The Gospel According to Moses
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READINGS BY KIM HARRINGTON
Day 43: The Passover
For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord. And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
The final plague was a devastating judgment of God on the land of Egypt, its king, its gods and the people who worshipped them. An angel of God went through the land and killed the firstborn of every family, even the firstborn of the those animals which had avoided the earlier plagues. The only way someone could avoid this was to observe the Passover supper, and daub the blood of a sacrificed lamb on the doorposts and lintel of their house. When the angel saw the blood, he would pass over that house, sparing those inside—hence the name "Passover."
The Passover, of course, is a glorious type, or prophetic foreshadowing, of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Egypt is the world, as we’ve noted before, and all the world is under the righteous judgment of God, "for all have sinned and fall short of His glory," and "there is none that doeth good, no not one." All will meet the dreaded angel of death because of their sins, and because of their citizenship in this world, ruled by Satan himself.
But God makes a way of escape through the Passover Lamb. "Your lamb shall be an unblemished male..." Jesus is our Passover lamb, of course. That’s why John the Baptist introduced Him as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." This isn’t something that scholars have developed by reading between the lines—the biblical characters themselves saw the typology of the Passover. Peter points out the sinlessness of Christ our Passover, "you [were] redeemed... with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ," (1 Pet 1:18,19).
"Kill it," the Lord goes on to tell the people of Israel. Take that innocent lamb and kill it, sacrifice it for your sins. Paul in the New Testament makes the correlation with Christ again, "For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed," (1 Cor.5:7).
"Moreover...take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses..." (Ex.12:7). The Passover sacrifice is of no use at all, however, unless it is applied by faith. If the Israelites had no faith they wouldn’t have complied with the command to put blood on their doors. If you have no faith you likewise will ignore the sacrifice of Jesus and die with the rest of the world. By faith you apply the blood of Christ to the door of your heart and life; you believe that it works to cleanse you of sin, and because of that belief it does work. One day when others are being judged for their deeds in the flesh and their refusal to submit to God, you shall be saved, even as the people of Israel were saved from the angel of death some 3500 years ago in Egypt. By faith you apply the blood and exit this old world into a much better life. That’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And it’s the Gospel According to Moses, too.
Day 44: The Passover Feast
And they shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
The Passover lamb was not sacrificed and discarded, or even sacrificed and burned as an offering to the Lord. It was eaten by the people. The feast of the Passover is as much a part of the observance as the sacrifice itself. This is true not only in the original Passover, but also in the spiritual application to Christ as the Passover. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves," (Jn 6:53). Furthermore, at the last Passover supper with his disciples he instructed them, "Take, eat, this is My body," (Mt 26:26).
Like applying the blood, the feast represents our part in entering into the covenant with God. He did His part by providing a sacrifice for our sins. We do our part by accepting it, by entering into a life of fellowship and obedience to Him. The feast is a type of our fellowship with Christ.
First the Passover was roasted in fire. The cross was a baptism of fire for Jesus, and He also tells us to be baptized in the "Holy Ghost and fire," (Mt 3:11, etc.). We’re not prepared for any depth of fellowship with Him until we’re baptized in the Holy Spirit, and made to understand and perceive the things of the Spirit. If we remain un-roasted, we have a fleshly religion of the will that easily leans towards legalism.
The Passover was eaten with unleavened bread. We, the church of Jesus Christ, are that bread. This figure of speech is used often in the Bible to illustrate that we must not allow ourselves to be leavened by sin and hypocrisy. A little leaven can make the whole Passover invalid for the one partaking in it. A little leaven in the dough ruined the whole family who ate the bread, and a little sin in your life can corrupt your family, and even the church family.
The lamb was cooked in bitter herbs. This is to remind us of the bitterness of walking in the way of the flesh, of the bitter bondage to sin and Satan experienced in Egypt. It also reminds us of the bitter price paid for our salvation, the sacrifice of Jesus.
Finally, they were to eat the Passover with girded loins, sandals on, in haste, staff in hand (vs 11). This reminds us that once we partake of Christ, once we make Him your Lord and Savior, we don’t hang around the world anymore but get out fast. Get it over with quickly and follow Jesus without hesitation. He who hesitates is lost. It also reminds us that we will always be pilgrims and strangers in this world as followers of Christ. We’re not supposed to get comfortable in this life and with this world’s goodies—we’re on the road, we’re travelling, we’re on our way to someplace far better.
And we’re fellowshipping with the King of Kings, dining with Jesus our Savior, Jesus our Passover. That’s what the feast means.
Day 45: Plundering Egypt
Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
Here’s an interesting sideline to the story of the Exodus. As Israel left Egypt on the night of the Passover they paused to ask the Egyptians for articles of silver, gold and expensive cloth to take with them – and the Egyptians complied and handed over the goods! Thus they went out with their hands full; they had entered Egypt empty handed, but they left full, even though for the last many years they had actually been slaves. They plundered their masters.
The gold and silver and various kind of cloth were later used to build the tabernacle in the wilderness. Sometimes, in the midst of all the plagues, we lose sight of the stated reason that Israel was going out into the wilderness—to worship and make sacrifices to Yahweh. To do it properly they’d have to build a tabernacle, with its pieces of furniture, various kinds of curtains, and all the smaller articles used in tabernacle worship. They didn’t have the means to build such an elaborate and beautiful tent, so the Lord touched the hearts of the Egyptians to supply the lack. In Haggai God says, "the gold is mine and the silver is mine," in reference to the building of Zerubbabel’s temple. The same holds true for this first tabernacle—He can ask for His gold and silver among the Egyptians if He likes, for after all, everything belongs to Him.
Notice also the methodology the followers of God use to plunder the world. We do not use force or intimidation, for those are the world’s methods. Those who use them advertise that they are of the world not of God, no matter how noble they say their cause is. Mohammed used force to convert the Arab world to Islam. Today the various advocates of secular humanism, especially the press and the media, use scorn and intimidation in an effort to make people see things their way and to forsake the tried and true ways of the Bible. They show that they are of their father the devil by the methods they use.
The methods of God’s true people are simple and straightforward. We don’t have to be deceptive, use subliminal messages, force, manipulation, or intimidation. The Israelites walked straight up to the Egyptians and asked for gold and silver. God touched their hearts and they gave it to them. Even so, if you and I want to do something for Jesus or win someone to Jesus, we just walk straight up and speak in a straightforward manner. We don’t need to beat around the bush, to make our message more palatable to worldly taste buds. That’s God’s job. Our job is to speak it plain enough so they can understand, not to go about dropping hints and suggestions. When we speak plain and to the point God can speak to their hearts. That’s how we plunder the devil’s kingdom. The honest way. The old-fashioned Bible way. Not the way of the world or of worldly wisdom, but God’s way. And He makes it work.
Day 46: The Mixed Multitude
Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. And a mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.
Quite a multitude of people went out of Egypt with Moses and Aaron. There were about six hundred thousand men, plus women and children, or at least one and a half million Israelites, plus a multitude of non-Israelites, which likely also numbered in the hundreds of thousands. That’s a lot of people! It must have been an awesome sight.
We know who the Israelites were, but who were the mixed "multitude" that went with them? The word "mixed" gives us a good idea. They were people of various races and nationalities that also lived in Egypt at the time, probably as slaves and servants, and they took advantage of the opportunity to flee with the Israeli slaves. There were also Egyptians who had begun to believe in Yahweh, the God of the Israelites.
Whenever there is a great move of the Spirit going on, a "mixed multitude" will gather. When revival occurs, when a church begins to grow and become a great place to be, all kinds of people will flock to the excitement. Some will really plug in, for they were added by the Lord. Others will hang around the fringes for awhile and then eventually move on to the next popular place to be.
Generally speaking the mixed multitude can be seen as a type of tares in the church (see Matthew 13). They go along outwardly with the people of God; the mixed multitude of Moses’ day were shrewd enough to hide their families and livestock during the predicted hailstorm, and quick enough on their feet to seize the opportunity to flee Egypt with the Israelites. But they weren’t true Israelites by birth (or rebirth). They were still of the world, not truly converted, not born again. They may look and dress like the real thing, but their hearts will betray them before long. The mixed multitude were the first to murmur in the wilderness and express a desire to return to Egypt; and they caused the Israelites to stumble and say the same things. Like the tares in Jesus’ parable they grow with the wheat for awhile, but they are not true wheat.
Somebody may be thinking right now, "I wonder if I’m a tare, part of the mixed multitude." Evebn if you are, there’s nothing that says you have to remain part of that crowd. If you’re concerned then get converted today. Go all the way for Jesus. Commit yourself to the local church and to walking with God’s people. Quit hanging around the door, looking back towards the world you left behind, and decide to go for the long haul. There’s always room for one more.
Day 47: Judaism, A Religion Not a Race
But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it.
A quick and careless look at the Law of Moses and Old Testament Judaism as a whole might give someone the idea that this was an exclusive, racist sort of a program, because there is a continual distinction made between the Israelites and the Egyptians; the true people of God and the mixed multitude that also went out with them. But being a Jew in the biblical sense involves much more than being born of a certain race of people. How may times do the New Testament writers point that out with such statements as, "God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham" (Mt 3:9), and "he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit..." (Rom 2:28,29).
In other words being a Jew is not so much a nationality or racial issue as it is a spiritual or religious issue. You can be a Jew racially and still be as far away from the kingdom of God as the most ignorant heathen or devil-worshipper. Or you can be a Gentile, an Egyptian or part of the mixed multitude, and get converted to the faith of the true God, and be just as much part of God’s family as a direct descendant of Israel himself. In the Old Testament that conversion was symbolized by the rite of circumcision and the convert was called a Jew. In the New Testament the emphasis is on circumcision of the heart, symbolized by water baptism, and the convert is called a Christian. In either case it’s a spiritual matter, not a racial matter.
As the Jews prepared for the exodus from Egypt and the first Passover was sacrificed, before the Law was given from Sinai, the Lord was already making provision for anyone who wanted to convert to Judaism. There’s nothing exclusive here at all—God has always been in the business of trying to get all races and tribes and peoples brought into the light and into the family of the redeemed. "All aboard that’s going aboard! Here’s how to get converted!" That’s the story of the New Testament and the Old.
Many of the mixed multitude took Him up on it. Some became God-fearers, people who believed in Yahweh, but remained uncircumcised. Others took the plunge and went the whole nine yards, including circumcision, and all the observances of the Law, just like a national Israelite. They married into Jewish families and lost their own national identity, even as we in the New Testament lose our own fleshly identities in Christ by being "born again." After Zipporah died, Moses married an Ethiopian convert. That’s right, the leader of the people married a black woman. That’s not racism; that’s different peoples and different races becoming one in the worship of the true God. It was happening over 3500 years ago out on the Sinai Peninsula; why haven’t the people of God learned the lesson a little better by now?
Day 48: The Offering of the First Born
"Sanctify to Me every first-born, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me."
When the Lord struck the first-born of every Egyptian household on the eve of the exodus, He passed over the homes of the Israelites; no one who had the blood applied to their doorposts lost a life that night. Nevertheless, most of the Israelites were just as guilty as their Egyptian neighbors. They had rejected Moses and the Lord’s deliverance at the first sign of trouble from Pharaoh, and only the covenant with Abraham and the sprinkled blood kept them from the same fate as their oppressors. Technically speaking then, the first-born of the children of Israel should have been taken, too—except for the blood that protected them.
God points this out in chapter thirteen of Exodus. The first-born are mine. Humans, animals, they’re all mine. I spared their lives, but they still belong to Me. He then instituted the offering of the first-born. The first offspring of every clean animal had to be sacrificed to the Lord; those of unclean animals and humans were to be redeemed with the life of a lamb. The first-born belonged to God.
This is the principle behind the offering the first-fruits and the paying of the tithe, too. Even the first-born of a field’s harvest belonged to the Lord. The first-fruits were His; and the first ten percent of the harvest itself also went to Him.
As you may have already guessed, there’s a symbolism here again, as there is in so much of the Law of Moses. God gave His first-born, too, Jesus Christ the first-born among many brethren, as the New Testament points out. Although the Son of God is eternal, and was never birthed in the sense that human or animal lives are, yet He is that which proceeds from the Father, He is the expression of His Father’s will and character, and as such is called the Son of God. In several instances He is called the "only begotten" of the Father, the Son in whom He is well pleased.
And God gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He was the clean animal, the Passover Lamb, while we are the unclean that need to be redeemed, bought back from sin and Satan. This offering of the first-born was to be a reminder to the Israelites of their own salvation from Egypt and the bondage of sin, and how a blood offering paid for their freedom. As we pay our tithes and offer our first-fruits to the Lord, we can look on it, not as just helping out God’s cause with our money, or worse yet, as a duty to be fulfilled grudgingly lest we lose His blessing, but as a reminder of the First-born who died for us and an offering of praise and thanksgiving.
Day 49: The Shekinah Glory of God
And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
As an amazing evidence of His presence among the departing Israelites, and as a means of guiding them in the wilderness, the Lord manifested His glory to them in the pillar of cloud and fire. This was not the first and it wouldn’t be the last time the flaming pillar appeared to men. Abraham had seen the same phenomenon shortly after the battle of the five kings and his meeting with Melchizedek, when the Lord confirmed the covenant with him. There it is described as a "smoking oven and flaming torch," (Gen 15:17). Moses saw this manifestation of God’s glory in the burning bush. The ancient Hebrews called it the Shekinah, or "residence" of God. It hovered above the mercy seat in the tabernacle; it filled Solomon’s temple at the dedication ceremony, and it departed that place shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. David and Solomon mention it in psalms and prayers.
Apparently the Shekinah is a cloud that appears both dark and fiery at the same time. You cannot see through it, Solomon describes it as "thick darkness," and the Egyptian army was unable to negotiate when it stood in their path. Yet it is fiery and blinding at the same time. It appears as a cloud by day, yet glows as a fire by night.
The important thing is not how it looks but that God is in it. He dwells in the cloud, the pillar of fire, the glory, the Shekinah, or whatever you prefer to call it. From His dwelling place He leads and directs His people, He shows them the way to walk, and when to walk, and when to stay. He protects them from their enemies. As long as they stay with the Shekinah they are safe; He is "a wall of fire around them." The Egyptians couldn’t touch the protected Israelites, and the devil cannot touch the protected saints. It is when we move out from under God’s presence and perfect will that we expose ourselves to danger.
Today we do not see the cloud each day as the children of Israel did in the wilderness, but we can still be guided on our way and in His will by the Holy Spirit. Don’t neglect this important aspect of being a Christian. Stay in the glory, abide in Him, and you won’t go wrong.
All Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Version unless marked otherwise.
Copyright © 2005 Kim Harrington, Masterbuilder Ministries. All rights reserved.