Soon after leaving Egypt, God led the Israelites to the Red Sea. By this time the Egyptian army was chasing after them because Pharaoh had changed his mind (again). God instructed Moses on what to do with his rod and he simply obeyed. As a result the Red Sea was split by a miraculous wind which allowed the Israelites to pass through to the other side safely. An important lesson to be learned from this is the unlimited ability of God to save you regardless of your circumstances (Ephesians 3:20). Never doubt because He is always able (Luke 1:37).
Often God deals with us as He did with the Israelites, He leads us to a place where we are unable to do anything so that He can show His ability and love to us. However, we often misinterpret this situation and feel abandoned by God, unsuccessful in our faith, or trapped without a solution. This is the farthest thing from the truth! God is willing and able to save you from any situation. Now I am not an advocate for “anything bad that happens in your life is from God” but I do believe that the bad things that happen, God can use them for His glory and your growth. These places can be the most uncomfortable to be in but they are the best for your faith. When we are trapped between our Enemy and a sea there we must fully rely on God to save us. We often have no other choice. The way we behave in these hard times decides if we mature in faith or not. Throughout the Bible there have been many impossible situations such as God’s promise of a son to old Abraham (Genesis 15), Mary’s virgin birth (Luke 1), and Jesus’ call for Peter to walk on the water (Matthew 14). Perhaps God led Israel to the Red Sea so that they could see the faithfulness of God and begin their journey with faith in God.
According to Exodus 12 & 13 the Israelites left Egypt on the morning of the 15th day of the first month. They were instructed to eat the Passover lamb and be ready to leave Egypt with packed bags and sandals on.
It was apparent the Jews could not save themselves from slavery, God had to do the work for them as we will see later. God’s plan for Israel required that they be free so He did the work that they could not. Similarly God’s will for mankind requires that we be redeemed from sin (John 3:16), so He did the work and only requires that we believe and receive the work done for us. Just as the Jews left a pagan country where they were enslaved and entered the desert, we have left the world and its many gods and have entered a difficult lifestyle where we must trust God for our needs. It may be uncomfortable at times but at least we are free from bondage! We have to trust God for everything, He is with us .
Just before the Jews left Egypt they asked from the Egyptians articles of gold, silver, and of clothing and they received it. These riches had a holy purpose down the road for the construction of the Tabernacle of God but were misused as the Israelites “played dress up” and acted or at least looked like the pagan country they came from.
In Exodus 33:3-6 God tells them to put off their ornaments and they whore them no longer. After we are saved, the worldly habits and self centered mindsets often still exist and we may find our selves still playing with the things of the world from which we were saved out of. We must be careful to not look like the world or operate on the same principles that the world does. If a person could look at your life but couldn’t tell the difference between you and an unbeliever there is something wrong. As we grow in Christ we learn to let go of those material things as we conform ourselves more and more to Christ’s image instead of the world’s image (Eph 2:3-6, 5:1). Hebrews 12:1 speaks of weights and sins that entangle us, these are things we willingly hold on to from our past. They can also be new things we pick up after we get saved. Let go of the worldly things from your past, put on the garments of praise and set your mind on heavenly things (Rom 8:6-8).
The People of Israel were slaves in Egypt for 430 years until they were rescued by God. They were the offspring of Jacob who’s son Joseph was at one time 2nd in command of all of Egypt (Genesis 41:39-45). After Joseph died and all the descendents of his fther lived in Egypt a new king eventually came to power who did not respect God’s people, the Israelites (Exodus 1:8-11). The Jews were not ruled fairly, we find one account in Exodus where their quota for bricks increased but their resources to do so were removed (Exodus 5:6-9). The Israelite enslavement in Egypt is similar to our enslavement to sin and the weight that rests on every person’s shoulders until he is redeemed by God (Rom 6:23, Jhn 8:34).
The culture of Egypt was that of carnality, materialism, idolatry, and polytheism. This is the exact opposite of the culture that God desires us to live in (Rom 12:2). The culture of Egypt had worn off on the Egyptians; they adopted the ways of the world and trusted in man instead of God. Like the Israelites of Exodus we were born in to slavery (of sin) we have no say in it and it plays no favorites (Rom 3:23, 5:18-19). Because of Adam and Eve’s choice we suffer. Some people see this as unfair on God’s part, but on the contrary it shows His unswerving character which holds to His agreements. God clearly informed Adam and Eve what not to do yet they did it anyway (Genesis 2:16,17). When He says something, He means it. It also serves as an example of how our decisions affect others mainly our own children. Your life is not an isolated set of events, the choices you make effect who you are which then effect friends, family, and later generations.
Passover is a Jewish holiday that is still observed to this day. The first Passover was the night before the Israelites left Egypt (Exodus 12). God gave the instructions to Moses who then delivered them to the people. Each household was to acquire a spotless lamb, cook it, and eat it. The blood from the lamb was to be smeared on the outside of their house’s doorpost. Interestingly enough the Passover is the only Jewish holiday that Jesus is recorded to of observing. This is significant because the Passover Lamb and blood is symbolic of Jesus as the Lamb of God that was killed to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and who’s blood is applied to each believer (1Peter 1:18-19). On the night of the Passover all 1st borns of every household died if there was no blood on the doorpost, this is symbolic of the spiritual death one encounters if they are not covered by the blood of Christ (John 3:16). Without it, their sins are not atoned for and they are not washed clean.
At the beginning of Exodus 12 God told Moses that he and his people were to have their own calendar separate from that of the Egyptians and that their calendar was to start with the month in which they left Egypt. When we first confessed our sins to God and accepted Him as Lord and Savior of our life our new life began at that moment. It’s important to draw the distinction between your old life and what is now your new life as a Christian. Your testimony is how God brought you to the place of decision and gave you your new life. In Deuteronomy 5:14-15 God says that the Sabbath is a day of rest so that you will remember that God has delivered you from slavery and labor. It’s important to remember where you came from so that you will always be grateful for God’s saving grace and working hand in your life. When we forget what God has saved us from and where He has taken us we become complacent and apathetic towards God. Make sure to take time and look back and acknowledge what God has done.