Exodus 13: Into the Wilderness
God directs Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness
In today’s lesson, we see:
- Israel’s firstborn sanctified to God;
- Journey to Etham by divine guidance.
In Exodus 13 we see the Israelites, now numbering in the millions, leaving Egypt and moving toward the Red Sea and the great Sinai desert wilderness. Humanly speaking, it seemed irrational that God would rescue the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt only to bring them into the Sinai wilderness.
God’s Ways May Be Unclear, But Are Always Best
But God’s ways and eternal purposes are always better than our temporal desires. God was not finished with Pharaoh. With heart still hardened and realizing the loss of a huge slave labor force, Pharoah and his Army set out in pursuit of the Israelites. God has led Israel southeast towards the Red Sea and the Sinai wilderness instead of along the more logical trade route northeast by the Mediterranean Sea. Pharaoh is certain that they are lost and trapped between his Army and the Red Sea. But God’s next judgment against Pharoah will destroy the Egyptian Army and once again demonstrate His great power to miraculously deliver His people.
God Deals With Pharaoh
Undoubtedly, Pharaoh had been humiliated by the destruction of his land, his cattle, and even his people. The firstborn in Egypt have all died. The Egyptians now hold Moses and his God in great esteem and must have despised Pharoah for what has transpired. But rather than repent of his sin, Pharaoh is determined to pursue the Israelites and bring them back by whatever amount of military force required. He will not succeed and God will have the ultimate victory.
Teaching Points for Israel Too
But God is also teaching the Israelites important lessons as well. The gods of Egypt had always claimed the firstborn as their own, and now God claims the firstborn of Israel as His own. He wants the first from believers today, also. Many Christians do not give Him the first place. God claims our best, our very best; God claims the first in everything. Even though He wants first place in our lives, many believers put Him last, and that creates a problem. If we have time, we work for the Lord, but most of our time is spent on personal interests and amusements. We usually give the Lord what is left over.
Applications To Your Life
Are you hardening your heart like Pharaoh, or have you cried out to God for salvation like the Israelites? And if you have sought God’s salvation from your sin, are you now giving Him your best, or do you compromise between God’s way and your past worldly lifestyle? God wants not only to save us, but to sanctify us, to lead us to the godly, holy lifestyle that He has called us to live beginning now, and into eternity.
For more on this topic, CLICK HERE to listen to today’s lesson.
…Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! – John 1:29 HCSB
Get Plugged Into God’s Plan Today
If you are uncertain of your standing with God, then go to Him right now to start your eternal relationship with Him. His free gift of eternal life and sanctification in Christ is there for the asking. Once you have taken that first step of salvation, our study in Matthew will get you well on your way to a loving and lasting relationship with the Almighty God who is seeking your friendship. He will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13) and help you become and do all He has in store for you.
- CLICK HERE to listen to today’s lesson, Exodus 13: Out of Slavery, Into the Wilderness.
- CLICK HERE for an overview of the Book of Exodus.
- For more about the Egyptian gods, CLICK HERE to access Ancient Egypt Online.
- CLICK HERE to open or download notes and the outline for the Book of Exodus.
- CLICK HERE for more about putting your faith in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation.
- CLICK HERE to access the complete listing of Bible Studies in the Book of Exodus.