don’t you think?

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

A History of Worship – Pt 6

 

Worship Words

(This study is an expansion of the worship section in my book, “A History of Man’s Quest for Immortality,” Fifth Estate Publishing, 2007)

The world knows little about the worship of Israel between Joseph’s death and Moses’ birth. The Bible does not go into much detail about those centuries, but what we do know is that after the death of the generation that moved with Jacob to Egypt a new pharaoh came to power who did not know Joseph. The new pharaoh was concerned about how large and powerful the tribes of Israel had become, so he established a system of taskmasters over the Israelites to control them. The pharaoh used Israel to build supply cities for him, but the more the Egyptians afflicted the Hebrews the more they multiplied and grew. The pharaoh responded by making the lives of the Israelites harder and more bitter. The next step pharaoh took was to demand of the Hebrew midwives that they kill every Hebrew baby boy. But the midwives feared God more than pharaoh, so they saved the boy babies and told pharaoh lies about how the Hebrew women gave birth before the midwives could arrive to help them. God blessed the midwives for their bravery. Pharaoh commanded the Egyptian people to kill the Hebrew baby boys, but as we know from the story of Moses that didn’t always happen.

“And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?’ And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go.’ So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, ‘Because I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:1-10

We learn from this story that the Hebrews continued to worship God in Egypt and knew their heritage. The Hebrew midwives feared God more than they feared pharaoh. That’s saying a lot when you read about the power of the Egyptian pharaohs. They were like gods to the Egyptian people, but not so to the Hebrew people. The people of Israel would have known a great deal about the religious beliefs of the Egyptians because of their involvement in building the supply cities for pharaoh, but that knowledge didn’t diminish their belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.

You can read more details about Moses’ relationship with Israel and Egypt on pages 293 – 310 and 587 – 622 of “A History of Man’s Quest for Immortality,” but one of the most amazing insights I discovered while writing the book was why God revealed Himself to Pharaoh and the people of Egypt through 10 plagues. I had studied the Books of Genesis and Exodus for many years, but it was during an indepth study of the history of Egypt and its religious beliefs that I saw why God revealed His power to Pharaoh and the Egyptian people through plagues. It was a phenomenal demonstration of Elohim’s superiority over every god of Egypt.

Moses had an intimate knowledge of Egyptian culture because he was raised by a daughter of Pharaoh. Moses lived among the royal elite until he was 40 years old and killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew man. Pharaoh learned about it and searched for Moses to kill him, but Moses fled to Midian for safety. Moses found refuge there with the Midianites. They were distant relatives of Moses from the lineage of Midian – one of Abraham’s sons with his wife Keturah. Moses lived in Midian until he was 80 years old. That’s when Elohim spoke to Moses from a burning bush. God had heard the “groanings” of the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt.

“So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them. Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said: ‘I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ So He said, ‘I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.’ Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 2:24 – 3:13)

Moses knew “about” the God of Israel, but now He was meeting God for the first time. God left a deep impression on Moses – a “holy” impression.” Moses knew about the gods of Egypt in great detail from observing how the people worshiped them through elaborate building projects, public displays of devotion and elaborate burials of royals. The God of Israel met Moses privately and intimately. The gods of Egypt did not speak. They were nothing more than stone and wooden images of men’s imagination. They could not speak or act on their own. They had no real power of their own – only that which the people gave them. So, when God revealed Himself to Moses the meeting was in an environment Moses knew well and could see that it was no trick of the magicians of the court of Pharaoh. The God of Israel was Real!

God had made a unbreakable covenant with Abraham centuries before and promised that He was going to rescue His people from those who would enslave them – “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” (Genesis 15:13-14) God chose Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt and into the land He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Something important to remember when studying the history of Israel is that God’s promise of Land and Seed had the highest purpose of worship. God told Moses that at the beginning of their relationship – “When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” The Hebrew word translated “serve” here is abad. It is translated as both “serve” and “worship” in different English translations. It is the idea of a person working as a servant. God called Israel out of Egypt to demonstrate their worship through works of service.

(Similar to what God has called Christians to do – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 Christians do not perform works of service in order to be saved since salvation is by grace through faith. However, we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared for us to do.)

God sent Moses first to the people of Israel to show that He was going to deliver them out of slavery in Egypt. Notice how the people responded to God – “So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.” (Exodus 4:31) Worship (Hebrew hawah – “pay adoration”) is exactly what God intended to come from this demonstration of His power to deliver the Israelites. Worship is always God’s highest calling for His children.

Moses did as God said and told Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go into the wilderness so they could worship God. However, Pharaoh would  not let them go and made life on the Israelites more and more difficult. It’s interesting to note that in our study that Moses did not fully understand God’s plan for delivering Israel out of Egyptian bondage. Moses could not comprehend why God was acting the way He was – “So Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.” (Exodus 5:22-23) What Moses and Israel did not know at that moment, but would soon learn, was that their education about what it meant to be the people of the Almighty God was just starting.

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.’ And God spoke to Moses and said to him: ‘I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD I was not known to them. I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which 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. Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.” Exodus 6:1-8

God revealed something to Moses that He had not revealed to Abraham, Isaac or Jacob – “by My name LORD.” God told Moses that He had revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) as “El Shaddai, God Almighty.” What God was doing for Moses and the people of Israel was securing His promise to them by His Most Holy Name JEHOVAH (LORD). Look at how emphatically God pronounces the absoluteness of His promise – “And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.”

The people desperately wanted to be free from the cruel slavery of the Egyptians. They had called on El Shaddai to deliver them. Notice the lessons God intended to teach them about what JEHOVAH would do.

  1. I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians
  2. I will rescue you from their bondage
  3. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments
  4. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God
  5. I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
  6. I will give it to you as a heritage
  7. I am the LORD (JEHOVAH)

God knows how to teach lessons to His people. What He was going to do would become something they and all their descendants would remember forever. God was also going to teach Pharaoh and all of Egypt an important lesson –  one they would learn, but not remember long. Even after suffering from 10 terrible plagues and finally letting Israel leave Egypt, Pharaoh still believed the gods of Egypt would prevail against JEHOVAH. He was wrong.

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.’ And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.” Exodus 14:26-31

Remember that land and Seed were always at the forefront of God’s dealings with Israel. As Israel’s time to leave Egypt approached, and just before God killed all the firstborn of Egypt, JEHOVAH revealed to Israel the redemptive nature of the Seed that would come from Judah. Notice how Israel responded to God’s redemption through the blood of the passover lamb.

“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.” Exodus 12:21-27

The people bowed their heads and worshiped (Hebrew hawah – “pay adoration”). That is always the response God wants from His people – worship. To this day Christians bow their heads and worship God as they remember His great salvation through Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

(You can read more about God’s redemption of Israel from Egypt on pages 587 – 595 of “A History of Man’s Quest for Immortality.”)

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”