IN PREPARATION FOR EASTER PDF Print E-mail
The Lord's Family Fellowship
The following is the fourth installment in a continuation of Jon’s sermons on the Passover/Our Lord’s Supper. We will continue to print these in upcoming newsletters.  

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PASSOVER, UNLEAVENED BREAD, FIRSTFRUITS AND FEAST OF WEEKS

       A.     Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and the Feast of Weeks were all ordained by God to point us to our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Passover points to Christ as the sacrificial Lamb who was crucified on the Passover. The Feast of Unleavened Bread points to Christ’s burial with our sins buried with Him. Firstfruits points to His resurrection and ours, while the Feast of Weeks points to the Holy Spirit who was given on Pentecost.       

        B.     Let us first begin with the Passover, which signifies the beginning of life. For it is the beginning of spring, the growing season, the lambing season, the exodus from sin’s bondage and oppression, the beginning of the Law and revelation of our sinful natures, and the entrance into the Promised Land, which represents entrance into our eternal spiritual life.  

PASSOVER

       A.     Although Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are two distinct holidays, the first occurring on the fourteenth of the month with the second immediately following on the fifteenth day, because of their significance and their close proximity to one another, they are considered as one. Passover means “a feast of the Jews, instituted to commemorate the providential escape from death when God killed the Egyptians’ firstborn but passed over the houses of the Israelites, which were marked with the blood of the paschal lamb.”      

       B.     Passover in Hebrew is Pesach meaning “a passing over or protection from death.” The captive Israelites’ bondage to a cruel taskmaster represents our bondage to sin and captivity to Satan, which ultimately brings death. And as there was absolutely nothing the Israelites could personally do to deliver themselves out of this bondage, so, too, there is nothing that we can personally do to release ourselves from our bondage to sin. So just as it took the blood of the Passover lamb to deliver God’s people from death and their bondage, so it took Christ’s blood to deliver us from our bondage to sin and eternal death. The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and their entrance into the Promised Land represents our exodus from sin’s bondage and death and our entrance into eternal bliss. Sins hold us in bondage. What sins are you in bondage to? We should continually be in prayer over that which is holding us captive and pray for its mortification. Great joy should fill our hearts that Christ overcame sin and death, freeing us from our cruel taskmaster to serve Him, our most gracious King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

                1.     Exodus 6:6,7 “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.’”

                        a.      Isn’t this a marvelous picture? God actually redeemed us with His outstretched arm and took us for His own. Consider how often our earthly fathers’ strong arms protected us from harm, yet the culmination of their efforts pales in the light of our heavenly Father snatching us from the lake of fire to be carried under His wing to our magnificent heavenly home.

                2.     John 8:31-36 “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, “You will become free”?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’”

                        a.      Oh, the arrogance of man’s heart to think that he is not in bondage to anyone. I know so many men who think that they are independent, self-made men who answer to no one. Yet unbeknownst to them, they are enslaved to the cruelest of masters. Each of us needs to examine our own hearts to see whom we really serve—God or Satan?

                3.              Luke 4:14-21 “And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD.’ And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”

                4.     Galatians 4:4,5 “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”  

                5.     Galatians 3:13,14 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’—in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”  

                6.     1 Peter 1:18,19 “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”

                        a.      How many around us work all their lives for perishable things? What a futile life to spend it seeking those things that will soon perish and pass away. Do we fully realize the preciousness of the blood that redeemed our lives from futility? How grateful are we for His grace? Do we hold it so dear that we desire that all around us hear of its value?

                7.     Romans 6:6 “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”

                8.     Psalm 34:22 “The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.”   

                9.     Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”

                        a.      Compare the value the world places on gold and silver with the value they place on the grace of God. Those who belong to the King of Kings possess riches that far surpass anything this perishable world has to offer. Children, although it is our duty to provide for our families and for our children’s inheritance, which comes only through the sweat of our brow, maintain a proper perspective of riches and how they should be used for building the kingdom.

                10.   Romans 6:16-18 “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

                11.   2 Timothy 2:24-26 “The Lord’s bond servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”  

                12.   2 Timothy 3:16,17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

                        a.      In all our relationships, we should be teaching, reproving, correcting, and training in righteousness. It is especially important for us to do this among ourselves, for it is the fiber that strengthens us as a family. It should not be: “I won’t tell on you, for I’m not a rat,” but “I am so concerned about your spiritual well being. God says that…. Please repent of your sin, and I will pray that the Spirit enable you to mortify this sin.” Even our children should be admonishing, rebuking, and using God’s Word to teach and train their siblings.

                        b.      Understanding biblical law is so vitally important that we recommend that every family study By This Standard by Greg Bahnsen. Having already read it two times, once many years ago, and then just recently, it is so good that we are getting ready to read it again with our children as we study America’s laws and its penal system, which as we know, are based on God’s law and His judgment. Besides The Essentials of A. W. Pink, we would have to say that By This Standard is the best book we have ever read and certainly the best book we have ever read on biblical law.  

 

GOD’S FIRSTBORN

       A.     Israel, God’s firstborn disobedient son, points to God’s firstborn obedient Son, Jesus Christ. Since Egypt represents the unregenerated world, the death of their firstborn represents the death that comes to all children of this world, while the saving of God’s children through the blood of the Lamb represents the only means by which we can be spared from eternal death.       

                1.     Exodus 4:22,23 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I said to you, ‘Let My son go that He may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’”       

                2.     Deuteronomy 8:2,5 “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you…Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.”              

                        a.      It is your duty to teach your children “all the way in which the Lord has led you.” May each of us be faithful to share how the Lord has led us in the wilderness and how He brought us into the Promised Land.       

       B.     Israel failed to do what only Christ could do through His perfect obedience. Just as Israel is God’s firstborn, so Christ became the obedient firstborn Son of God.        

               1.     Isaiah 1:1-5,11-15,21 “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Listen, O heavens, and hear O earth; for the LORD speaks, ‘Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me. An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.’ Alas, sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away from Him. Where will you be stricken again, as you continue in your rebellion? … ‘What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?’ says the LORD. ‘I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts? Bring your worthless offerings no longer…I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.’ … How the faithful city has become a harlot.”

                        a.      Isn’t that true of us? How we forget and refuse to acknowledge God and those whom He has sent to mentor us. What an ungrateful wicked lot we are, so full of sin and rebellion. Without this understanding, we cannot humble ourselves before the Lord. If you think that God will wink at your sin, listen carefully to the above scriptures addressed to His beloved firstborn. Examine your hearts! Are you obedient?

                2.     1 Corinthians 10:1-13 “For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.’ Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

                        a.     Don’t think that they were so much worse than we that they deserved their judgment. We may not worship a golden calf or some idol made of wood or stone, but what about the other idols in our lives that take precedence over our time with God? Grumbling is also among this list of sins, something every one of us does from time to time. It does not seem to be such a bad sin, does it? Yet God’s chosen people were destroyed because of their grumbling because it is impossible to please God without faith in Him and His promises.

                1.     Hebrews 3:12-19 “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.’ For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.”  

                 2.     Hebrews 11:1,2,6 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval…. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” 

                 3.     1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”       

     C.     Our Holy God must have an obedient Son, which only Christ could fulfill.        

                 1.     Isaiah 11:1-5 “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, and faithfulness the belt about His waist.”

                         a.     Christ does not judge by what His eyes see nor by what His ears hear, but He judges with righteousness because righteousness does not come from what is seen or heard but from the righteousness of God. The flesh acts upon the whims of its emotions, but the Spirit judges with righteousness. It matters not how we feel about anything, only that God’s will is obeyed. Let us base all our decisions on His Holy and just Word.

                 1.     Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lovingkindness and truth go before You.”

                         b.     What an awesome God we serve, who slays the wicked by the breath of His lips.

                 2.     Isaiah 9:6,7 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”       

                 3.     Hebrews 2:14-18 “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”       

                 4.     Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”

                         a.      Israel was tempted and sinned; Christ was tempted in all things and yet was without sin.

       D.     God is the One who accomplishes His will! So just as He delivered His people out of their bondage in Egypt, so, too, God is the One who raised up His Servant to deliver us from our bondage to sin.        

                 1.      Exodus 20:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”    

                          a.      Has He brought you out of the world, out of the bondage of sin? If not, pray for that deliverance.        

                 2.      Deuteronomy 5:15 “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm…”

                          a.      We tend to forget that it was God’s Hand that drew us to Him and brought us out of our sin. So let us strive to remember so that we can continue to impart our miraculous redemption to our children, specifically sharing how He delivered us out of this world, out of bondage, and out of death into life and to teach them how God can deliver them from their bondage with His mighty hand, as well.

                 3.      Isaiah 49:3,5-7 “He said to me, ‘You are My Servant, Israel, in Whom I will show My glory.’ … And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, and My God is My strength), He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’ Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, to the despised One, to the One abhorred by the nation, to the Servant of rulers, ‘Kings will see and arise, princes will also bow down, because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You.’”       

                4.       Colossians 1:19-22 “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”

                          a.      We are not holy, blameless and above reproach, so how do we go before God who is Holy, blameless and above reproach? Just as the Passover Lamb’s blood atoned for the Israelites’ sins, so, too, Christ’s blood atones for ours, so that God does not see us, but sees Christ in us.

                          b.     We must understand the Old Testament to realize where we are with Christ today. The Israelites did more than just kill a lamb; they had to actually apply the lamb’s blood to their doorposts and lintel. So, too, must we work out our salvation with fear and trembling through Jesus Christ today! If we do not have that understanding, the Lamb did not die for us. If they had not actually put the blood on the doorposts and lintel, would death have passed over them? According to God’s Word, absolutely not, for He required them to follow every detail of His commands. It is not just by reading and listening to God’s Word that we are saved. We must be diligent in our study of scriptures. It is crucial to our lives and our children’s lives.  

                 1.     Philippians 2:12,13 “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”       

                 2.     1 Corinthians 1:30,31 “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the LORD.’”      

     E.     God is the One who cleanses His people from sin by the sacrificial Lamb.        

                 1.     Isaiah 4:4 “When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning.”        

                 2.     Isaiah 53:1-12 “Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”     

                          a.      Like sheep, all of us have gone astray and turned away. Do you find yourself looking to God?     

                          b.      Isaiah is describing Christ. God is awesome. Who can stand up to God?      

                          c.      Despised, yet He touched so many lives. Everyone left Him, not one stood with Him. He bore our griefs, yet we esteemed Him not. When we think of the depth of our sins, remember He was crushed for our iniquities—literally, yet by His scourging, we are healed! Do you think of these things? Do you consider what He has given you and done for you that you might live?         

                3.     Galatians 3:16 “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ.”              a.      Is He Lord of your life? Do you put Him first? Do you glorify Him in all you do?  

CHRIST’S LIFE ON EARTH PARALLELS ISRAEL

       A.     The beginning of Matthew establishes the facts that Jesus is an Israelite and has come to save His people from their sins.       

                1.     Matthew 1:1 “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”        

                2.     Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”      

     B.     Herod tried to destroy Jesus just as the Pharaoh tried to destroy the male Hebrew children in Egypt, among whom Moses was one, Moses more specifically typifying Christ. Yet just as the Israelites did not know Moses as their Savior, so, too, the Israelites did not recognize Christ as their Savior.               

                1.     Exodus 1:8-10,15-17,22; 2:1-10 “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.’ … Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah; and he said, ‘When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.’ But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live…. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, ‘Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.’ … Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him. The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?’ Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go ahead.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, ‘Because I drew him out of the water.’”              

                2.     Exodus 3:1-10 “Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.’ When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.’”               

                3.     Matthew 2:1-18 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’ When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what had been written by the prophet: “And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.”’ Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.’ After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.’ So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.’ Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.’”      

       C.     Just as God called His firstborn son, Israel, to Egypt for deliverance from the famine and then out of Egypt to the Promised Land, so, too, He called His Son Jesus Christ to Egypt for protection from death and then out of Egypt.        

                1.     Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.”        2.     Matthew 2:13-15 “Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.’ So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.’”       

                3.     Matthew 2:19-23 “But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, ‘Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.’ So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’”      

       D.     Just as God called the Israelites out of Egypt and made a way for them to cross the Red Sea into the desert, so John’s voice in the desert cleared a way for the Lord. The Red Sea pointed to a greater deliverance that was to come through Christ.        

                 1.     Isaiah 51:10,11 “Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; who made the depths of the sea a pathway for the redeemed to cross over? So the ransomed of the LORD will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, and everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”       

                 2.     Isaiah 40:3 “A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.’”       

                 3.     Matthew 3:1-3 “Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make ready the way of the LORD, make His paths straight!”’”      

       E.     God’s deliverance of His people from their Egyptian bondage by parting the Red Sea symbolized His deliverance of us from our bondage by baptism. Water, the most necessary element for life and cleanliness, here symbolizes its life-giving characteristics of cleansing by washing away our sins. And just as the Israelites’ enemies were buried in the depth of the Red Sea, so, too, our sins are buried in baptism. Can you imagine standing at the edge of the Red Sea, knowing that there was nothing that you could do to save yourself? And then the Lord makes a way for passage into safety. This, too, represents our utter helplessness to save ourselves and God’s marvelous grace toward us. And finally, the Red Sea’s closure over the Egyptians provides us the assurance that we will never return to bondage again.       

                1.     Exodus 14:10-31 “As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, ‘Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, “Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians”? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’ But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.’ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.’ The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from Israel, for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.’ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses.”

                        a.      Is not God the same today? Does He not treat us the same way He treated His Israelites? Does He not show Himself to us as real in our life today? Should there not be great joy in the power that holds us up? We must understand that God is the One who goes before us in the power of His might. For He reassures us that we “will never see again forever” the enemies of bondage because God will destroy them. God’s Word is always true and never changes, unlike ourselves who change our minds and hearts as often as we change our socks. Thankfully, we serve a God who is immutable!

                        b.      The Israelites had just experienced God’s miraculous deliverance from the plagues and from the angel of death, and yet here they are already in despair. This, quite frankly, has always caused me to wonder at their fickleness, that is, until I seriously examined my own heart and my indisposition to admit the truth of my own unfaithfulness. God’s veracity should dispose us to believe Him implicitly, yet the depravity of our hearts corrupts our thinking, causing us to speculate in vain. But thanks be to our merciful Father for His faithfulness in keeping us from ever going back into bondage. For nothing can separate us from God, not even the Red Sea. 

                 1.     Romans 8:28-39 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  

                2.     Romans 11:5,6 “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” 

                3.     1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 

                4.     2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you…” 

                5.     1 Thessalonians 1:4,5 “Knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” 

                6.     Luke 10:20 “…rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

                        c.     God is the same today, but where is the power of the Spirit of God in us? It’s not that God has abandoned us, but that we have abandoned God. It is not that God is not there. It makes me cry when I think of how impotent we have become. Throughout Scripture it tells us that God delivers His people—no difference in God, no difference in man—we are still corruptible mankind.

                        d.     Do you put your trust in God? Do you walk on dry ground, realizing with confidence who God really is in your life, or do you complain to your spouse in the face of every crisis? Children, do you complain about the work your parents request of you, or do you give thanks to God for what your parents have given you? If you are complaining and grumbling now, you will most likely become a complaining, grumbling adult, for even a child is known by his way. Parents, are you allowing your children to grumble and complain? If so, make a commitment to remain diligent in rooting this sin out of your young children before it becomes a towering giant.                          e.              How ungrateful of the Israelites, and how ungrateful of us! With this realization, let us encourage one another to keep our faces turned toward God in remembrance of His faithfulness and providential deliverance.

                1.     Lamentations 3:22,23 “The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

                1.     Psalm 89:5,8 “The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones…. O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You.”       

                2.     Matthew 3:11,12 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”       

                3.     Romans 8:12-17 “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”       

                4.     1 Corinthians 1:9 “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”       

                5.     1 Thessalonians 5:24 “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”      

       F.     Jesus identifies Himself with the Israelites, by humbling Himself in this way.        

                1.     Matthew 3:13-17 “Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan, coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?’ But Jesus answering said to him, ‘Permit it at this time, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’”      

       G.     The three days’ journey to sacrifice to God signifies the three days before the resurrection; Jesus being the sacrifice to be made.   

                1.     Exodus 3:10,18-20 “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt…. They will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go.”   

                2.     Matthew 16:21 “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.”      

       H.     Jesus’ temptation in the desert represents Israel’s temptations in the wilderness, but whereas God’s firstborn son, Israel, failed to resist Satan’s temptations, God’s firstborn Son, Christ, successfully resists these same temptations. Christ’s temptations paralleled the exact temptations of Israel. The Israelites complained and cried out for food. They complained that Moses brought them out to die in the desert and so cried out for safety. And they wanted to go back to Egypt—the world. Notice how Jesus answered Satan’s temptations in each of these same areas. Whereas the Israelites feared, Christ answered the temptations with God’s Word.               

                1.     Exodus 15:22-25 “Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was name Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’ Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet…”              

                2.     Exodus 16:2,11,12 “The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness…. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God.”’”                       

                        a.      John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’”              

                3.     Exodus 17:2-6 “Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water that we may drink.’ And Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?’ But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, ‘Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, ‘What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me.’ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”                       

                        a.      John 4:13,14 “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.’”              

                4.     Exodus 14:10-12 “As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, ‘Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, “Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians”? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’”              

                5.     Exodus 32:1-8 “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ Aaron said to them, ‘Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.’ Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD.’ So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, ‘Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”’”               

                 6.     Matthew 4:1-11 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”’ Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, “He will command His angels concerning You”; and “On their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus said to him, ‘On the other hand, it is written, “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test.”’ Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only.”’ Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.”              

                          a.      Deuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.”              

                          b.      Deuteronomy 6:16 “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.”              

                          c.      Deuteronomy 6:13 “You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.”      

       I.      The beginning of Jesus’ ministry fulfilled the hope of those who longed for the day when God would appear in glory, destroy the enemies of His people, rule His kingdom, and bring everlasting blessings to His people. The Israelites had a different understanding, didn’t they? They wanted a king to wipe out their enemies, not realizing that their greatest enemy was their own depravity. God does appear in glory in each of His children. He does destroy His people’s enemy—their depravity—and He does bring everlasting blessings to them. God’s Spirit enables us to live a life pleasing to Him from the inside instead of a power of rule from the outside.        

                1.     Matthew 4:12-17 “Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”       

                 2.     Isaiah 60:1-4 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms.”

                         a.      Others should see a difference in your life. It should attract people as a light in the darkness of night attracts moths. Look at what one family can do by the power of Christ. As husbands and fathers, first and foremost we need to be committed to laying a foundation upon the Rock, Jesus Christ, for our family and our church family, and then and only then will our families once again become mighty nations. Like a herd of yaks in the face of danger, we need to unite around our young and weak and face the enemy to do battle. Is your family a beacon of light?

                 3.              Isaiah 60:19-22 “No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory. Your sun will no longer set, nor will your moon wane; for you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be over. Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.”       

                 4.     Zechariah 14:1-3 “Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.”        

                 5.     Zephaniah 3:8 “‘Therefore wait for Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘For the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all My burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal.’”       

                 6.     Isaiah 52:7-10 “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, they shout joyfully together; for they will see with their own eyes when the LORD restores Zion. Break forth, shout joyfully together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God.”       

                 7.     Zechariah 14:9 “And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.”       

                 8.     Daniel 7:9 “I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire.”        

                 9.     Isaiah 65:17-25 “‘For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness. I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying. No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed. They will build houses and inhabit them; they will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build and another inhabit, they will not plant and another eat; for as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, and My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands. They will not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, and their descendants with them. It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,’ says the LORD.”

                         a.      Doesn’t this pertain to us? Are we not a part of that Body, in the sense that we have been grafted in? My desire is to continually reaffirm to my children that God’s Word is true. So not only do we constantly read His Word, but also we infuse it into our lives. Does God not answer our prayers? And doesn’t He bless us before we even call to Him by going before us and dissolving our problems?

                10.   Ezekiel 36-37        

                11.   Luke 4:14-21 “And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD.’ And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”      

       J.      As Jesus led the Israelites in the wilderness by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night, so Jesus led His disciples and now leads us.               

                1.     Exodus 15:13 “In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; in Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.”         

                2.     Exodus 13:18,21 “Hence God led the people…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.”         

                3.     Exodus 14:19,24 “The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel… At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.”         

                4.     Matthew 4:18-22 “Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”          

                5.     Matthew 10:38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”         

                6.     Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’”         

                7.     John 12:26 “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”         

                8.     John 10:4,5,27 “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers…. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”       

       K.     Just as God promised to keep the Israelites from the diseases that plagued Egypt, Jesus healed the sick.       

                1.     Exodus 15:26 “And He said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.’”

                        a.      We must learn to walk in God’s will instead of adjusting God’s Word to fit our desires. We must walk obediently. God tells us that if we humble ourselves, God will forgive and heal our land, but not until we live for Christ instead of ourselves. This means living sacrificially by doing all things for God’s glory.

                2.     Deuteronomy 7:12,15 “Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers…. The LORD will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will lay them on all who hate you.”       

                3.     Matthew 4:23,24 “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.”           

                4.         Matthew 8:14-17 “When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him. When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.’”