Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness now these things were written for our examples (=types) to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease (=EXODUS) which he should accomplish at Jerusalem…And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
On the mount of transfiguration two men appeared with Jesus, Moses and Elijah. The subject of their conversation was Jesus’ decease, as the KJV has it, in the Greek it is EXODUS.
In an earlier study we saw that Jesus described His death as a baptism, now Luke describes it as an Exodus. Paul in the Corinthian passage quoted describes the original Exodus as a baptism! Further, Paul tells us that Israel was baptised unto Moses. So we have the direct connection in language between the events of Moses’ life and the Exodus and the work of Christ at the cross.
Paul in his account makes it clear these things were written as examples, or types, for our learning. In the immediate context of I Cor.10, the lessons for us is one of not falling into temptation and lusting after evil things. Paul also makes it clear that they were all baptised in the cloud and the sea: in the antitype, the Spirit and water (Jn.3:5; Eph.5:26; I Pet.1:23-25).
So we see that the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt is a type of salvation and new birth. It will also introduce us to the idea of redemption.
The Exodus is one of the most extensive types we see in the OT, some others being the Tabernacle and the sacrificial system. Without pushing the type beyond its measure we can learn quiet a lot. But first we need to identify what roles the people illustrate.
Israel was in bondage in Egypt under Pharaoh. God through Moses brought them out of that oppression in order to serve God and live in a promised land. Egypt typifies the world (its system that is); Pharaoh, the devil; the first born, the old man- the body of sin; Moses, the Lord Jesus and Israel, God’s people.
Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them….. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour (= cruelty, severity)
And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. And 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. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
The book of Exodus begins with the Egyptians turning the Israelites into slaves. This came from the top, Pharaoh himself took the decision to inflict this state with the greatest of severity. Fear was the motivation, in that he reasoned, that if they became a strong people they would side with Egypt’s enemies. The result was oppression and cruel servitude.
This is a picture of the human race. Satan was ever our enemy, even in Eden. By his subtle devices he deceived Eve into disobedience. As a result Adam sinned and the whole of the human race became a servant of the devil and slaves of sin.
This means that every person born into this world alive is under the power and dominion of Satan. They are his servants, serving the desires of the flesh. And are under the world’s authority, and it conforms them to its image. They drink of its fountains and enjoy its pleasures.
Egypt was supplied with its ‘water of life’, namely the Nile and its annual flooding, and those of Egypt benefited from it. The world has its ‘water of life ‘source and those in the world enjoy its pleasures if only for a season.
But beneath there is an awareness that all is not right. The world and its system is not all that it seems. For in the human heart there is a longing for a reality that cannot be found in the world. A sigh that there is more to life than this bondage to the world and all its toys, its idle pomp and fading joys.
This is why many turn to various activities, diversions of life or alternative lifestyles. But they find no rest in them, no deliverance, no deep down satisfaction. But God hears and has made provision if only we would take heed!
And the LORD said [to Moses], I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land….Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Then the LORD said unto Moses, 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. … And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians…. And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
When Jesus began His earthly ministry, after the forty day period of temptation, He went into the synagogue at Nazareth, and read from the prophecy of Isaiah. He made it clear that this prophecy was now being fulfilled in Him.
Part of the prophecy of Isa. 61 that He read is: to preach deliverance to the captives, and …, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Jesus’ ministry was to preach deliverance and to set people at liberty from their bruised state. When preaching to Cornelius Peter sums up Jesus’ ministry as healing those who were oppressed of the devil, see Acts 10:36-38.
The Exodus is a wonderful illustration of this ministry. We cannot possibly cover all the aspects here, but will focus on the main points. God had appeared to Moses and commissioned him to go and tell Pharaoh to let His people go. So Moses left his place and went down to Egypt.
Here is our first parallel point: Jesus came from heaven into the world. In order to accomplish our redemption and deliverance the eternal Son of God became a man in order to fulfil His Father’s will.
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Moses was reluctant, Jesus was not so, He was willing and came freely, and was obedient even unto the death of the cross Phil.2:5-8.
As we consider Moses’ commission we see God promising to free Israel from Egypt. In the first passage above we see that God would deliver Israel from Egypt and then bring them to land of Canaan. In the second passage we see this truth expanded. God said:
1. He would bring them out from under the burdens of Egypt.
2. He would rid them of the bondage.
3. He would redeem them.
4. He would take them for a people.
5. He would be to Israel a God.
6. He would bring them to a land previously promised.
7. He would give it as an heritage.
The last two points we will leave until we look at the type regarding the entry into Canaan. Points 4 and 5 were the reasons God was going to deliver them. Israel was to be saved from Egypt, not to please themselves but to be a people who would serve God. Indeed when Moses went into Pharaoh the reason he gave was so that that Israel could serve God Ex.7:16.
They could not serve two masters, in order to serve God they had to be freed from the mastery of Pharaoh. Later on at Sinai God revealed a greater truth: Israel was to be a kingdom of priests to God Ex.19:5-6.
No man or woman can serve God unless freed from the mastery of the devil. Jesus puts it plainly that no man can serve two masters he will either hate the one and love the other or else he will hold to the one and despise the other Mtt.6:24.
Likewise when God saves us it is not so that we can please ourselves, but rather to become servants of righteousness, Rom.6:15-18. We then as the people of God, redeemed by Christ and translated into His kingdom, have become a peculiar people, a royal priesthood unto God, I Pet.2:9-10.
God’s promise to Israel was first to take His people out of Egypt. This deliverance was to be so complete that they would be rid of all their burdens. The slavery they had endured would be ended once and for all.
They would be redeemed. This is to do with ownership. Israel presently belonged to Pharaoh, God was going to redeem them so that they would then belong to Himself. There was going to be a price paid, for this to happen and Israel would o be redeemed.
Likewise each and everyone of us born into this world are initially slaves of sin and Satan. Jesus came to deliver us and translate us from the devil’s kingdom to the Kingdom of the Son of God.