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The Exodus Is for the Gentiles Too

As one reads along in Exodus about how the Israelites fled the clutches of their slave master Egyptians to follow God and to be led into a literal wilderness there are a few things that can be reflected upon.

When the Israelites left Egypt, they turned from their old life to follow God, who led by a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. When they rested, God was a cloud between the assailing Egyptians and them (until he drowned the pursuers in that legendary parting of the Red Sea.

God began to teach the Israelites about how to make atonement for their sins, how to worship and how to lead a holy life. He told them how to be Holy, even though they were not. Ultimately, the goal was to get His people to the promised land, but it wasn’t a straight shot. They wandered for 40 years in the wilderness when the promised land was possibly only 11 days away on foot! Why did God do that to His people? God was teaching them and there were a lot of bad habits that couldn’t be taken into the promised land.   A lot of lessons had to be learned in order that they might be worthy. The Israelites are said to have lived in Egypt for at least 400 years and it can take a lifetime to unlearn learned behaviors.  God took the Israelites out of Egypt, but did he take Egypt out of some of the Israelites?

If you grew up in one place with its customs, learning to adopt new ones can be unfamiliar and feel foreign and alienating. So while there were a lot of hard lessons, if one is to view the Exodus more through the eyes of those who were going through it, it would become easier to understand why Aaron made a golden calf while his brother was up on the mountain getting the 10 commandments from God Almighty!  Aaron was trying to keep the people happy and it’s clear they were reverting to their old ways.

Other things I noted as I was reading:

Exodus 30:12 says, “When you take a census of the Israelites to register them, each of the men must pay a ransom for his life to the Lord as they are registered. Then no plague will come on them as they are registered.”

A short while later,  Exodus 32:33 says, “But the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.

Jesus said to those who put their trust in Him to take up their cross and follow him (Matt 16:24).  When we make the decision to follow Jesus, we are no longer to be conformed to all the ways of this world and we start the renewing of our mind through scripture. We begin to make our own exodus out of our own Egypt and we begin our journey of learning to become holy (shaking off our old bad habits and adopting Godly habits) as we gradually make our way to the Promised Land. While we do have a tendency to die en route, that is not the end of our journey.

At the end of Exodus, only Caleb and Jacob were permitted to enter the promised land, because the other people continued to doubt and disobey God.  If we doubt, we will either be overlooked for an important mission, or God will teach us to trust Him and the way God can teach us sometimes requires us to go through difficult trials.  But unlike in Exodus we won’t be left in the old land of sin to die, unless we choose to completely walk away from God. (Note that it’s us who walk away.)

What we can learn from Exodus is that the more we learn to trust God the smoother our learning curve will be and the more renewed we will become.

What we can also see in Exodus is that in verse 30:12 the scripture specifically mentions that we are responsible for paying our ransom for our life to ensure we are registered in the census. I might be wrong here. I’m certainly no scholar, but I believe that’s not just a census – it’s the Lamb’s Book of Life.

In Revelation 21:27 talking about the new Jerusalem, the scripture reads Nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.

We wander this life on a quest. Some may already be familiar with God and intimate with God, but others less so, or possibly even walking in direct opposition to Him. But the scripture is clear. Your were created for worship, but unfortunately, the world is ruled by darkness dressed up as light and often things we might think are okay, aren’t and as we get closer to God by reading His word, He reveals more. I always find it tricky conveying exactly the understanding the Holy Spirit offers me in that moment of utmost clarity or that 1000 watt lightbulb moment. It’s as though a synapse has lit up in an area of the brain which has laid dormant, or presumably burned out and only lights up for that one moment. In that instance, I understand something in scripture that relates to another elsewhere and while the understanding lasts, sometimes my ability to put it into words is very difficult.

I’m also humbled, because this morning as I was reading through the rather lengthy details and descriptions on exactly how big the tabernacle would be, what materials would be used and what designs would be used, I felt apologetic (and not in the Christian Apologetics kind of way) to God for finding this kind of detail a bit of a slog. I realize it was included for a reason and acknowledged that as I was reading it, but that particular reason wasn’t necessarily relevant to me. It was like reading Dune. Sorry, Dune fans. It wasn’t my thing.

At that moment, that’s when the Holy Spirit threw me a bone and showed me the Exodus to Jesus connection and why Christians need to read the ENTIRE Bible and not just focus on the New Testament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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