|Exodus 13 (NKJV™)|
|1||Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,|
|2||"Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine."|
|3||And Moses said to the people: "Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.|
|4||"On this day you are going out, in the month Abib.|
|5||"And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month.|
|6||"Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD.|
|7||"Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters.|
|8||"And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, 'This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came up from Egypt.'|
|9||"It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.|
|10||"You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.|
|11||"And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you,|
|12||"that you shall set apart to the LORD all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD'S.|
|13||"But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.|
|14||"So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' that you shall say to him, 'By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.|
|15||'And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.'|
|16||"It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."|
|17||Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, "Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt."|
|18||So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.|
|19||And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you."|
|20||So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness.|
|21||And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.|
|22||He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.|
|Exodus 14 (NKJV™)|
|1||Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:|
|2||"Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea.|
|3||"For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, 'They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.'|
|4||"Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD." And they did so.|
|5||Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, "Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?"|
|6||So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him.|
|7||Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them.|
|8||And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness.|
|9||So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.|
|10||And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.|
|11||Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?|
|12||"Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."|
|13||And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.|
|14||"The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."|
|15||And the LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.|
|16||"But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.|
|17||"And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen.|
|18||"Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."|
|19||And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.|
|20||So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.|
|21||Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.|
|22||So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.|
|23||And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.|
|24||Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians.|
|25||And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians."|
|26||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."|
|27||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.|
|28||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.|
|29||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.|
|30||So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.|
|31||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.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
Emancipation -- to free from bondage, oppression or restraint; to liberate. In Exodus 13-14, a portrait of deliverance is painted; as God's people were set free from bondage in Egypt, so we are redeemed in Jesus Christ. Let's look closely to gain a greater understanding of our freedom from sin and our new life in Him.
Beginning in the brickyards of Egypt and ending in the tabernacle filled with God's presence, the book of Exodus chronicles the deliverance of God's people from Egypt and records the end of their oppression under Pharaoh. It also provides an account of the beginning of a prophecy fulfilled: God promised Abraham descendants beyond number, and on the pages of Exodus we see Israel become a great nation.
In this verse-by-verse study, Pastor Skip Heitzig presents an in-depth look at Moses, the ten plagues, the ten commandments, the desert wanderings, the construction of the tabernacle, and more. As we study, we'll see the grace of God, witness the glory of the Lord, and a catch a glimpse of Israel's coming Savior.
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Hebrew terms: אָבִיב; - Ahib - spring; Tammuz- the name of a Babylonian god; תפילין tephillin - - prayer; פדיון הבן Pidyon HaBen - Redemption of the Son; ם-סוּף Yam Suph - Sea of Reeds;
Figures Referenced: Abraham Lincoln; Billy Sunday; William Wrigley; C. H. Mackintosh
Cross References: Exodus 13:1-10; Exodus 13:11-16; Exodus 40:34; Numbers 13-14; Numbers 6:4-9; Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 11:13-21; Joshua 1:3; 1 Kings 8:11; Psalm 103:14; Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 3:9; Isaiah 6:3-4; Zechariah 2:8; Matthew 6:24; Matthew 23:5; Matthew 23:13-15; Mark 16:15; John 8:32-34; John 18:10; John21:1-14; Romans 6:17-18; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:2-3
Let's pray together.
Heavenly Father, we have seen time and time again where we get refreshed. When we crack-open this book we refer to as the Bible, it's your word all, of these books, these writings compiled and we believe superintended supernaturally to be given to us, that adequately tell us who you are, what you have done, what you're going to do in the future, and where we fit into that plan. It's so exciting to gather, and to read, and to consider. And Lord, we're dealing with this period of history so long ago, but it forms a picture of portrait of another redemption given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord I pray that we would see the similarities as well as the differences, and our relationship with you based upon redemption that that relationship would grow and we would appreciate it more fully than ever before. Thank you for the family gathered. Thank you for this midweek time where we can just verse-by-verse, line-upon-line, go through your word, in Jesus name, Amen.
It was President Abraham Lincoln that was known as the Great Emancipator because he signed, in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freeing 3.1 million slaves that had been enslaved unfortunately as a part of our national history. Now Lincoln said that when he signed that document, because he knew of its importance, he knew it would do that is hand actually trembled in signing the Emancipation Proclamation. President Abraham Lincoln the Great Emancipator.
3,300 years ago around the year 1450 B.C. -- Yahweh, God, the great of the greats emancipated his people. Again about 3 million people between two and a half, we think, to three million people where emancipated, set free from bandage in Egypt to go to a land that God wanted to give to them. Now, that picture of Egypt and that picture of slavery in Egypt is a picture of the slavery of sin. Every human being is born into this world as a slave of sin that needs to be emancipated, set free, by the great emancipator, God himself through his son Jesus Christ.
Listen to what Paul writes in Romans chapter 6, "But, God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."
Most people pride themselves in being free. Free thinkers, free moral agents, the captain of their own fate, the master of their own destiny, and so it was odd especially for the Jews, 2000 years ago, when in John chapter 8, Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free." And the Jews immediately retorted and said, "We've never been slaves to anyone." How can you say, "You will know the truth and the truth will set us free?" I've always found that interesting because they actually said that they've never been anyone slaves. Had they forgotten what they celebrate every year, a Passover, that they were slaves in Egypt as a nation?
Now maybe they met -- we are ourselves in our present generation, we've never been slaves to anyone. But then again, had they forgotten that they were under the subjugation of Rome and Rome is in charge of Jerusalem, and even the temple activities? Had they forgotten that? I really don't know what they meant. But as soon as they said that, Jesus said, "Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin." So you really as slave of unrighteousness sin, same idea or you're a slave of righteousness under God by the Lord Jesus Christ. You're slave of one or the other.
Let me reinforce that, in Ephesians chapter 2, it was Paul the Apostle who said, "You once walked --" or you ordered your lifestyle or your behavior. "You once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. And you were by nature" -- that's how you were born, "You were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." What do I mean when I say "We're slaves of one or the other?"
Well, you could be a slave actually to your job. I know people who are. They're enslaved by it, they're driven by it. They're driven people by their job, by their occupation. You can be a slave to what you own. You can be a slave to what you don't own but you really would love to own, so you work hard so that you can own. You don't have it yet, but you'll be a slave to whatever it takes to get it. That's slavery. It's a form of slavery. You can be a slave to the opinions of other people. You'll do anything to win their favor, it's a form of slavery. You can be a slave to habits, things that form addicted behaviors in the human being -- all of these are forms of slavery.
I heard about a man years ago in downtown Los Angeles who wore a sandwich board sign and he was trying to witness on the streets of Los Angeles. On the front part of the sign it read, "I'm a slave of Jesus Christ." When you turn around or when he turn around, the back said, "Whose slave are you?" It's a good question -- "I'm a slave of Jesus Christ, whose slave are you?" Because Jesus himself said, "No one can serve two masters." You will love one and hate the other. Hold the one and despise the other.
Yet, now listen carefully, this is where we get into this redemption thing. Even people who have been redeemed can have problems -- post redemption. Let say you had a thousand acres of land -- no, let me reverse that, let say I had a thousand acres of land and you wanted to buy that land, then I say, "I tell you what, I'll sell it to you. But I just want a one or just a few acres to keep for myself. I'll show you the rest. I just want to keep one or two or three, is that okay?" And you go, "Sure."
Now the catch is the land that I want is not on the edge but in the middle of the plot, or maybe not directly in the middle but it's not right on the edge. And so we worked out the deal, you buy it. I owned that portion of land in the middle. By most laws, the law would give me permission to have an access road, an easement, to get to the property that is still mine even though you owned the surrounding land. Now that's how the devil works. If he knows you're going to give your life to Christ he'll say, "Okay, okay, okay, give your life to Christ but just one little area of your life that you should keep for yourself." And so you keep it and you don't really give that over to the Lord. And the devil loves to build an access road to that little piece of property an easement so that he can get to through a number of visual aids or temptation to have access to ruin that redemption that God is trying to work in your life.
Now you'll discover, as we go on, in this redemptive plot in Exodus that the children of Israel are redeemed out of Egypt, they're taken out of Egypt and yet Egypt isn't taken out of them. You'll see that tonight. Some of them want to go back to Egypt. Just like again, "Have you forgotten what that was all about? Did you forget being oppressed by taskmasters who hated you and could care less about you? Do you want to go back?"
Enough said, verse 1, "Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying consecrate to me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast, it is mine." Now, this makes sense. It was God who spared the firstborn, right? God said, "Israel is my firstborn." God spared Israel. God spared the firstborn during that tenth plague, so that none of the firstborn of the children of Israel where hindered by that last plague, so this makes sense.
If I spared the firstborn and save the future of the nation, it only make sense that you would consecrate your firstborn to me. I want the very best, God would say, "I want your firstborn.
Later on, dub this term "first fruits" or the firsts of what you grow on a piece of property -- that belongs to the Lord. Firstborn of the animals belongs to the Lord. Firstborn of the children belongs to God. Now here's the principle that God is saying, "I'm God, I redeemed you. You consecrate the very best to me." There's a principle and I believe it's a principle, that's a New Testament principle. It's one of the reasons I tithe the tenth of everything that the Lord entrust to me, I give to the Lord's work. It says in Proverbs chapter 3, "That you're to honor the Lord with your possessions and the first fruits of your increase." Then it says, "Then your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine." God will bless you but you must trust the Lord, but I have to give him 10%, no you don't have to give him anything. I want to give him 10% because I know the results that will come because of it, but that's secondary. Primarily, I just want to give God the best and I want to give God the first.
True story, if you've ever heard a Billy Sunday, The Evangelist, he used to be a baseball player, traveled the country doing evangelism. On one of his travels, he traveled with a guy by the name of William Wrigley, ever heard of Wrigley's gum? That was the guy who owned it. And he told Billy Sunday that he lived by this principle of blessing the Lord and giving God the first fruits and giving God the tithes. Giving God the tenth, and he says, "I believe," Reverent Sunday, "The God has blessed me because I simple honored him with the firstborn and the first fruits of what I have.
Verse 3, and Moses said to the people, "Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt out of the house of bondage for by strength of hand or by a mighty hand, as the Lord brought you out of this place." Now are you noticing the language like in verse 2 God says, "They're mine." And then here God says, "I brought you out." So here we have the redeemed being owned by the redeemer. What God is saying is the redeemed are now the property of the redeemer. You're my people those are my firstborn, I brought you out, now that is an Old Testament principle -- that is also a New Testament principle.
Paul said, "You're not your own. You are bought with a price therefore glorify God in your spirit and your body which belong to the Lord." That's the principle, we're owned and I think this is a principle that many Christian fails to live with. You know, we think, "Well, I've been set free. I've been emancipated, yeah," but that doesn't mean you've been set free to your own recognizance. That would be a mistake. God knows your recognizance and mine, isn't all that great? So, know you've been set free from being a slave in the past to being a slave in the present. You're owned by God. He belongs to you as your master and you belong to him as a servant a slave.
"On this day," verse 4, "You are going out, in the month Abib." Stop there, I have to explain something. The word "Abib" means "spring." Now this month was in the spring, but originally, the term in Hebrew referred to the barley grain that was about to spring forth from the stock. And it came to me later on, just as "a spring" or "the spring." The month of Abib was the first month. Later on, the first month is going to be called "Nisan," now I know this is confusing because I broach that subject a little bit last week.
The names of the Jewish months never even became an issue till after the Babylonian captivity. When they come back from being in Babylon, they're back in their land under the time of Ezra. They start coming up with these names which by the way where Babylonian names. They're Babylonian names the fourth month of the year's "Tammuz" it was one of the gods they worshipped.
In the Bible when the Bible refers to time or months, it doesn't use names. It uses numbers in the first month, the second month, the third month, the seventh month, et cetera. They're not named, they're given numbers. Here's the name Abib which means "spring" because that's the first part of the year, the spring part of the year. The names will change post-captivity, but usually the Bible records numbers and not names. Trivia, I just thought I'll throw that in.
Verse 5, "And it shall be when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites" and the termites, "-- and the Jebusites," okay, I just added to the word, I'm sorry. I'll throw that one out -- termites isn't in there, "Which he swore to your fathers to give you a land flowing with milk and honey, that you will keep this service in this month. Seven days you will eat unleavened bread," that's called "The Feast of Unleavened Bread".
"On the seventh day, there will be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days, no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall the leaven be seen among you in all your quarters." We touched a little bit on that last time. "And you will tell your son in that day, this is because of what the Lord did for me when I came up from the land of Egypt." I love this. God is saying, "Give your personal testimony to your children." Now this is the only generation that could actually say, "This is what the Lord has done for me. I was in Egypt. God sprung me out of Egypt," but the principle is, is that every generation should give their personal testimony of what God has done for them.
When parents want to dedicate their children to the Lord, we always want to know what their personal testimony is. Well, how did you come to Christ? "What do you mean how do I come to Christ?" "I just want to -- I want my kid to go to church because -- well, I have a kid, knowing it's important for kids to be seen in a church setting. It's good for their --" "Well, wait -- what about you parent? Have you personally received Jesus Christ and are you walking for him and living for him because I'll tell you right now, if you're just dragging your kids to church, they're going to see hypocrite every time they look at you. What is your testimony? What has the Lord done for you? You maybe all about what you want the Lord to do for them, but he'll do for them what they see the Lord do, in and through you. The personal testimony was to be given.
Verse 9, "It shall be a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes," interesting. "That the Lord's law maybe in your mouth for with the strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt." Now because of this verse, to this day, men in Israel Orthodox Jewish men wore these little boxes on their heads and on their hand, on their left hand. They're called "tefillin" which is an ancient Hebrew word for "prayers." We would call them in modern vernacular and in the New Testament "phylacteries".
Now in this little box, these phylacteries, were four portions of scripture, a four little rolls of parchment and they're stuffed in the little box that is put on the head. You can see a photograph of a young man at the western wall with -- it's a little dark, but in the front, he has his little leather box and inside are portions of scriptures. So on the left hand, with leather thongs tied on and on the head tied in a certain way, are four portions of scripture that give the fundamental truths of Judaism.
And what four scriptures? Number one, Exodus 13:1-10, what we're just reading. Number two, on a separate parchment -- Exodus 13:11-16. On a third, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, and on the fourth, Deuteronomy 11:13- 21 -- those are the four portions of scriptures that are placed literally on the forehead and on the hand. And Jewish men will wrap these every morning as they give their morning prayers because they believe it should be on the head and on the hand.
Verse 10, "You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year. It shall be when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites as he swore to you and your fathers and gives it to you, that you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the wombs." So we're back to the firstborn thing again. What God is saying is, "Once you get into the land that I said I'm going to give you, that's when you start this thing. That's when you do this thing. That's when this ritual kicks in."
Every firstborn that comes from an animal, which you have, all male shall be the Lord's. "But every firstborn of a donkey, you shall redeem with a lamb. And if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons, you shall redeem." Now what going on with this, simple, a donkey is an unclean animal. You cannot use a donkey to sacrifice to the Lord for any occasion under any circumstance.
So you redeem it, that is you use the donkey that is the firstborn, you use it at home by sacrificing a lamb in its place, then you get to take the donkey home and it becomes part of your workforce or your pickup truck essentially. That's where donkeys were on those days.
Okay. Animals are mentioned, children are mentioned also in verse 13, every firstborn among your sons, to this day, Jewish fathers pay five shekels to redeem their firstborn son. They go to a "Rabbi." They bring around them 10 men who are 10 witnesses. The Rabbi, or on those days the priest, would ask them a simple question, "Do you want to keep the money or do you want to keep your son?" Now they do that because they want to hear the confession of the father and the only appropriate thing is not going to say, "I want the money." He's going to say, "I want my son." And so he's giving the five shekels to redeem his son, that's called "Pidyon HaBen" that's the redemption of the son.
So God was redeeming children while -- keep this in mind, keep this in mind -- while other cultures around Israel where killing their firstborn. Did you know that? Phoenicians for example in sacrificing to the false god and goddesses would take their firstborn child and actually kill it. They said it would bring honor to God. God never wanted that. God hated child sacrifice. So he said, "You don't do that, they're mine. You just redeem them." You just redeem them.
Verse 14, "So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' that you shall say to him, 'By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.' And it shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand of the Lord, or by for by strength of hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt.
I did a little research on the phylacteries, these tefellin, these boxes that I told you about. It's seems that they originate in usage. They originated from around the Babylonian captivity post 586 B.C. and onward, that's the record we have of the constant use of these. So it is thought that God may not have this -- intended this to be literal, that is to actually put boxes on your head. But that this could be a figure of expression that God is saying, "I want you to act this out in your life." You know, I don't want you to just keep my commands in your heart. I don't want you to just confess them with your mouth. What I want you to do is actually put your hand into them. Think about them. And let it be a part of the very fabric of your life. So this could originally have simply become a figure of expression.
And I want to give you another scripture that I think could bear that out. In Proverbs 3:3, Solomon writes this, "My son, do not forget my law but let your heart keep my commands for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you, bind them around your neck and write them on the tablet of your heart." That doesn't mean that his kid had to walk around with a huge necklace with all of his dad's little sayings, but it was a figure of expression. You're binding them around your neck. You write them on the tablet of your heart. It becomes a fabric of who you are.
And yet for over 2000 years Jewish people have worn these phylacteries because they want to make sure that they don't break this commandment and so they kept it. There is a reference to phylacteries in the New Testament. It's in Matthew chapter 23. Jesus says, to describe in the Pharisees -- well, he says a lot of things, he says, "Woe onto youscribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You shut off the kingdom of heaven against men, you don't go in yourselves nor you'll let anybody else who wants to go enter in. Woe onto you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers, your condemnation will be just. Woe onto you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to make one proselyte, one convert, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves."
God or Jesus continues in this and says of the Pharisees in that chapter and the scribes of the law, they broaden their phylacteries and they enlarge their garments, that they might be seen by men. Now, when Jesus said that, he wasn't coming down on the use of wearing phylacteries as much as the ostentatious use of wearing phylacteries. Well, what this people were doing is doing these rituals in order to make a show of their religion, in order to be seen by people. It would be sort of like if tomorrow afternoon at 5:00, I knew that -- or sooner it was going to be packed, I've got right out on the street, and wore fancy robes and start to waving my arms and praying out loud just so I could be seen by people. Now, I'm making a show of it. It's not really a true prayers, not true worship and the idea is you're flaunting your religion in public, you just want to be seen by people.
Now beginning in verse 17, we have the movement of the Exodus. The Exodus begins, here is the migration out of Egypt to the land of Canaan. "Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, "Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt."
What is this talking about? "The way of the Philistines," that's the northern route. If you had a map and you could see the shoreline of this land, Egypt and then Canaan, Israel later on, you would see that the shoreline sweeps up the most direct route to get out of Egypt and to go into the new land was the way of the Philistines. It was the northern route.
Later on it became called the "Via Maris" or the "way of the sea." It would take the travelers about one week to two weeks and there was a large company so we can say safely would take this group of people two weeks. Now, how long did it take for them to enter the "Promised Land" -- yeah, 40 years, that's like a big different, isn't it? Two weeks. So, its two weeks -- 40 years, the quickest route was north. God did not lead them that way, why?
Well because he was gracious to them. He said, "Lest when the people see war, they return to Egypt." You see all along that route, from Egypt all the way north, were these little military outposts that would monitor any movement out of Egypt or any incoming traffic. There would be at these places stations, little companies of soldiers. The Israelites would see that and get afraid of a potential military coup. Not only that, but if they were to go to the way of the Philistines, do you know what they'd run into? Philistines, very good. Somebody said that, very good, you'd run into a Philistines. They were camped right there.
And Philistines were ancient Phoenicians fighters who had camped into that area, who wanted to take it over, and it's a long history, we'll discover in the Old Testament with the Philistines and the Israelites. Well you've got -- yeah, you've got 2.5 million people but you really don't have any soldiers. You don't have any implements of war. You don't have an army, so number one, God was offsetting the weakness of his people. They weren't fighting-people. They weren't soldiers. They were slaves.
So offset their weakness, so they wouldn't get scared and run, knowing their weakness, God said, "I'm not going to lead them into a place where they won't be able defend for themselves." I like that about God. God says -- he knows our frame and he remembers that we're just dust. He knows what you can handle. He won't give you too much. He knows what you can take and he wants you to establish your muscles, but he won't give you too much to break you, that's number one.
Number two, God didn't just want to offset their weakness. God wants to demonstrate their weakness. He wants to show them how weak they are so they will depend on him, so they're out in the wilderness. There's no food. There's no water. God brought them there on purpose so they would learn to depend. Listen to Deuteronomy chapter 8, "The Lord, your God, led you all the way these 40 years in the wilderness to humble you and to test you, and to know what was in your heart whether you would keep his commandments or not."
So to offset their weakness and then to demonstrate to them their own weakness so they would depend upon God, he doesn't take them up the northern route, he leads them away from the land of Canaan at first out into the wilderness.
Now we have question that was texted in or emailed in, I'm not sure but we'll put it up on the screen. It's a very good question. It says, "Why doesn't the church celebrate Passover?"
Well first of all, I guess it would depend what church you go to because some churches do celebrate Passover. We have had Passover meals over the years on a number of occasions, sometimes the full-blown meal, sometimes on a Wednesday night to celebrate it, sometimes like last week. It's in explained form and a bridge form. But more than that, in the New Testament, Jesus tells us that Passover is fulfilled not in the ritual of Passover but in the person of Jesus Christ. And so he gave those Passover elements new meaning when he broke the bread and took the cup and said, "Now, you do this often in remembrance of Me," not of that lamb from Egypt, not of that Passover event, but "of Me" -- a whole new meaning was described to an ancient ritual.
So it's fulfilled in Christ. And though I think it's wonderful to celebrate the Passover to get instruction, I do see a danger of some Christians who want to go back under the law that Paul warned about in Galatians and think that Christians have to celebrate Passover and have to keep the Jewish feast, and have to understand that, or somehow they're not completed. So just a little warning, be careful about that. It's fulfilled in Christ and Christ alone.
Verse 19, "Moses took the bones of Joseph with him." Now, it's getting interesting. "For he had placed the children of Israel," that is Joseph, "Under solemn oath saying, "God will surely visit you and will carry up my bones from here with you."" You know what's cool about that? Three hundred and sixty years before the event we're reading, when Joseph was the prime minister in Egypt, he was already seeing in the future, the Exodus.
He was seeing it in the future, he was prophesying about it. "You carry my bones out of here." Now, he had his bones. His body had been brought to Egypt because he was sold as a slave by his brothers. You remember the story. And there, God gave him great favor but he saw a time when God would give the children of Israel a new land. And by faith, he wants to be buried on the plot that God gave to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. He wants to be a part of that.
So in effect, Joseph wants to be a part of the Exodus and his bones are being carried now and they'll be buried in the place called Shechem right in the middle of that land. So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. Now I will tell you this, concerning a lot of the names that we're going to read here, everybody is still guessing as to where they are. There's only one familiar term in these chapters and that is Red Sea because it's still used today. But all of the other locations have big question marks around them except for one that we know for sure and that is Kadesh-Barnea right at the border of the Promised Land and the wilderness.
"And the Lord went before them," get this, "By day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people."
Did you know that in ancient times when armies would march, they were given signals by using fire and smoke? Generals would give the orders and the orders will be carried out by these braziers or these little smoking pots that were lifted up high on poles and they would be seen in the distance by the armies and they would know which way to turn and how to march and when to stop. And so by fire and smoke in ancient times, armies were given directions.
Here God, the leader of this group is giving them directions and protection by a very similar method. It says, "The pillar of fire by night--" that's a night light "And a pillar of cloud by day." What effectively this was -- it was GPS. It's what it was, God's Positioning System. God was telling them where to go, God was telling them when to stop, and it was a visible reminder that God was with them.
Keep in mind, these people didn't have a Bible back then. They were slaves. They didn't have a whole lot of spirituality under their built in spiritual growth like we have today. So God graciously condescends so they will always have a visible reminder, "Hey, God's here. God's leading us". It is sort of like the burning bush on a national level. Moses saw the burning bush. It was a sign to him that this was God. This is like the burning sky and it's a sign to them that God is with them.
So at night, the fire would light the way. It was a night light. And when you go to bed at night, it was a night light, it's a kind a cool. I don't know if it dimmed when it was bedtime but that light was always above them during the night. So it was GPS, God's Positioning System.
It was also a temperature control system. A lot of people don't think of this but if you have a cloud over you during the day, the Sinai can get hot. Imagine being in Phoenix in the summer without air-conditioning and living in tents. It's way, way, way over a hundred degrees. So they have a nice little inversion layer, a cloud layer over you, it would protect them during the day and they can get quite cold because it's dessert in the Sinai in the winter times, so that fire provides a nice little warm blanket over them. It gives them a temperature controlled system.
Now this cloud was more than that. It represents the glory of God. It's called the Shekinah or a better pronunciation the "she-KEE-nah", a visible reminder of the glory of God. Later on towards the end of Exodus, that cloud will settle upon the tabernacle.
In 1 Kings Chapter 8, a cloud settles upon the temple of Solomon so the priest can even minister and do their job, they have to leave the temple. And then much later on Isaiah gets a vision of God high and lifted up, "The train of his robe fills the temple." remember Isaiah Chapter 6? And it says "The smoke filled the temple," it was the same idea, it was this cloud of the glory of God?
Now I'll just give you a preview of coming attractions, because the Lord may comeback before we finish the Bible. This cloud, this visible reminder of God's position and God's glory stays with them until Ezekiel Chapter 10, "When the prophet gets a vision of the cloud lifting from the Holy Of Holies moving toward the Eastern Gate of the Temple Mount of Jerusalem and then leading toward the Mount of Olives." Basically, God is saying, "You guys are so corrupt, I'm getting out of town." And the glory of the Lord departed from the temple. Verse -- oh we've finished that chapter.
Chapter 14, now the Lord spoke to Moses saying -- now here in Chapter 14 once again, we're at that pivotal point in Jewish history, okay? We're going to deal with the Red Sea. I'm going to talk about the Red Sea. Here's the problem with the Red Sea. There's a whole bunch of other names associated with it, nobody knows for sure where those places, those other places named are.
In Hebrew, the word Red Sea is Yam Suph, Yam Suph. And it can be translated with integrity the "Sea of Reeds" or "Papyrus Rushes." And it is believed by some that this was the northern extension of the Suez -- not Canal, because that wouldn't be built for a long time, but the Gulf of Suez that extended northward in ancient times -- topography has changed and man has helped to even change the topography.
But there is an area on your Bible maps and in Egypt called Bitter Lake. And many scholars believed that that northern arm of the Suez, that little inlet that extended north was that body of water all part of the Red Sea where they crossed — the Sea of Reeds or the Red Sea.
Now a lot of people tried to play it down, they say, "Well you know, it was just the Sea of Reeds, the Sea of Rushes and it was only about 18 inches deep and it wasn't hard for if a wind came up, it would have bathe the water, but people can walk through, no problems. So it's really not a miracle. Actually, it's a much greater miracle because part B to the miracle isn't just the crossing of the Red Sea. It's the killing of the entire Egyptian army in the waters of the Red Sea.
I think it's a pretty good miracle if God can drown a whole army of the Egyptians in 18 inches or less of water. Marks go way up high for God doing that. Either way you look at it, the miraculous cannot be removed from this.
I heard a story. A boy was in Sunday school class, first time in a church, he came out. His mom said, "Well, how was church today?" He said, "It's all right." "Well, what did you learn?" He says, "Well mom, my teacher told us a story about Moses who went behind enemy lines and was sent by God, I guess, to rescue the Israelites from bondage, then he got to the Red Sea and there's this huge problem. So what he did is calling his army, a core of engineers, to built upon tuned bridge so the children of Israel could walk across safely. Then he gets on his walkie-talkie and radio his headquarters and sends reinforcements in, they bring bombers in, who when the Egyptians were on the same bridge, bombed it and it's destroyed." And the mom just looked at junior requisitely and said, "Are you sure that's what your teacher told you in Sunday school?" And he said, "No mom. But actually if I told you what she told us, you would never believe it."
And there are some people who will never believe what you are reading. And I feel sorry for such people because they feel the need to help God out, that God just isn't capable of doing anything miraculously, he needs to use nature that he created to pull something off. Now God could use nature to pull anything up. If God is the one who instituted the laws of nature, then he can use nature at his whim and his will and he does incorporate some of it here because he sends a strong east wind, that's nature.
But for us, something is a miracle. That for God is sort of like -- "No problem" because if God creates natural law, follow me here, then cannot God supersede natural law anytime he wishes. Couldn't he contravene temporarily natural law if he wishes? So, he can use natural law, supernatural law or a combination of both.
Verse 1, "Now the Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the children of Israel," watch this, "That they turned and camped before Pi-Hahiroth." I can say it, I just don't know where it is, "Between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon. You shall camp before it by the sea for Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, "They are bewildered by the land and the wilderness has closed them in." Interesting.
First, God has them turned giving the appearance but they can't decide which is the right way to go, giving the appearance that they want to take the northern route, but then they had second thoughts because, "Well, we're going to get in trouble if we go that route, there's all sorts of military things that could happen." So, he has them turned and he marches them south-southeast away from the Promised Land temporarily before he will have them turn and go back up some time later.
Now this is going to make the children of Israel feel very weird and vulnerable, "Why are we turning? Why are we going there? That looks like a trap. We feel very vulnerable. Moses, are you sure we're going the right way? Are we there yet?" All that kind of stuff.
Here's number two. It's all part of the same thing but the second part of it, God is luring the Egyptians into a trap because Pharaoh once again has hardened his heart, usurped his heart, he thinks above God, he doesn't want these slaves to leave Egypt. He wants to punish them, he wants them back or he wants them dead. And so this is sort of the final -- this is the final straw that breaks the back and will destroy the armies of Egypt.
Effectively what Pharaoh has done is what the prophet Zechariah warns must never be done. God said through the prophet Zechariah, "Who ever touches Israel touches the apple of my eye," -- touches my eyeball. That's the apple of your eye, your eyeball. You get dust on your eyeball or somebody gets close to it, you'd do anything to protect the eye. Whatever touches Israel, you mess with Israel as a nation, you are messing with me because they're my covenant people.
Verse 4, "Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart so that he will pursue them and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so." I want to kind of go quickly here. It was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled the heart of Pharaoh when his servants was turned against the people and they said, "Why have we done this? We've let Israel go from serving." And so, he made ready his chariot and took his people with him, took 600 choiced-chariots. That's the military elite of the land and all the chariots of Egypt with the captains over every one of them. Typically, an Egyptian chariot had three people in them, a driver and two people to fight.
"And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt and he pursued the children of Israel and the children of Israel went out with boldness," notice that. Notice that so that you can notice how quickly that boldness melts. "This is good, we're strong, the Lord's in this." So the Egyptians pursued them. All the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, all the horsemen and his army, overtook them, camping by the sea beside Pi-Hahiroth before Baal Zephon. And when Pharaoh drew near the children of Israel, lifted up their eyes and behold the Egyptians marched after them so they were very afraid and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. He said, "That's a good thing," sure it is. Anytime you're in a trouble, cry out to the Lord.
But, the very next couple of verses, the prayers to God evolved. No, they devolved. They devolved from praying to God into complaining against God's visible representatives. That's what people do, when they have a 'beat' with God, they find somebody who represents God and they take it out on him or her. "Hey you're the pastor." They unload because they have a real hard issue with God and their expectation hasn't been met, so they unleash against God's servants. They will do that.
Now what do they see as they looked to the horizon. The children of Israel, what do they see? They see Egyptians, they see the dust of the army of the Egyptians rising before them and that causes fear on their hearts. But now follow me here, that's what they see. But they have seen, they have seen God's power. They have cried out to God, and God sent them Moses and Aaron. They have seen 10 miraculous judgments on Egypt on their behalf and how they were spared. They saw that. They have seen a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud by day and by night. They've seen that, but now they see dust on the horizon -- the armies.
Here's the principle I want to bring out. Sometimes what we see clouds what we know. Or what we see clouds what we have seen in the past and that is God's ability to work. You see, it all depends on how you look at things. In chapters to come and days to come, we're going to read in numbers 13 and 14. Moses sends out a delegation of 12 men to spy out the land, do you know that story? There are 10 that come back with a bad report, and there's two to come with a good report. Two is Joshua and Caleb, the rest go, "We can't go in. There's giants in the land. We're going to get killed." Joshua and Caleb said, "Let's go up at once now, because the Lord has given us the land." "We can't go up." Well, what's the deal? Why the two reports?
Here it is. Joshua and Caleb saw a big God and therefore little giants. Those other 10 saw a very little God and big giants. What they saw clouded what they knew. But Joshua and Caleb saw with eyes of faith that God was bigger than what they could see even with their visible eyes. That's why they uttered out in faith, "Let us take it at once." You see, God had promised -- this is what I mean 'but what we see clouds what we know' -- they had promised, God had promised the children of Israel. "You will worship the Lord at Mount Horeb," that's Mount Sinai. Well, if God promised that they would leave Egypt and eventually be worshiping him at Mount Sinai, how could God let them die in between? They haven't gone to that mountain yet, they're not there yet. But there's the promise, that's what they know -- 'but what they see clouds what they know.'
That's what we do, we get in to a time of crisis and we go "Okay, God has forsaken me. That's what this means, God has forsaken me," really? Could you just stop for a moment and just think that through. Have you thought that maybe God has led you into that hardship? God led them here; God led them in to that colder sect, in that vulnerable spot. Have you ever thought the God may be leading me into this horrible set of circumstances? "Why would he do that?" "I don't know, because he loves you?" Because he wants you to grow a little bit, you can only learn certain things in the midst of a storm, and not when the waters are nice and the sun is out.
Maybe your relationship with God could use a little strengthening and a little depth. And so God wants to show you that there is a way when you can't see any way. When you can't see any way at all, God will find a way. "It is impossible, I'm toast!" I meet people like that all the time, that's where they live -- from crisis to crisis to crisis. They're saying, "God led me here. I don't know what's up, but he knows what's up," -- so, the turn and the move.
Verse 11. Now before we answer Verse 11, there's a very good question that was texted in that says, "Is there any Egyptian record of the destruction of their army?"
Let me answer that generally and then specifically. We're dealing with the time period that's 3,300 years ago. We're dealing with the dynasty however that has lots of archeological evidence. But understand that in the historiography of Egypt, it was never cool to put the Pharaoh into an embarrassing light and so history wasn't always told honestly. It was spun so as to not embarrass the Pharaoh or not to tell anything that would diminish the Pharaoh's reign. There are certain parts -- and I brought them out in the study. I don't want to go through it again. The evidence of the children of Israel being under bondage, being under slavery and the record, the biblical record, but when we have Egyptian history, it doesn't always honestly tell because it didn't want to place the Pharaohs in embarrassing light.
That's what's different about the biblical record. The Bible never flatters its heroes, the Bible will tell "Here's the hero, here's the person, here's the prophet and here's how they blew it and how they went wrong." God is very honest about the record and tells us about the people and the events, words and all. Egypt history-telling was very different than that.
Verse 11, we have just a few moments. So I would talk really fast. Then he said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, if you've taken us away to die in the wilderness, why have you so dealt with us to bring us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we have told you in Egypt saying, 'let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians' for it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than we should die in the wilderness?" Wow, from praying to God to unloading on God's servants.
C.H. Mackintosh used to say "Ten thousand mercies are forgotten in the presence of a single trifling moment." How I have seen people who have walked with God and then in that single trifling moment called in to question everything they knew because of a single trifling moment. All that they had seen they're not thinking about, all that they cried out with to God they have forgotten about when they were in Egypt. And sometimes we think Jesus said that I have abundant life, or we haven't find yet because this is an abundant life.
Now, we don't have actually the same excuse they had, I'm not going to let them off the hook because you're going to see that there are 10 periods of complaint. This is the first one -- 10 eras of complaint that these people have against God and against Moses and God will take it very seriously eventually, very seriously. But keep something in mind. Number one, these weren't all Israelites, there was a mixed multitude. Some people left Egypt but they have the background of the Egyptian worship system, they didn't know the covenant relationship with God. And number two, the whole nation was a bunch of spiritual infants. They didn't have a Bible, they didn't have the scriptures as we know the Bible, they're just learning what it is to walk with God. This is all new to them.
So I can understand from a human perspective complaining but it's going to really wear on Moses before this thing is over. And Moses said to the people "Do not be afraid." Why did he say that? Because the real issue is their own fear, fear and faith are mutually exclusive. If you have faith, you will not have fear. And fear can swallow up faith just like a faith can swallow up fear, they're mutually exclusive. So Moses do the heart of the issue -- is they're living in fear. So he says, "Stop it, don't be afraid, do not fear, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which he will accomplish for you today, for the Egyptians whom you see today, you will never see again forever."
How hard is it to stand still? When everything in you says "Move, run, quick," I mean just to hear those words. "Shhhh...." you know, in the horizon -- horses, dust, chariots. That's just grooves, relax, stand still. It's so hard to do that because our flesh always wants to do something. When Jesus was in the Garden Gethsemane with his disciples, could Peter just stand still? No, he got sword didn't he? He started to go, "Come on!" And he got the guy's ear. It wasn't a good shot, he was aiming for his head, he got his ear. Later on, Peter after the resurrection he didn't know Jesus had risen from the dead. He just thought Jesus was dead, he says, "I'm going fishing," remember that story? "I'm going fishing!" He couldn't sit still, he couldn't stand still, he had to be doing something.
Now next principle, and we're about to close for the night. He says, "The Lord will fight for you, you shall hold your peace but you don't have to do anything, God is going to do it for you, you just stand still and watch how God fights." And the Lord said to Moses -- now evidently Moses starts himself praying to God. And he turns and goes, "Just stand still. God..." he starts talking to the Lord, for it says, "The Lord said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward." There's a time to pray and there's a time to move. And to find the balance is very important. How often we try to move and we ought to stand still and how often do we try to stand still when we ought to be moving.
So Moses has this little prayer meeting over here, meanwhile the Egyptians are getting closer and God says, Moses, praying is over dude, time to move, get on the march. That's a good principle. Sometimes we pray about something that we already have or God has already revealed. God will say to Joshua as they enter the very land they're going to. "Every place...the sole of your foot will tread" -- listen to this, "I have given to you". It's already given to you, you've got the deed. It's done, it's passed. So you don't have to stop and go, "Lord, should we take this city today?" Or, "Just take it, just go. I've already given it to you, move."
You know there are certain things in the Bible you don't have to pray about, "Lord, do you want me to witness to that person?" "Yes." "Lord, do you want me to support missions?" "Yes!" He said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." So, that means "Yes" and all of the above. Just do it. Pray for boldness and move, and go do it. So he tells them to move. But lift up your rod and it's time to just quit, so we'll stop right there in Verse 16 and finish the rest up next week.
Actually, go down to Verse 21, because it sort of repeats a lot of what we've been saying, "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night. And made the same sea into dry land and the waters were divided so the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea and dried ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left." Now let me tell you in case you're going to ask this question or you're been thinking about it. It says they crossed over that night, by the best research done, they have 2.5 million people to crossover a body of water it could be done in one night if the swath or the area of march was one half mile wide, that's all.
They could easily accommodate 2.5 to 3 million people from one side or the next in the course of the time specified by the Bible. And the Egyptians pursued them and went after them in the midst of the sea, all of Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and horsemen. Go down to Verse 30, "The Lord saved Israel that night 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 and so the people feared the Lord and believed the Lord and his servant Moses." So the great emancipator emancipates his people from out of Egypt. And next week we'll be cool because Chapter 15 is a worship song as we read about the song of Moses and the dance of the children of Israel.
The Egyptians are dead. The children of Israel are alive. If you remember the Passover, here's the principle, either a lamb will die in your place or you will die for your own sins. The firstborn in Egypt were killed, parents survived, many of them went out after the Israelites and now they are dead. What will it be, the lambs slain for you or will you die for your own foolishness and your own sin? That's a theme that runs through this book -- redemption. God is all about redeeming people.
Father in heaven, we thank you for the evening we've had together with Dr. Collins in these two chapters of Exodus and really the joy of being together as a family of God sitting among other believers, opening up the Bible together, and reading how these principles apply even to our lives. There's a lot we don't understand but I pray Lord that what we do understand and what we do know would be sufficient to carry us through times when we look on our horizon and the smoke of our enemies and the cloud of dust just all around them, may we see with eyes of faith beyond the temporary, the immediate. May we see with eyes of faith like Joshua and Caleb, had a big God and enemies who can easily be taken care of by a God much greater than they. Help us this week Lord to apply these truths, some of us who are in very difficult situations, and I pray for the body Christ here tonight, strengthen them as they follow your call and your will in their life, in Jesus name, Amen.