Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
January 18 Today’s Reading: Exodus 1-3
“Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease (exodus) which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:31)
Knowing God’s promises that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called, according to his purpose,” that “no evil shall happen to the just,” that “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper,” how often have you looked at your circumstances and thought, — “I know those promises are true, but everything I see, everything I am experiencing, everything I feel appears to me to be evil, and is telling me that all things are against me, every weapon formed against me is prospering”?
I am sure that is exactly how the children of Israel felt when they found themselves bondmen in Egypt, serving as slave laborers under cruel taskmasters, who made their lives bitter according to the whims of Egypt’s reprobate king, Pharaoh. God had promised that He would be with them, bless them in all things and at all times, that He would make them a great nation. He had promised to give them all the spoils of the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh ordered that the nation be destroyed, that every male child born to children of Israel be drowned as soon as it was born. They must have thought the same thing their father Jacob thought, when Joseph was secretly arranging to bring them down into Egypt. — “All these things are against me.”
May God the Holy Spirit give us grace ever to trust Him and rest in His blessed and sure purpose of grace in Christ Jesus. Here are three matters of great importance that we should always keep in mind as we read the book of Exodus and the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures.
God’s True Israel
First, we should always remember that the nation of Israel was chosen of God, used of God, and blessed of God for spiritual, not carnal reasons. It was never God’s intention that Christ would come to the earth to reign as a physical king over Abraham’s physical descendents. Rather, God used Abraham’s physical descendents (the nation of Israel) to accomplish His purpose of grace to his elect, the spiritual seed of Abraham, His church, called in the New Testament, “the Israel of God.” Israel was, throughout the Old Testament, typical of God’s church. All God’s dealings with Israel as a nation have a spiritual meaning and must be interpreted in a spiritual way as applying to all God’s elect, the church of the living God. By preserving the nation of Israel, the Lord God graciously preserved Abraham’s seed, through whom Christ, the woman’s Seed, came into this world. As God fulfilled all his promises to the nation of Israel when He brought them into the land of Canaan, so He will fulfil all the promises He has made to His elect, Abraham’s spiritual seed, in Christ (Joshua 21:43-45; Romans 11:25-27).
Second, the Holy Spirit tells us that everything that happened in the book of Exodus, indeed, everything that happened in the history of the Old Testament, was not only written for our instruction, but also happened for our instruction. Everything that came to pass was brought to pass by our God for our instruction, comfort, and edification in the knowledge of Christ (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 11).
Third, everything in the history of Israel is directly related to the redemption of our souls by Christ. In Luke 9:31, while on the mount of transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with our Savior and spoke to him about “his decease which he would accomplish at Jerusalem.” Our Savior’s substitutionary death at Jerusalem was not something that happened to Him. It was something accomplished by Him. It was the accomplishment of God’s eternal purpose, all the prophecies, pictures and types of the Old Testament, God’s covenant promises, and our eternal redemption. The word “decease” in Luke 9:31 is particularly instructive. It is the word “exodus.” It means “departing.” And the departing, the exodus, that our Savior accomplished in his death was typically portrayed throughout the Book of Exodus.