Last night, we kept "The Night To Be Much Remembered,"  which is the night that ancient Israel left Egypt.  It's funny, but I woke up around 3:30, and it popped into my mind, that if I had been alive, back in those days, that I would probably be heading out of Egypt right about then.  Israel coming out of Egypt has enormous spiritual connotations for the Church.  As Spiritual Israelites, do we want to go somewhere called the Promised Land?  Yes, we do, but we call it the Kingdom of God....

As Spiritual Israelites, God wants us to pack our bags and get out of spiritual Egypt, (darkness...ignorance of God's ways).  He wants us to come out of the Wilderness of Sin, just like ancient Israel did, and to head for the Promised Land, but just like Israel's trip through their wilderness of sin, we also face many hardships along the way.  Our trip is fraught with troubles and pain.  It is not an easy trip or a short one.  

Neither was it for our ancient Israel, but God was on their side. When they left Egypt, it was on the 15th of the month under a full moon.  It was perfect light to be able to leave Egypt by.  Not only that, as they fled, and the Egyptians were about to catch up to them, it was the time of the new moon, and it was dark and hard for the Egyptians to see them.  By a pillar of fire, God led the Israelites to safety.  Yet, no matter what God did for them, they were unhappy.  No matter how many miracles God did for the ancient Israelites, they kept wishing they were back in Egypt.  Only one month after they had left Egypt, they began to murmur against Moses and Aaron! 

Exodus 16:1-3
16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

The whole Bible is written for our admonition.  Let's face it, we all need admonition sometimes, so Paul around Passover time, used the Example of Israel coming out of Egypt to admonish the Church.  It fits, because Israel coming out of Egypt is the perfect type of what we come up against as Christians in so many ways.  For one thing, we can't go backwards.  When things get rough, we have to go forward....only forward.  But never back to past.

Paul explained in 1st Corinthians 10, how Israel was baptized when they crossed the Red Sea, and we know, that as Christians, after Baptism, we begin to face various difficulties on the trip to the Promised Land that we never expected. 

Well, after Israel, came though the Red Sea, they had plenty of these hardships BUT, they didn't have any faith in God, which helps us deal with them.  And, without faith, we cannot please God.  Hebrews 11:6  How important is your faith to God?  It is all-important.  Anyone who makes it in the Kingdom of God will have to have it. 

Lack of faith is why the Israelites were not able to go into the Promised Land---Bottom-line, they didn't believe God.  The book of Hebrews is about the people who make it in the 1st resurrection, and to the person, these people were faithful under adverse circumstances.  As bad as we've had it, none of us have been sawn in half, like Isaiah.  The book of Hebrews is also about those that failed.  Esau and ancient Israel are used as examples. 

Ancient Israel's lack of faith is used to make a point to the Church.

Hebrews 3:5-14
5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence (faith) and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

7 Wherefore as the Holy Spirit said, To day if ye will hear his voice,

8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

11 So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest
(the Promised Land...the Kingdom of God...eternal life.)

12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

Let's hold the beginning of our confidence to the end, and stay the course.  God is leading us down a road to somewhere good, and no matter how many pot-holes and bumps lie ahead, this road is ultimately leading us to the real Promised Land...the Kingdom of God. 


Sermon given by James E. Throgmorton



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