Studies in Torah

Exodus 13-15: Journey to the 10: God heals Yisra’el at Marah, battles ‘god of the north’ at Red Sea

Richard AgeeExodus 12–20 are the most fascinating chapters of Exodus to me — 10th plague on the first-born, Passover, departure from Mitsraim (Egypt), crossing the sea, details of the encampments, miracles of water and food, arrival at Sinai and the 10 Commandments. I hope you will see God’s pattern, the truth of this one and only “plan of salvation,” not only for the descendants of Israel but for all mankind.

Moses led Israel to the points that God, in the cloud, took them. Every location, all 40 of them, were chosen by God.

At Marah

The first “encampment” was on the edge of the Red Sea. The second encampment was at a place called Marah. Moses didn’t take them there, God did. God took them to a place with bitter water, that made the people and animals sick. Yet Moses was the one blamed for the choice.

When Moses cried out to the Lord, God showed him a particular tree to use to purify the water. We have no idea what tree Moses used and cast into the waters to sweetened it.

Moses was not the one testing them, God was. It was not Moses’ job to test the children of Israel, that is God’s doing.

Here is the statute God gave Israel at Marah in Ex. 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.'”

God healed the water. The water was no longer polluted and dangerous to drink. This was not the EPA’s doing, but God’s.

God is involved in everyone’s life, whether they are involved with Him or not. The children of Israel did not choose to leave, God took them out. They were not perfect people, they were ordinary people.

The Passover was slaughtered during the day of the 14th day, but they ate it on the 15th day. And it was on the 15th day when the children of Israel left Egypt.

Of donkeys and first-born

Let’s go back to Ex. 13:1:

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  ‘Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.'”

What is sanctification? It’s to be set apart. God was telling Moses to show the people that the first-born males of man and beast were to be set apart for Him. This was a different kind of High Priesthood. The only unclean animal dedicated to God was the donkey. They carried the burden, the hardship.

This is reiterated in Ex. 13:11:

“Now when the LORD brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, you shall devote to the LORD the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the LORD.”

Why must the lamb be killed to be dedicated to God? It was to save the life of the donkey who carries the burden.

What would happen if you didn’t redeem your first-born son? They are removed from the priesthood. For the 40 years in the wilderness, no one was circumcised and no one was killed. The threat of death on Moses’ uncircumcised son was to teach Moses a specific lesson about the death of the firstborn of Egypt.

Redemption means to buy back. It doesn’t belong to you, you have to buy it back. Your first-born son actually belongs to God not to you. You redeem him by giving God a lamb or a pair of turtle doves. God redeemed all of Israel by killing the first-born of Egypt, they were the redemption price. The Passover lamb was not the redemption, it was to block the wrath of God.

In the New Testament, that lamb is the lamb who takes away the sin of the world. It removes a penalty.

At Baal-zephon

But instead of putting them on the “straighter” path to the promised land, God sent them through the wilderness. In a sense, they were confronting God in the wilderness.

“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 13:17-18)

God said that He would kill all the ’elohim (gods) of Egypt — the last one was Baal-Zephon. Pharaoh saw them there and the children of Israel appeared to be trapped.

Compare and contrast God’s plans for the exalted “king of the north” and for Israel are foretold by the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 14:12-17). God will take away Satan’s spirit power and make him like a man, who will die. God could have cast Satan to the outer galaxy, but instead He cast Satan to Earth. God defeated this “god” of the north. Satan can’t get to us without God’s permission.

More than mitzvot

The Torah isn’t just a list of commandments, or mitzvot, it’s a gift to me from God that I get to do. The word of God is powerful and strong, and sometimes it’s heavy. When this is all over with, we will know who God is and He is in the still small voice.

Yeshua said Yokhanan (John the Baptist) had “the spirit of Eliyahu” (Luke 1:17). He was on the other side of the Yarden (Jordan), baptizing people. He wasn’t waiting for them to become righteous. They knew they weren’t, but they knew that God could wash away their sins.

Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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