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The Journey of Israel

Pharaoh’s Resistance

After the Israelites all embraced the message that God was going to deliver them, Moses and Aaron went and declared the word of the Lord to Pharaoh. His reaction was to reject the message (Ex. 5:1-4).

Let us consider the significance of Egypt and Pharaoh. Egypt’s national monuments are the pyramids, which are funeral houses. Egypt, which specialized in the embalming of the dead, represents death. It also represents this world, because the end of this world is death and hell (Rom. 6:21).

A serpent (which represents Satan) was engraved on Pharaoh’s crown. Therefore, Pharaoh represents Satan, the prince of this world. Pharaoh can also represent the governing demonic spirit over our city or locality. If the Lord promises to give you your city or locality for Christ, know that you will receive opposition from the devil. We cannot receive a spiritual breakthrough until we have broken the power of the governing spirit over our area.

In addition to rejecting Moses’ message of deliverance, Pharaoh retaliated by increasing the burdens of the Israelites (Ex. 5:5-10). Pharaoh instructed the taskmasters to increase the labor and burdens of the Israelites. They also beat the Israelites when they were unable to complete this impossible task.

Therefore, instead of improving, things became worse for the Israelites. They blamed Moses and Aaron and even asked God to judge them (Ex. 5:20,21). We must realize that Satan will oppose us when we seek to obey the voice of the Lord. Situations often get worse before they improve. Our burdens or problems may increase after God speaks to us. We need to have endurance until the end because the enemy must be confronted until his power is broken.

In Exodus 7 we read about the ten plagues that God sent to Egypt. We must understand the reason for these judgments. Not only was God judging Pharaoh and the Egyptians through these plagues, but He was also judging their gods (Ex. 12:12, Num. 33:4). God’s primary battle is against the gods of this world, who receive their power and influence from Satan.

During the time of the ten plagues Pharaoh made four proposals for how the children of Israel could leave Egypt. However, each of them had conditions attached and were rejected by God and Moses. Satan uses subtle forms of compromise to try to ensnare the people of God, but we must resist compromise just as Moses did.

The Lord instituted the Passover just prior to the final plague, the slaying of the firstborn. The Passover represents salvation by the blood of the lamb because the blood on the doorposts of the Hebrew homes preserved their lives (Ex. 12:13). We need to make much of the blood of Jesus Christ when we confront the enemy. The power of the blood in the land of Egypt saved the entire nation of Israel!

Coming Out of Egypt

After the final plague Pharaoh commanded the children of Israel to leave Egypt (Ex. 12:31,32). Then Exodus 12:35-36 records that the Egyptians gave the Israelites an abundance of gold, silver, and clothing on their way out of the land. This illustrates the Biblical truth that enrichment comes after trials. It is a principle of God that He enriches us after trials. After Job’s trial, the Lord enriched him and blessed him with double what he had before his trial (Job 42:11). We also often need a liberation of finances so that we can fulfill God’s purposes for our lives.

After this, however, Pharaoh’s army pursued the Israelites (Ex. 14:5-12). When the children of Israel saw the army they said they wished they had never left Egypt (Ex. 14:10-12). They resented Moses for leading them out. When troubles come, many Christians have the same attitude. They want to return to the world. It is a sad fact of life that many people, even Christians, love their bondages and do not want to be delivered from them (2 Cor. 11:20).

A number of years ago, several ministers prayed for a lady who had about sixty demons. By God’s grace, through prayer, we were able to cast out all of the demons except one. We knew that God wanted to deliver this lady and that He was able to do so. We said to her, “You can be delivered if you want to be delivered.” However, she did not want to be delivered of that last demon. She wanted to hold on to her bondage, so there was nothing more we could do for her. Later that night she said to her friends, “I could have been delivered tonight, but I wanted to hold on to my bondage.”

The Lord then divided the waters of the Red Sea and the children of Israel passed over on dry ground. As the Egyptian army pursued the Israelites, the Lord caused the waters of the Red Sea to come crashing back down, drowning the Egyptians. God saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians (Ex. 14:21-28).

The crossing of the Red Sea is a very significant event in history. It contains many spiritual lessons. Primarily, the crossing of the Red Sea symbolizes water baptism (1 Cor.10:2). The Red Sea separated the children of Israel from Egypt, delivered them from their bondages, and broke Pharaoh’s power over them. Water baptism accomplishes these things in us.

So we see that while the crossing of the Red Sea accomplished many things in the lives of the Israelites, it did not remove the love for Egypt in their hearts. Throughout the wilderness journey, the Israelites wanted to return to Egypt whenever something went wrong. They were out of Egypt, but Egypt was not out of them. It is the same with water baptism. It separates us from the world, but it does not completely purify our hearts from the love of this world.