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086 - The End of 430 Years

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2022 5:29 pm

086 - The End of 430 Years

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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March 19, 2022 5:29 pm

Episode 086 - The End of 430 Years (19 Mar 2022) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City

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You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?

Is there something here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages.

Welcome to More Than Ink. We've been talking about the plagues on Egypt for weeks and weeks and weeks, but today we come to the end of them. Today we come to the end of the plagues, and not only that, they step out into a new life.

The exodus today finally realized on More Than Ink. Well, good morning to you. This is Jim. And this is Dorothy. And we are glad that you've come back to our dining room table.

I actually do have coffee on the table in front of me this time. Me too. So we are ready to go. And it's our delight that you have joined us as we take a walk through exodus right now. And as we're going through exodus, we're just making observations for you to kind of follow with us. We hope that, you know, if you're a, let's say a novice Bible studier, we're hoping this is kind of making you more courageous about just diving in and just reading it and digesting what's here and not worrying about the stuff that you don't get, but catching what you can catch. Yeah, because that's the way you grasp the story at first. And I think we underestimate the power of simple observation, right? A writer or an author tells a story a particular way because they want you to notice things along the way.

That's exactly right. And so that's hopefully what we're helping you do as you listen to us is notice what's actually there. And then we're hoping to give you some study helps as to how to pursue these things at a deeper level yourself.

That's a large topic, but now because we're both teachers, we tend to kind of want to just go off and talk about open the past. But we also want you to be intrigued and investigate it for yourself. Yeah, and to let you know, the Bible was originally written to be read out loud, right? It was an oral tradition kind of thing. It's it's written down here for us, which preserves our 1000s of years. But these stories would be told in large gatherings around a campfire. And the story itself God has designed to communicate powerful truth.

So if you can understand a story, you have a huge leg up on understanding some gigantic truths that the story is helping you kind of wade into. So that's what we're looking at is the story, the true story of the Exodus. And as you recall, Israel is in the process of being sprung out of the captivity of Egypt.

They've been there for four centuries, they've turned into slaves of the Egyptians and God says, I want you to serve me now, not the Egyptians. And he's gone through nine plagues. And today we come to the last plague that's going to free them from their captivity. And so that ninth plague was darkness, right? A darkness that could be felt very, very dark. And you all probably realize the darkness in the scriptures often indicates separation from God or the darkened state of the human heart when it is rejecting God. And so there's a picture there that the entire nation of Egypt was subjected to this three days of dark darkness. A darkness could be felt.

I mean, it's just so different in that particular sense. Yeah, I was going to share this a little bit later, but Proverbs 4 gives you an understanding of what darkness is like. Proverbs 4 19, the way of the wicked is like deep darkness. They don't know over what they stumble. So really darkness is being in a miserable condition and not being able to figure out why.

Right. You don't know what's there. You don't know the state of reality. You can't see anything or understand anything. It's terrifying. So today, speaking of terrifying, we get to the last of the place. Well, and remember that the Lord had said, now it will be the Lord's Passover. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you. So remember that the last chapter had described the process, right? Not only what was going to happen, but then Moses writes this long segment of actual instruction. Keep on doing this forever. Tell your children this is the Lord's Passover.

When I see the blood, I will pass over you. Yes. So this is very special. It's more than just another plague. This is something really very special and something for which they had to prepare before it happened. So as we come into verse 29 of chapter 12, they've done the preparation and the clock strikes 12 and the 10th plague comes. You want to read for us as we start to write verse 29 of chapter 12?

Sure. Verse 29. And at midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon and all the firstborn of the livestock.

And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel, and go, serve the Lord as you've said. Take your flocks and your herds as you've said, and be gone, and bless me also. And bless me also.

We'll get to that. So remember, God warned this was going to happen at midnight like this, and sure enough it does. And the firstborn. And this judgment is no respecter of persons. That's why he says it not only happened to the person in the dungeon and the livestock, but even to Pharaoh himself. No respecter of persons. In a sense it's almost the ultimate slight against the God system in Egypt because Pharaoh himself was always considered to be a God. And so here's the living God himself being struck down by the real God of the Hebrews.

Yeah, no respecter of person. So the great and the small alike. So Pharaoh rose up in the night and he and all his servants and there was a great cry. There wasn't a single house where someone was dead. And you wonder if the people actually were awake. Because remember they were in this darkness and had been in this darkness for three days.

And probably the fear would be mounting, right? And if you remember back at the beginning of the plagues, way back in chapter four when God first sent Moses to Pharaoh, he had said now, you say to Pharaoh, Israel is my firstborn. You let my firstborn go or I will kill your firstborn.

That's right. So that warning had been laid down at the very beginning of this whole plague process. Yeah, that was in chapter four verses 22 and 23. He says, you know, free my firstborn, Israel is my firstborn or else I will take your firstborn. So that was a long time ago in this story and now here it's actually happened.

So you kind of have the feeling that everybody was awake. Because look what happens in the next verse in 33. It says the Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, we shall all be dead. So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

Right. And you realize that the plundering idea is what happens when an army conquers another army, and then they take all their stuff, right, and the stuff of their villages they're defending, presumably. Here, the Egyptians are plundered because not because of a war, but because they've sort of given in to the power of God. Well, God has overwhelmed them. And you know, what occurred to me this week, because I've been studying Genesis kind of concurrently with doing this, is God had told Abraham hundreds of years before this, your people will be in bondage in Egypt, but I will judge that nation and when they come out, they will come out rich.

Rich. They will plunder the Egyptians. Yeah, they come out rich.

Or you might consider it back pay for generations of slaves working in these households, who knows, but they do come out rich. They're actually driven out, remember in the previous chapter. Yeah, people are anxious for them to go, like what can I give you so you'll go right now. Yeah, God said in the previous chapter that when Pharaoh lets you go, he's not just going to let you go, he's going to drive you out. Drive you out.

Which is what he's doing. And the people here are saying go away, so everyone, the green light is a big green light and they leave. So let's go to 37. So the people of Israel journeyed from Ramesses to Sukkot, about 600,000 men on foot, besides the women and children. A mixed multitude also went up with them and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, had no yeast, because they were thrust out of Egypt.

And could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves. So they go from Ramesses to Sukkot. And Sukkot actually is a generic term for just a tent, a covering. It may not actually have been a city. It might be that he's saying they went from the region of Ramesses and they just went out to where they pitched tents. And in fact to this day there's a holiday in the Jewish calendar called Sukkot. And it's about pitching tents. But there isn't any, this place Sukkot is referred to here as if it's an actual geographical place has never actually been pinned to a map. There's a variety of opinions about where this might have been.

Exactly, exactly. But they weren't living in hotels. No, they were carrying everything with them. They were carrying everything with them.

And check out the size. So 600,000 men on foot. Now if you multiply that, say they're all heads of household, you're talking about a wife and maybe one or two kids. You're talking about at least two million people. A couple million people. That's a lot of people. How long does it take for two million people to walk by a measuring point, right?

Right, right. And not only two million people, but even more people. It says a mixed multitude. So this wasn't like they just snuck out in the middle of the night. This was a massive, massive exodus. Yeah, and the livestock and the flocks and the herds.

I mean all of it. I mean it's just a gigantic thing. They were carrying a lot of stuff. Because they were not only carrying their dough for their next meal, wrapped up on their heads or in their shawls, but they were carrying everything they had taken from the Egyptians. Which we'll find out later in Exodus comes in very handy in the wilderness when they're building the tabernacle. That's exactly right. But here is literally an entire nation that has everything that they own and they're on the road and they're moving. It's just huge. And they've also got something to eat because the cakes they baked were unleavened.

They had no yeast in them. And we'll talk more about that in a second. But that was just a necessity because God said get ready, get set, you're going to leave tonight. And so there was no time to wait for the bread to rise.

So this is a really important summary statement. It says they went out. Here's where they went. Here's how many that went. Here's who all went.

That mixed multitude. There were Egyptians that went with them. There were Egyptians. Which doesn't become clear until a little later in the book. Right. There might also have been other enslaved peoples. Right.

Right. Carrying everything they owned. And then the summary goes on in verse 40. And the time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years on that very day all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching by the Lord to bring them out of the land of Egypt. So this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout all their generations. So there we have it again.

The instruction. Remember this always. Celebrate this every year. Because this is a massive redemption story.

And I like the picture. A night of watching. Because God had told them be ready. Be ready. Be ready so that when we say go, go. And what they're doing is they're waiting and they're watching for the Lord's action to take place.

And what a great picture. Inside their houses. Remember they had put the blood on the doorway and gone in and God said now stay in there until I tell you to go. Until I have passed over. The judgment has passed by.

Sorry I'm sipping coffee. So stay in. Right.

Stay behind that blood smeared doorway. Right. So it's happened. And they're out.

And they're on the move and they're trucking out of Egypt and they're walking across the sand. So again since this tenth plague is the Passover, now we have to talk about the institution of the Passover. Because God said I want you to commemorate this forever and ever and ever. This is an important event.

So let's see exactly what he says to do. So when you get to verse 43 you see this whole idea of the institution. This memorializing of it. So the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, this is the statute of the Passover. No foreigner shall eat it but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. But no foreigner or hired worker may eat it. It shall be eaten in one house. You shall not take any of the flesh outside the house and you shall not break any of its bones.

We're talking about this lamb now. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord let all his males be circumcised. And then he may come near and keep it. He shall be as a native of the land.

But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you. So all the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. So we get this really interesting intermix of narrative of the actual events that happened.

Real people in a real place and time doing a real thing. And this perpetual instruction that was to be repeated and remembered every year. It's just an interesting way of presenting the story so that every year as you're reading the passage you are also rereading the instruction to keep remembering.

Right, right. So it's kind of a retrospective in a sense. Generations after this will read this and say, oh that's why we do this. That's what the Passover is all about. It's about this true story of our people being in a sense reborn as a nation. Yeah, so when I was growing up and I didn't know a lot of Jewish people but I knew enough to know that they celebrated Passover. And it was kind of all one word mashed together. Passover, right?

And it was a thing. But it was not until many years later that I began to study the actual Passover and realized that the Passover was that whole idea of God raining judgment down on all who were in the dark. And the only reason he passed over his people was because they had listened to him and sacrificed that lamb and put the blood on the doorway.

Followed his instructions, trusted in him. You know, the Passover, the passing by of our sins, the passing out of judgment because of God's activity for our redemption is the big story here. That's the big picture. Yeah, yeah.

And I like to emphasize this a lot. The whole idea of Passover is going from one state of living to another state of living. And at this point in the story, actually, all the Israelites have is God's promise of a land filled with milk and honey. I mean, they're stepping out into the desert. It's not like they can say, well, yeah, we found this really great place to live just down the coast here.

Let's all go there tonight. We'll find places to live. No, they're stepping out into the void in a sense. Except that that's where they came from.

Yeah. You know, 400 years before because that's the land that God had said to Abraham. Now, I'm going to give all this land to your descendants. And so Abram lived there. And it was from there that Isaac was born, Jacob was born, and then the 12 sons of Jacob.

So the whole nation grew. So they have some early experience there. Right.

But it was four centuries. They have some cultural memory. That's our homeland. They know it's the right place. But in that time, they don't know what it's turned into. I mean, it's really a step of faith for them to leave.

But they're leaving one life, entering into another life. Let's talk about this leaven kind of stuff. Oh, well, that's really the biggest, the next, that's next week.

I know. You want to start it now? I want to do just kind of a precursor to that because it's mentioned a couple times here. Okay. And many times you go past it here and just say, well, that was just the mechanics of the thing.

They didn't know when they're going to leave, so they didn't have time for their bread to rise. But there's more going on than just that. Okay. So do you want to hint at it? You opened it? I just want to wait. No, I would hold it for next week. Let's open that box quick. We'll hold it for next week. I think we have plenty here to talk about without opening that box yet.

We'll hold it. Okay. Well, let's talk about the bones then. The bones?

Yeah. Shall not break any bones. Oh, not breaking the bones. Ah. Because if you're a reader of the Old and the New Testament, especially the New Testament, something rings in the back of your head about the not breaking any bones in relation to the sacrifice of Jesus at the cross.

Right. And in the story, if you read like in John 19, they wanted to hurry up the process of the death of these three guys on the cross. So they said, go out there and break their legs and they'll die faster. And when they got to Jesus, he was already dead.

So they did not break his legs. And then John writes for us, you know, that's actually the fulfillment of prophecy. Right. And it ties them together also with this Passover lamb, the lamb that was sacrificed, whose bones were not broken. So, yes.

So you who are listening, we'll just put this out here on the table. Every detail about this original Passover and every Passover since points to Jesus. But sometimes that escapes us in just an over-the-top reading. So as you go back and reread this passage, pay attention now to things that sound familiar, oh, or things that might be pointing to Jesus. If you remember, and I mentioned this I think last week, that John the Baptist, when he first saw Jesus said, behold, there's the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And that was a pure Passover reference.

Right. A Passover reference. And then Jesus himself said, I'm the door. He's the door.

I am the way. And where did that blood get smeared in the Passover? On the door. Right? Passing from it through a doorway is going inside to protection and outside to whatever you're going to do.

Right? So the picture here is going inside the blood of Jesus for protection from God's judgment and then going out through the blood of Jesus into a whole new life. So I have in front of me here, because as I was thinking about this, I realized Jesus said this, but we might miss it. In John 5 24, he said, truly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. That sounds like Passover.

Passover, right? You have moved from one condition to another. You have moved out of death into life by believing in the sacrificial death of Jesus. So, you know, that's only one way that this passage points to Jesus.

Yeah. And there's a point where, I had forgotten about this till just now, where Jesus talks about a sheepfold and him being the good shepherd and stuff like that. Yeah, that's in John 10.

Yeah, John 10. And the fact that he's the gate that goes into that. Right. And if you think about the fact that many times they would sleep their sheep in a small enclosure. It wasn't really an enclosure. It was like a waist high wall in a circle that they would march their sheep into and they would stay inside that. But there wasn't a real door right there.

It was just an opening. So, often the shepherds would lay down themselves in that opening, which kept wolves out from coming into that confined space. So, he not only protected the sheep, which is what happens here from the Passover. That door protects the ones inside the house. But then he also points to that door as a way to come out from there to find pasture in real life. So, that imagery is really strong parallel right here.

So, if you're listening, that verse that we're referring to is in John 10 verse 9. I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he shall be saved. There it is. Go in through the door and be saved. And shall go out and find pasture.

And find pasture. There it is. So, if you are listening and you have never read John 10 before where Jesus makes those repeated references to being the door and the way and the good shepherd. And in John 14 where he says, I am the way.

I'm the way. The truth and the life. Go and check those things out. Yeah. Yeah. So, there's so much, you know, we could go crazy. There's so much connection here to images of who Jesus is that to this day it sort of blows my mind that Jews who are familiar with this story don't automatically look at it and say, I see Jesus all over this.

Right. There's a blindness that's there, admittedly, that only God can kind of remove from them. But I've talked to Jews who have come to Jesus afterwards and they say, I don't know why I didn't see this before.

I mean, it's very, very strong. So, I'll put in my pitch for saying if you're a Bible reader, it's really a cool idea to simultaneously read New Testament and Old. Oh, absolutely.

Because you'll find gigantic links between them and you don't have to be a real scholar to discover them. You'll just be reading and go, wait a second. Right.

That reminds me of. There it is on the page. It's right there. It's more than ink. It's more than ink.

On the page. There it is. Yeah. And so, for us, when we're reading this passage, all these little light bulbs are going off on our head because we've read so many connections to these things. You know, it shall not break any of my bones. You read that in a couple of the Psalms. I mean, you hear that when John talks about prophecy being fulfilled and not breaking the bones of Jesus. And you go, oh yeah, I've read that before. I've heard that. I know that. This is a deliberate story connection that got put together so that when Jesus comes, they'll go, aha, I get it.

I get it. So, the Passover is a story of redemption. How God redeemed his people through no effort of their own.

All they did was listen to what he told them and act on it. Take him at his word and do it. And do it. Yeah. Go in the door and stay there until the judgment has passed by and then go out through the door just like he told you. Right. And so, God continually, through the rest of the scriptures, will say, hey, I'm the God who brought you out of Egypt. I'm the one who did that for you.

You didn't do it for yourself. Yeah. Right? And there's a very famous messianic prophecy in Isaiah 61 that I won't read the whole thing, but it says, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.

Right? And so, again, we're pointing to Jesus. This story of redemption, the one who has set us free, come to save us. Yeah. And that passage in the gospels is deliberately one of the first things we hear Jesus read.

Well, that's the one Jesus introduced himself by when he was reading in the synagogue in Nazareth where he had grown up. That's right. His big public coming out. And he looked him in the eyeball and said, today. You're looking at him. Yep. Right?

He's been fulfilled today. Yeah. That's very famous.

Very, very famous. And that's his role and that's what God does here. Yeah. You know, before we finish, it's just worth mentioning the very last line we read in verse 51. The Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt. Do you know how frequently that phrase, that idea comes up in the Old Testament? Oh, so often. I'm the God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

No. But I started to and I thought, you know, I don't really need to because God just, God reminds the nation over and over and over and over, I'm the one that got you out of Egypt. I'm the one that pulled you out. It was a great undertaking of great power and the result of great love on his part for them. So every time a challenge would come up or God would ask him to do something that seems like bigger and crazier than ever before, he says, hey, I'm the God who got you out of Egypt. And that is actually a touchstone throughout the entirety of the Old Testament. I'm the God who brought you out.

So that's why I don't want you to get past that line, the very closing line in verse 51. The Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt, out of Egypt. The Lord brought them out. The Lord did. Yeah. Yeah.

So that's just, that's gigantic. If you want to look at themes in the Old Testament, that's a theme right there. And it's something that God accomplished, not them, not them.

Well, this actually will pertain to our discussion next week, too. But Revelation 1.5 says, to Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth, to him who loves us and released us from our sins by his blood. There it is again, the release from sin by his blood. So could you say their captivity in Egypt is equivalent to our captivity in our sin? Well, it's the picture.

One is the picture of the other. So you have actually been freed from captivity, but not of Egypt, freed from the captivity to sin itself, which yields you in darkness and despair. And separation from God. And he's the God that's brought you out of that. God is powerful and brings you out. God does that, not you.

Well, through the sacrifice of Jesus. We're out of time and we're going to continue to watch them as they leave Egypt and what happens after that. So we hope that you join us next time. We're going to be starting into chapter 13 and we'll follow the nation of Israel, the new nation of Israel as they traipse off into the desert and you'll see God in a mighty way. So I'm Jim. And I'm Dorothy. So join us next time on More Than Ink. More Than Ink is a production of Main Street Church of Brigham City and is solely responsible for its content. To contact us with your questions or comments, just go to our website, So you can start it with that and I'll see what kind of snappy repartee comes out of my mouth. Three, two, one.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-20 13:08:46 / 2023-05-20 13:20:57 / 12

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