Exodus, Take Two
It’s unfortunate that we live in a time of non-stop television and movies, because when it comes to spiritual things and biblical, historical matters, our minds are often made up for us by Hollywood writers and producers whose view of the scriptures is tilted.
We all have a picture in our minds of the Exodus, and of course, we see it taking place as Cecil B. DeMille decided we should see it. Take the tablets of the Ten Commandments for example. In Alabama, there was a huge controversy over a replica of the tablets that took up a courthouse foyer. Today, they are trucked around the Southern US to be used for church fundraisers. But that’s too big. We know that from seeing the actor, Charleston Heston, as Moses carry two huge tablets down the mount, struggling under their weight. But even that was a great exaggeration:
Exd 34:29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
Did you catch that? Moses at some point had both tables in one hand. And rightfully so, for they had to be small enough to fit into the Ark – which dimensions we are given. Graven in rock – the smaller they were, the greater the glory to the God whose finger wrote them…
How much better off would we be if we let the Holy Spirit paint the picture for us instead of Hollywood? The movie the Ten Commandments comes around every spring and we see the Exodus of hundreds of thousands leaving Egypt forever. We’re treated to the sight of old people on their beds of affliction being carried on wooden carts, or pulled on litters by donkeys. The aged, the infirmed, the crippled, creeping along at a snail’s pace, being left by the velocity of the healthier crowd. Why if you didn’t know better, you’d think a nursing home was being vacated. Here’s a wondrous fact TV won’t tell you about that event:
Not a single Hebrew was sick or ailing coming out of that darkness of Egypt! Psalms 105 is a recap of the departure – from the trials and the plagues – all the way to the quail and water from the Rock. But notice verse :37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and [there was] not one feeble [person] among their tribes.
Not one feeble! Not only a picture of the new birth, but a picture of something coming in the future. I don’t know what your circumstance is today, but there is coming a day when we leave the darkness of this world - we’ll cross over to freedom from sin and death, and there will not be one feeble among us. There’s another perfection coming.
This is not an idle statement. The Hebrew children were 400 years in slavery, so there were men and women of every age, bound under hard and hazardous labor. That in coming out not one was ailing or feeble shows the great power of God.
Two more quick things about the Exodus experience I’d like to note – if for no other reason than to shake up the image you have and replace it with the one God penned for us. We have a vision of the cloud that guided them by day and the fire by night, as if it were nothing more than Hollywood special effects, to be turned off and on by a switch. But that Cloud, that Fire, that Rock, was Christ.
Exd 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. :21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name [is] in him. 23:22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.
Beware, obey, provoke not; my name is in him. Good instruction for today’s sojourner as well, full of promise.
And finally, Manna. “What is it?” Exd 16:14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness [there lay] a small round thing, [as] small as the hoar frost on the ground.
Jesus said He was the bread that came down from Heaven. The white, red- stripped coriander-like seed that covered the ground to serve as Bread for the Hebrews is described as hoar frost, or a covering, from the same root as atonement.