The Gospel According to the Signs and Wonders and Plagues in Egypt
In this study it is my purpose to reveal the gospel of Jesus through the signs and wonders and plagues of Egypt. To start I want to take us back to Genesis 15. In this chapter the Pre-Incarnated Jesus is speaking to Abraham about Abraham’s promised son. We know that in this story God is the man called Jesus of Nazareth because of the testimony of Jesus in John 8:51-58. Abraham is still concerned about getting his first born child and Abraham offers Eliezar as the potential fulfillment of the promise of God in Genesis 12:1-3. In Genesis 15:4 God promises that Abraham’s son will not be Eliezar the Syrian of Damascus but that his son would come from his own bowels. Then God takes Abraham outside and tells him that he will have children as numerous as the stars in the sky. Then Abraham believes the promise of God and it is counted to Abraham, and all of His seed. Galatians 3:6-9, 14-16, 26-29.
But Abraham is not yet satisfied with what God has said even though he has accepted the promise by faith. Abraham wants more assurances from God. Abraham wants to know how shall he know that he will inherit the land? To satisfy Abraham, and his future children – us, God enters into a covenantal relationship with Abraham in a manner that Abraham understands - a sacrifice of animals that He can walk through with God. God’s prophet explains this in the following way:
“Still the patriarch begged for some visible token as a confirmation of his faith and as an evidence to after-generations that God's gracious purposes toward them would be accomplished. The Lord condescended to enter into a covenant with His servant, employing such forms as were customary among men for the ratification of a solemn engagement. By divine direction, Abraham sacrificed a heifer, a she-goat, and a ram, each three years old, dividing the bodies and laying the pieces a little distance apart. To these he added a turtledove and a young pigeon, which, however, were not divided. This being done, he reverently passed between the parts of the sacrifice, making a solemn vow to God of perpetual obedience. Watchful and steadfast, he remained beside the carcasses till the going down of the sun, to guard them from being defiled or devoured by birds of prey. About sunset he sank into a deep sleep; and, "lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him." And the voice of God was heard, bidding him not to expect immediate possession of the Promised Land, and pointing forward to the sufferings of his posterity before their establishment in Canaan. The plan of redemption was here opened to him, in the death of Christ, the great sacrifice, and His coming in glory. Abraham saw also the earth restored to its Eden beauty, to be given him for an everlasting possession, as the final and complete fulfillment of the promise.
As a pledge of this covenant of God with men, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp, symbols of the divine presence, passed between the severed victims, totally consuming them. And again a voice was heard by Abraham, confirming the gift of the land of Canaan to his descendants, "from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." “Patriarchs and Prophets 137
This covenant was to testify that God had His plans, and that these plans would be fulfilled in God’s own way and in His own time. It was Abraham’s task, and that of his children as well, to remember this covenant and to trust that in 400 years it would be fulfilled in accordance with God’s time.
In the process of time all of God’s prophecies were fulfilled. Abraham did have a son – Isaac. Isaac then had two sons – Esau and Jacob. Through the lineage of Jacob 12 more sons came along and when they were called into Egypt they developed into a mighty nation under the guidance and blessing of Joseph – the son of Abraham through Jacob, and the Prime Minister of Egypt who had been placed in this position through the Divine providences of God.
After the death of the Pharaoh who had promoted Joseph, and after all of the elders of that great land had died who had been blessed by Joseph, another Pharaoh arose “…up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” Exodus 1:8. This Pharaoh chose to enslave the nation of Israel and to mistreat them and abuse them. The lot of the Children of Israel was not pleasant and it continued to deteriorate until even their first born male children were slain because of Satan’s awareness that a deliverer would arise out of Israel to fulfill the covenant issues of Genesis 15.
“23And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” Exodus 2:23-25
By the time of Exodus 2:23-25 Moses had been born and was in full training in the school of God in the wilderness. By the time of Exodus 3 God arranged for Moses to meet with Him at Mt. Horeb, also known as Mt. Sinai – Acts 7:30-38. In the discussion between God and Moses, God informs Moses that He has determined that it is time to deliver Israel from Egypt and fulfill the covenant that He had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all descendants of Abraham by faith. Moses immediately grasps some of the issues that will be involved with this great deliverance and he is afraid that God’s very own people would doubt that Moses was called by God to do this but was just another sun beaten fanatic. God tells Moses to tell Israel that the I Am has sent him to speak to Israel and to speak to Egypt. This name “I Am” is also used by Jesus to confirm His connection to Abraham in John 8:52-59. After settling His name with Moses then God tells Moses that Pharaoh will not let Israel go. God says:”And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.” Exodus 3:19-20
Moses has as much difficulty believing that God would deliver Israel as did his father Abraham the promises of God, and again God condescends to minister to feeble man. Moses is given signs and wonders that appeal to his senses. Patriarchs and Prophets 253. Moses was given three signs, first revealed to help him with his doubts and fears, and to convince the elders of Israel that Almighty God had sent the Prophet Moses to bless and deliver them from bondage in fulfillment of the prophecy shared with Abraham. These three signs were Moses’ rod turned into a serpent and then back into a rod; Moses’ hand placed into his bosom and when it came out it was leprous, and then when it was placed in his bosom again it was healed; and then a pitcher of water from the Nile that when poured out upon the land became blood. Exodus 4:1-9. These signs were similar for their time to the three angel’s messages in the end of time. The serpent was a symbol of the gospel of Christ the Serpent raised on a pole. Numbers 21:6-9; John 3:12-15. The healing of the leprous hand was a sign of the health message as displayed through the ministry of Jesus. Matthew 8:1-4. The waters of the Nile symbolizing the power of Egypt, the peoples of Egypt bearing false doctrine, would be addressed and judged and controlled by the power of God. Exodus 7:14-25; Numbers 16:1-34; Revelation 12:15-17.
God also told Moses that when he would come to Egypt and he did the wonders that he had been called to do that he was to warn Pharaoh by displaying the wonders that God had empowered him to do, and to warn Pharaoh that Israel was His firstborn. If Pharaoh would not let His first born go then God would slay Pharaoh’s first born son. Exodus 4:19-23.
When Moses came to Egypt God gave Aaron to him as a spokesperson to Israel and to Egypt. Aaron called all of the elders together and presented these signs and wonders to the elders of Israel. When the elders saw these signs and wonders they believed and worshipped the God of Israel. Exodus 4:27-31
When Moses and Aaron arrived among the people one of the first things that was done was to encourage the people to obey the commandments of God, they were encouraged to keep the Sabbath. Genesis 2:1-3; Mark 2:27-28 In obeying the commands of God through Moses, Israel displayed faith in the God of their fathers. Exodus 5:5; Patriarchs and Prophets 257-258. This act of faith was a living testimony of the prophecies that were to come for the Israel of God in the future. Revelation 12:17; Revelation 14:12. This is one of the texts that assure us that Sabbath was already known to God’s people and that God wanted His people to enter into the covenant of worship with their Creator. God would restate His Sabbath comment when He brought His people to Sinai. Exodus 20:8-11
As a result of observing the Sabbath, by faith in the messages of God through His prophet Moses, the people were brought into direct conflict with Pharaoh. Pharaoh accused Moses of making the people to rest from their burdens thus bringing a lack of productivity upon the Egyptians. As a result of Israel’s Sabbath observances Pharaoh took away the straw necessary to make brick. To get something to bind with the mud, Israel was compelled to go out in the fields and gather weeds so that the tally of brick would not diminish. This experience tested the faith of Israel and their faith did not hold up well.
God’s prophet describes the impact of this seeming setback on the faith of Israel in the following manner:
“As Moses listened to these reproaches he was greatly distressed. The sufferings of the people had been much increased. All over the land a cry of despair went up from old and young, and all united in charging upon him the disastrous change in their condition. In bitterness of soul he went before God, with the cry, "Lord, wherefore hast Thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that Thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast Thou delivered Thy people at all." The answer was, "Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land." Again he was pointed back to the covenant which God had made with the fathers, and was assured that it would be fulfilled.
During all the years of servitude in Egypt there had been among the Israelites some who adhered to the worship of Jehovah. These were solely troubled as they saw their children daily witnessing the abominations of the heathen, and even bowing down to their false gods. In their distress they cried unto the Lord for deliverance from the Egyptian yoke, that they might be freed from the corrupting influence of idolatry. They did not conceal their faith, but declared to the Egyptians that the object of their worship was the Maker of heaven and earth, the only true and living God. They rehearsed the evidences of His existence and power, from creation down to the days of Jacob. The Egyptians thus had an opportunity to become acquainted with the religion of the Hebrews; but disdaining to be instructed by their slaves, they tried to seduce the worshipers of God by promises of reward, and, this failing, by threats and cruelty.
The elders of Israel endeavored to sustain the sinking faith of their brethren by repeating the promises made to their fathers, and the prophetic words of Joseph before his death, foretelling their deliverance from Egypt. Some would listen and believe. Others, looking at the circumstances that surrounded them, refused to hope. The Egyptians, being informed of what was reported among their bondmen, derided their expectations and scornfully denied the power of their God. They pointed to their situation as a nation of slaves, and tauntingly said, "If your God is just and merciful, and possesses power above that of the Egyptian gods, why does He not make you a free people?" They called attention to their own condition. They worshiped deities termed by the Israelites false gods, yet they were a rich and powerful nation. They declared that their gods had blessed them with prosperity, and had given them the Israelites as servants, and they gloried in their power to oppress and destroy the worshipers of Jehovah. Pharaoh himself boasted that the God of the Hebrews could not deliver them from his hand.
Words like these destroyed the hopes of many of the Israelites. The case appeared to them very much as the Egyptians had represented. It was true that they were slaves, and must endure whatever their cruel taskmasters might choose to inflict. Their children had been hunted and slain, and their own lives were a burden. Yet they were worshiping the God of heaven. If Jehovah were indeed above all gods, surely He would not thus leave them in bondage to idolaters. But those who were true to God understood that it was because of Israel's departure from Him--because of their disposition to marry with heathen nations, thus being led into idolatry--that the Lord had permitted them to become bondmen; and they confidently assured their brethren that He would soon break the yoke of the oppressor.
The Hebrews had expected to obtain their freedom without any special trial of their faith or any real suffering or hardship. But they were not yet prepared for deliverance. They had little faith in God, and were unwilling patiently to endure their afflictions until He should see fit to work for them. Many were content to remain in bondage rather than meet the difficulties attending removal to a strange land; and the habits of some had become so much like those of the Egyptians that they preferred to dwell in Egypt. Therefore the Lord did not deliver them by the first manifestation of His power before Pharaoh. He overruled events more fully to develop the tyrannical spirit of the Egyptian king and also to reveal Himself to His people. Beholding His justice, His power, and His love, they would choose to leave Egypt and give themselves to His service. The task of Moses would have been much less difficult had not many of the Israelites become so corrupted that they were unwilling to leave Egypt.” Patriarchs and Prophet 259-260
So God had allowed the straw to be taken away to develop the experience of suffering so that God’s people would be willing to leave Egypt. These experiences were to develop the faith of Israel in the power of their God to deliver them from the most powerful nation in the then known world. God wanted them to come out of Egypt by faith in Him.
Shortly after the experience with the straw God informs Moses and Aaron that they were to go to Pharaoh and ask him to send Israel out of his land so that they could worship God. God said:
“And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.” Exodus 7:3-6
God informed Moses and Aaron that the next time that they went before Pharaoh he would ask for a miracle. When this was requested Aaron was to cast down the rod and Egypt would see a sign of the power of God. And it came to pass just as God had informed Moses. He did come before Pharaoh and Pharaoh did want a miracle displayed. Aaron cast down the rod and it became a Serpent before the eyes of Pharaoh and his people. Pharaoh then called for his magicians and they displayed a seeming miracle as well for the court magicians turned their rods into serpents. But in God’s providence the Serpent that was displayed by Moses swallowed up the serpents from the magicians. When Moses reached out to take up the Serpent it turned back into a rod. For a more detailed study on Bible serpents see http://the1844way.com/theoserp.html. But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by this interchange and he did not let Israel go. Thus God had further opportunity to display all of His signs and wonders to Egypt and to all of the rest of the world that had political connections to Egypt.
God instructed Moses to go the bank of the Nile River the next morning to again talk to Pharaoh about letting Israel go. When they came to the Nile River, Pharaoh was coming to pay his worshipful respect to the Egyptian god of the river. God instructed Moses to tell Pharaoh that if he did not allow Israel to go He would smite the river with the Rod in Moses’ hand and the water would be turned into blood for seven days. When Pharaoh refused to let Israel go Aaron, at Moses’ instruction, and the Rod, which had turned into a Snake, displayed It’s power again and smote the river and turned it into blood and all of the fish died in the river. Pharaoh commanded his magicians and they too were able to produce blood in the river and thus Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let Israel go.
After the seven day period had passed God sent Moses and Aaron back to Pharaoh to again tell him that God required Israel to go out of Egypt to worship God. If Pharaoh would not allow Israel to go God would smite the land with frogs. Pharaoh declined to let Israel go and Aaron was instructed to stretch forth the Rod and the land became overrun with frogs. The frogs were everywhere in the land, and in every place in the house. This sign was a type of the frogs that would come upon the earth in the end time to spread error and confusion into every aspect of life through readings, books, movies, magazines and every form of instruction to deter people from having an experience with God. Revelation 16:13-14. Again Pharaoh commanded his magicians and they also appeared to make frogs come up out of the river and Pharaoh hardened his heart that he would not have to surrender to the God of Israel and obey His commands.
After a period of time Pharaoh was so disgusted with the frogs that he called for Moses to take away the frogs. It would appear that Pharaoh probably asked his magicians to remove the frogs and they could not and so to get relief he had to experience the humiliation of asking help from Moses. Moses agreed to deliver Pharaoh from the frogs and asked him when he would like this to be done. Pharaoh asked that the frogs would be removed “tomorrow”. Pharaoh hoped that something would happen between today and tomorrow so that he would not have to acknowledge in any way his dependence upon God. Patriarchs and Prophets 265.
When the next day came Moses entreated God and God allowed all of the frogs on the land to die. But God did not make them disappear but allowed them to die where they were at. Thus the frogs had to be gathered in heaps throughout the land of Egypt and the land stank with the testimony that these had been real frogs and had been really brought upon Egypt.
When the frogs had died, Pharaoh felt some relief and since the crisis had passed without major harm he felt comfortable to not obey the commands of God to let Israel go. He did not think that there would be any more signs and wonders and that moment of fear and concern displayed in Exodus 8:8 had passed and he had not softened his heart. He set his heart to rebel against God continually.
On the other hand the people in the land were experiencing these signs and wonders as were the children of Israel. Everyone was wondering how far the signs would go and what would happen next. God was displaying His power and then giving the people enough time to think about things so that they could make informed decisions about God. Israel also was having to decide what to think of God. They were suffering the signs and wonders and could see little benefit of serving God. Israel was having to wonder what God was up to and was He interested in them? All parties were trying to process the information that they had and to decide where to apply their faith – to the power of Egypt, or to the power of God. So far the spiritual warfare appeared to be about even. The magicians of Egypt appeared to be able to do everything that God was doing. So Who would win in this great spiritual battle?
In the next sign God instructed Moses to have Aaron strike the dust of the land with the Rod that it would become lice throughout the land. The lice were to be upon man and beast, and upon Israel as well as Egypt. In this manifestation of the power of God, the Egyptian magicians could not replicate. Exodus 8:18. The magicians claimed that this display was clearly a display of the power of God – they called it “the finger of God”- a manifestation of God’s Spirit and His Word directly applied to a situation. Exodus 8:19. See also Luke 11:20; Matthew 12:28; Exodus 31:18; Daniel 5:5. Even the magicians were beginning to learn the power of God, yet Pharaoh continued to harden his heart against the revelations of God.
Since Pharaoh would not soften his heart, and accept God by faith, he needed more persuasion to respond to God in a positive manner. God instructed Moses to meet with Pharaoh at the river in the morning of their daily worship of the river god and inform him that if he did not let Israel go He would send swarms of flies on the land of Egypt. But in this case God would do something that He had not done yet. He would manifest His total control over nature and He would separate Israel from Egypt in this sign. Flies would be all over the land but not one fly would bother anyone of the nation of Israel. Now all would be able to understand the power of God in that He could control even flies that they would not go where He directed them not to go.
The next day the swarms of flies came into the land of Egypt. They were so devastating that Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and told them to go and sacrifice in the land of Egypt, but not 3 days journey away. Moses protested that they could not do because to sacrifice animals in the land of Egypt would expose them to the physical attacks of the people for defiling their perceptions of their gods for killing animals. Pharaoh protested that he would let them go and sacrifice but they could not go very far. Again Pharaoh protests and asks for relief from the flies and God grants them his request but warns Pharaoh through His prophet. When God removed the flies then again Pharaoh had relief and he hardened his heart again.
Since Pharaoh had again hardened his heart and would not let Israel go, then God sent another wonder to reveal the power of God. God send a disease upon the cattle of Egypt and again put a divider between Egypt and Israel. He alerted Pharaoh that He would send the sign upon the cattle and that none of the cattle of Israel would be harmed so that Pharaoh could see the power of God to save or to harm. Pharaoh sent his men to check it out and it was true that not one of the cattle of Israel had been harmed and yet all of the cattle of Egypt had been harmed, although all had not been killed. Still Pharaoh would not let the people go and still rebelled against the revealed will of God.
God then told Moses to take handfuls of ashes from the furnace and sprinkle it toward heaven in the site of Pharaoh. This was a symbolic gesture of the results of Israel being in the furnace of Egypt and all of their sufferings there. Deuteronomy 4:20. When the ashes were sprinkled, wherever they fell on man and beast, there would break out boils on the flesh of man and animals. This even happened to the magicians and they could not stand before Moses because the boils were on all the Egyptians. Yet this did not move the heart of Pharaoh to think about the effect on his people or on his lands.
Soon after the boils God again sent Moses to confront Pharaoh in his daily forms of worship at the river. In this case God promises to send hail upon the lands of Egypt. God, in His great mercy tells Moses to warn Egypt to get their animals and workers out of the field for anyone left in the field will be killed by the hail.
In this wonder we find that the gospel is having its effect upon the people of Egypt. We are now privileged to see a division inside the nation of Egypt. When the instruction had come to Egypt about the hail “He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses. And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field.” Exodus 9:20-21. Now all of Egypt, the believers, the disbelievers, and the nation of Israel would see the power of God in such a way as to affect Egypt’s wealth. Cattle and slaves were some of the ways that people register wealth in the old days. And when Moses had Aaron stretch forth the Rod of God then hail came upon all of the land except for the land of Goshen, where Israel dwelt. Exodus 9:26.
When the hail fell Pharaoh could see the impact of the hail on the lives of his servants and his cattle. The hail, and the storm that brought it, was so impactful that Pharaoh was willing to say that he had sinned against God, and that his people were wicked. Pharaoh was again humiliated before God, and before his people by asking Moses to ask God to save him. Moses told Pharaoh that he knew that he had not softened his heart but that he was asking for help because he was afraid of the thundering and the hail. When Moses intreated the Lord and the Lord stopped the storm then Pharaoh went back to his former position and was further hardened by his rebellious thinking.
After the plague of the hail the followers of Pharaoh could see that Egypt had been destroyed. They started to ask Pharaoh to release Israel lest worse things happen to them. They grew more fearful when Moses returned to alert Pharaoh that if he did not let Israel go God would send locusts to devour any green thing remaining alive after the hail. Again, God would show His power to do exactly as He said He would do. Pharaoh asked Moses who all would go to worship if he let them go and Moses told him that all of Israel would go. Pharaoh told him that the men could go but all of the rest of Israel would stay, as a form of ransom. Then Pharaoh drove Moses and Aaron out of the presence of the Pharaoh. When Moses and Aaron left they stretched forth the Rod of God and the locusts came and covered the land and ate up every green thing.
When Pharaoh again saw the power of God he had Moses and Aaron called for and again he admits that he had sinned against God, and against God’s prophet. Exodus 10:16. Then Pharaoh admits that he needs prayer and forgiveness. Again he asks for the intercessory ministry of Moses to deliver him, and thus Egypt, from the devastation of the locusts. When Moses consulted with God it was again granted that relief would come upon Egypt. God sent a great east wind and removed the locusts and cast them into the Red Sea. When relief was achieved Pharaoh again hardened his heart and would not let Israel go.
In the next judgment God chose to address the sun god of Egypt. Each of the major gods of Egypt had had their opportunity to defend Egypt from the power of God and all had failed. Now the sun god Ra would have his chance to deliver Egypt from the power of the God of Israel. For three days there would be a thick darkness over all of the land of Egypt. For three days Egypt would be in fear of the power of God and would not be able to see anything or anyone. They would have opportunity to meditate on the signs and wonders of the God of Israel. They would be able to ponder what would God do next and would they continue to rebel or would they surrender to the God of the Israelites?
At the same time this wonder was taking place in Egypt in the land of Goshen all of the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. They too had the opportunity to mediate upon the power of God and to see if their faith had developed and their trust in God, and His prophet, had grown enough to leave Egypt. This experience was very similar to the experience of the disciples of Jesus who had lost their Lord for three days and had had the opportunity to meditate on whether Jesus of Nazareth was the king of Israel or was He a deceiver. Mighty things would occur as a result of what conclusion the people decided. This also will happen again in the last plagues that will take place on Earth. There will be a great darkness on the seat of the beast – the whole world. Revelation 16:10. This is in addition to the great darkness that is upon the people of the world who do not know that they need the light of the Word of God. Isaiah 60:1-2; Amos 8:11-12
After allowing the people of Egypt, and the people of Israel, the opportunity to meditate and pray then God brought the last sign upon the land that would ensure that Egypt would allow Israel to leave the land. God instructed Moses to guide the people to “borrow” of the Egyptians gold, silver, and jewels so that the Israelites would be reimbursed for all of the labors that they had not been paid for in Egypt. The Egyptians had great fear and respect for Moses and the Israelites and they gave them much wealth.
God then instructed Pharaoh and Israel of what was to happen next. That at midnight God would send His angel into the land and anyone who did not have the blood of the Passover Lamb on his door posts and on the upper door post would have their first born child killed. This would happen to the first born child and for the first born animals that were left after the murrain and the hail. But anyone who had blood on the door the destroying angel would pass over their house and bring deliverance from death. All of the people in the land knew of what would take place and how to avoid death and destruction. The principle established in Exodus 9:20-21 would still apply in the plague against the first born because of the character of God. He does not change and He has no delight in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 18:31-32. God came to save the whole world and He wanted to save as many people from Egypt as He could. II Peter 3:9; John 3:16-17.
When the time of the Passover came – the 14th day of the first month of the year – all who had faith in God had performed their duties and they had killed their lambs, symbols of God’s true first born – John 1:29, and had put the blood on the doorposts, they were ready. They had obeyed the counsel of God through His prophet, and they would trust Him in faith to do as He had done all through the signs and wonders poured out on Egypt. As He had showed Himself faithful in His signs and wonders, those who had been obedient would trust Him in this great plague as well. And the wonder of it all is that God offered this protection to all mankind involved both Israelite and Egyptian. All who trusted in Him and did as He had instructed would be saved.
God’s prophet describes the events in the following manner:
“Before obtaining freedom, the bondmen must show their faith in the great deliverance about to be accomplished. The token of blood must be placed upon their houses, and they must separate themselves and their families from the Egyptians, and gather within their own dwellings. Had the Israelites disregarded in any particular the directions given them, had they neglected to separate their children from the Egyptians, had they slain the lamb, but failed to strike the doorpost with blood, or had any gone out of their houses, they would not have been secure. They might have honestly believed that they had done all that was necessary, but their sincerity would not have saved them. All who failed to heed the Lord's directions would lose their first-born by the hand of the destroyer.
By obedience the people were to give evidence of their faith. So all who hope to be saved by the merits of the blood of Christ should realize that they themselves have something to do in securing their salvation. While it is Christ only that can redeem us from the penalty of transgression, we are to turn from sin to obedience. Man is to be saved by faith, not by works; yet his faith must be shown by his works. God has given His Son to die as a propitiation for sin, He has manifested the light of truth, the way of life, He has given facilities, ordinances, and privileges; and now man must co-operate with these saving agencies; he must appreciate and use the helps that God has provided--believe and obey all the divine requirements.
As Moses rehearsed to Israel the provisions of God for their deliverance, "the people bowed the head and worshiped." The glad hope of freedom, the awful knowledge of the impending judgment upon their oppressors, the cares and labors incident to their speedy departure--all were for the time swallowed up in gratitude to their gracious Deliverer. Many of the Egyptians had been led to acknowledge the God of the Hebrews as the only true God, and these now begged to be permitted to find shelter in the homes of Israel when the destroying angel should pass through the land. They were gladly welcomed, and they pledged themselves henceforth to serve the God of Jacob and to go forth from Egypt with His people.
The Israelites obeyed the directions that God had given. Swiftly and secretly they made their preparations for departure. Their families were gathered, the paschal lamb slain, the flesh roasted with fire, the unleavened bread and bitter herbs prepared. The father and priest of the household sprinkled the blood upon the doorpost, and joined his family within the dwelling. In haste and silence the paschal lamb was eaten. In awe the people prayed and watched, the heart of the eldest born, from the strong man down to the little child, throbbing with indefinable dread. Fathers and mothers clasped in their arms their loved first-born as they thought of the fearful stroke that was to fall that night. But no dwelling of Israel was visited by the death-dealing angel. The sign of blood--the sign of a Saviour's protection--was on their doors, and the destroyer entered not.” Patriarchs and Prophets 278-279
God had worked with Israel and He had worked for Egypt for many years – since the time of Abraham and his experience with plagues in Egypt. Genesis 12:10-17. Now after all of these years God’s will had been accomplished. He Word had gone out to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Israel had been roused to follow and obey God by faith, and even Egypt had slowly come to the point that all those who would have made their choice for God. Pharaoh had come to the place that he had lost so much that he was willing for Israel to leave Egypt lest they all died. Exodus 12:31-33.
But God knew the end from the beginning. He knows what every man will do and what they will not do. God led Israel out of Egypt by the hand of His prophet. He brought them out to a special place by the Red Sea. God knew that there was one more sign and wonder to occur in His relationship with Egypt. After three days Satan encouraged Pharaoh to reevaluate what had happened and he concluded that Israel was not going to come back and he decided to go out into the wilderness to get the people back. After all of the signs and wonders that God had displayed to Pharaoh it is amazing that he would even think of challenging God yet the mind that refuses to be controlled by God must inevitably be controlled by Satan. Pharaoh caught up with Israel at the place of three names – Pihahiroth, between Midgol, and Baalzephon. Exodus 14:2. This place had been especially chosen by God to address the final battle with Egypt. This place is a type of the Battle of Armageddon spoken of in Revelation 16.
When Israel saw Egypt they feared for they were waiting for something “negative” to occur. In their minds they experienced a lack of trust in God and concluded that they would die here in the wilderness. They accused Moses of bringing them to their place of death in the wilderness and were sad that they had left their places of sadness in Egypt to die in the wilderness. But Moses told them to fear not for they would see the salvation of God which He would reveal to Israel that day. Moses assured them that God would fight for them and they had not need to fear the armies of man when the power of God was there to protect them.
At that time the pillar of cloud rose up over Israel and settled between the armies of Egypt and the nation of Israel. The pillar gave light to Israel and darkness to Egypt and separated them from each other. Then God instructed Moses to lift his Rod over the sea and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong East wind and the waters were divided and a path, known only by God, emerged and the Lord invited His people to walk this path by faith. The waters were dried up and the way was prepared for the kings of Israel to proceed while under the care of God. When Israel was almost to the other side of the sea, then God removed His cloud and allowed Egypt to see Israel escaping from them. Then Egypt attempted to cross the sea without faith in God. Hebrews 11:29. They were attempting to harm God’s people and thus they warred directly against Him. Then God came down and fought for Israel. Exodus 15. God overthrew the Egyptian armies in the middle of the Red Sea, thus testifying again to Israel that He is the ruler over all the things of this earth. This battle in the Red Sea is the final display of God’s power against Egypt in the deliverance of Israel. Israel is delivered and the mixed multitude that came out with them were now on the far side of the Red Sea and could not go back. They were now fully committed to go with God wherever it was that He wanted to take them.
This study is to show that God will deliver His people in a manner that will bring honor and glory to His name and to strengthen the faith and the experience of His people. All through this study God has chosen to let us know that He does not change. His desire has ever been to rescue His people from sin and suffering. What God did in the past He wants to assure us that He will do again in the future. God wants us to be secure that He will fight for us and deliver us in any time and in any way that will accomplish His purposes. This is the gospel of Jesus that He has all power to deliver and to save. What He did for Israel of old He will do again. All through the Bible He has wanted to display His power and love so that everyone who wants to know about God will know.
God told us that through the events of His signs and wonders displayed for Egypt many other people were saved. It was this series of events, and the events that followed the experience with Egypt that saved Rahab of Canaan. Joshua 2:10. This information was even available to the Philistines as well. I Samuel 6:5-6 All who wanted to know about God, God has revealed Himself to so that they can make a decision and follow Him. It has been His task to alert all of the world so that they can do what the people of Israel did. All of those who fear God will have the opportunity to see His power and hear His truths so that they too can decide. God wants to reveal these things through His Word, through His history of His activities on Earth, and through the testimony of His people and what He has done for them in their experience. I offer you the gospel in the signs, wonders, and the plagues of Egypt.