EXODUS STUDY WITH A CONCENTRATION ON CHAPTER 12
Article by Ted McDivett
1) Chapters 1-18 – the exodus
2) Chapters 19-24 – the law
3) Chapters 25-40 – the tabernacle
In this study we are looking at the events that led up to the exodus and in particular chapter 12.
The book begins with Israel’s expansion in Egypt that in turn leads to their oppression. Then we have preparation for Moses to be Israel’s deliverer. This is followed by numerous requests and refusals resulting in these ten judgments: 1) the plague of blood (Nile turning into blood), 2) the plague of frogs, 3) the plague of gnats, 4) the plague of flies, 5) the plague of livestock, 6) the plague of boils, 7) the plague of hail, 8) the plague of locusts, 9) the plague of darkness, 10) the plague of the firstborn.
This is then followed by the Passover and exodus out of Egypt.
Question – Why all the plagues?
1) To show the Egyptians that Israel’s God is greater than all of their gods.
2) These plagues were also judgments against the gods of Egypt that in type, were judgments against the gods of the nations. Still today the gods of Egypt are being worshipped in one form or another.
A lot of the plagues in Egypt are replicated in Revelation. Compare Exodus 7:18-21 with Rev. 8:8-9 and 16:3-4 (water into blood). Compare Ex. 8:3 with Rev. 16:13-14 (frogs). Compare Ex. 8:16-19 with Rev. 9:5-6 (note too that in Deut. 14:19, gnats are unclean insects. You think anyone swallowed these? The idea is an insect creature and the land is defiled and death is everywhere.
All of this is a graphic judgment that shows Egypt that Elohim is greater than anything they have. One way or another Egypt is going to know Yahweh is Elohim. This brings us to Exodus 12.
Exodus 12 may be one of the most important chapters in the whole Bible. Hopefully this will become manifest as we study it.
A NEW BEGINNING
For one thing, chapter 12 is a pivotal point in Old Testament history. Here is when Israel’s birth as a nation occurs. Verses 1 and 2 bring this out. For all intents and purposes, their life began here. More will be said about the Passover, but for now, I’d like to stress that the beginning of their new life began when the blood of the Passover sacrifice was applied to their doorways (see v.23).
In Ex. 12:2 there is emphasis on a new beginning – a new start for them as a people. God is freeing them from their Egyptian bondage. In doing so, God is making a show of the Egyptian gods—triumphing over them (compare Col. 2:10-15). Just as Israel was to always remember their deliverance from Egyptian bondage (by type – sin) through the blood of the Passover lamb, so we are to see our deliverance through the death, entombment and resurrection of Christ. In both cases, Israel’s deliverance and ours, we see God triumphing over all that had us enslaved.
As Passover and the applying of the blood to the door posts was the deliverance and new beginning for Israel (as well as those Egyptians and others who were circumcised – see 12:43-49), so it is with us upon believing in Christ—in His death, entombment and resurrection for our sins—we too have a new beginning. Our spiritual life begins at that moment. We become a new man (a new creation – 2Cor. 5:16-17). But the starting point of our deliverance is when Christ was crucified. Everything starts with that. In type, the blood of the lamb at that first Passover represented the blood of Christ that was shed for our sakes (that also occurred on the festival Passover).
Israel as a nation had a birth in their exodus. In the future, Israel will have a new birth (Jn. 3). Yet for us as members of the Body of Christ, we are said to be a new creation (2Cor. 5). To create is to bring something into being that wasn’t there before.
In Psalm 78:2-4 we read that Israel was to be instructed by the miracles God wrought. All of the signs in Egypt pointed to God. Signs are a part of their birthright. And this story was to be told generation after generation.
In Ex. 12, the blood upon the doorposts was a sign as well (see v.13). As a sign, they were to see that the blood of the lamb was needed for their redemption. This is the aspect that the apostle Paul touches on in 1Cor. 5:7 – “Christ is our Passover” – and as such we need to see our deliverance in Him and also that as believers, we are now separated unto Him and need to be living as such (1Cor. 5:6-8; 6:19-20). When Paul says Christ is our Passover, we are to see the spiritual truths that are represented by the Passover that apply to us.
For us today, upon believing that Christ’s blood was shed for our sakes, the blood is applied to us and we are united with Him.