Types and Shadows of Christianity #1
A Series of Studies in the Book of Exodus
As we begin this study of the Book of Exodus in an attempt to draw out of the story of God’s dealing with the nation of Israel and compare it to the life of a Christian let me say that by no means will we be able to cover this material in an exhaustive manner. In our finite minds and limited time and vision, we are completely unable to grasp all of the meanings that this important story can have for each of us. I trust and pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us into deeper truth and reveal to us many of the depths of meaning that are hidden just below the surface of this great book of God’s Word. A number of sources will be used in this study and due recognition will be given when possible. All scripture quoted in this study are from the King James Authorized Version unless otherwise noted.
Now let us begin the study of Exodus and see what God has in store for those who will spend time and be faithful to learn of his Word. The first question you may have is, “Why study Exodus?” We must never forget that all of God’s Word contains lessons and answers to our present lives for it is a living Word and able to touch every life. Each of us may gain something different from this series, but we shall all gain something.
God speaks to his people and about his people through his Word. Israel was formed as a people and given a very special identity. Israel is God’s Chosen Nation upon the earth. In a number of places, in diverse manners, Israel is referred to as the “wife of God upon the earth”, while the Church is called the Bride of Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:1-11, "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
These verses from the New Testament, referring to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, are given that we may learn of Israel. We must learn of their mistakes, learn of their victories, and of how God dealt them so that we will not be destined to follow their path into destruction. We will also learn that, in the end, when sin has run its course, God will save a remnant. God is true to his Word. His promises never fail. He promised that there would be no end to his chosen nation and he has promised the same to the Bride of Christ.
Before we begin to read in Exodus we must set the stage for what is happening at this point in the history of mankind.
It all begins in Genesis, the beginning, when God created man. Man, created in the image of God, fell into sin when he was lulled into a deceptive lie of Satan and disobeyed God. After a fashion, man ceased to believe in, trust in, and worship the God of Heaven and began to worship, serve, obey and trust the lies of the devil, thus making Satan their god and idol.
It was Enos, the grandson of Adam and Eve, and the son of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, who first began to call upon the name of the Lord after the fall of man in the garden. This doesn’t mean that Adam, nor Seth worshipped the Lord. Their families being small, it was not necessary for a corporate worship, only for private devotions and worship of God. Now their families had grown to sufficient size that it became necessary for them to gather in larger groups and begin a corporate worship as groups.
God had spared the family line of Adam after the Fall because God had promised that a Messiah, a Deliverer, would one day rise from the bloodline of Adam to be the Savior of the world. God was keeping his promise for it was through the lineage of Seth that Jesus would be born.
Enos, whose very name meant “mortal man; sick; despaired of; forgetful; feeble; frail; and miserable” was so named by Seth because Seth could already see the multiplication of sorrows in humanity, even among those considered as good men. The power of sin to destroy humanity and all that God had called “good” was just beginning and yet it was very visible.
Sin’s destructive power is only limited by the Blood of the Lamb. The power of sin is death. Death to all creation. Death to all men. Death to all animals. Death to all the planets. Death to everything that God had spoken into existence.
Only the power of God, manifest through a perfect sacrifice, and born of woman and of the Holy Spirit could break that power of sin and destroy death, hell and the grave. That’s what Jesus came to do!
Time marches on and the power of sin, corruption and death, hatred for fellowman and worshipping of the god of this world continues to spread throughout the Book of Genesis and indeed on into our present time. It seems that there is no depth of sin that mankind will cease to search out. Evil abounds, hell grows larger and larger, and God’s judgment for sin and his wrath against those who will engage in sin grows hotter with each day.
Through the passage of time and the plan of God Abraham came upon the scene. Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, God promised him a nation that would become God’s chosen people. Abraham’s only son by God’s plan was Isaac. Because of his lack of faith in God to do what he says, Abraham had an illegitimate son by a household servant. This son’s name was Ishmael. Ishmael was not to be the heir of Abraham’s promise because he was not in God’s chosen plan, even though he was the oldest son and was entitled to the inheritance of his father.
Because of man’s interference in God’s plan by taking matters into his own hands and attempting to fulfill God’s plan in his own fashion, we find ourselves in the political turmoil of our present time.
The fight has been on for the inheritance of Abraham’s Promised Land since that day. The descendants of Ishmael and the descendents of Isaac are still fighting over that same little piece of ground called Israel. It’s a fight that will only end when Jesus comes back to stop it and you can blame it all on Abraham’s one night stand.
Isaac’s sons were Esau and Jacob. Jacob earned his name, “one that supplants, undermines; the heel”, when he caught hold of his brother’s heel as they were being born. Then he stole Esau’s birthright to Abraham’s promise because Esau was more concerned about satisfying the desires and needs of his flesh than he was over the promises of God.
Jacob had his name changed to Israel after a long night of battling with the Lord. His new name meant “one who prevails with God” and thus, it was through the lineage of Jacob that God’s promises to Abraham of a nation without number began to come to pass.
The nation of Israel was born that day in Jacob and Jacob’s sons were to be fathers of the 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel. Jacob’s undermining of God’s promise by stealing the birthright from Esau, his older brother, was to be repaid in much pain and suffering throughout his life and the lives of his future generations. Satan’s plan to bring God’s chosen people down into the land of Egypt was in full operation.
Through the age old tricks of lies and deception, just as he had used on Adam and Eve, Satan had brought the whole of Jacob’s family into his trap of slavery and it would only be a matter of a short time until the real purpose for this journey was to be revealed in the slime pits of Egyptian bondage. It was Satan’s ultimate goal to destroy God’s nation in Egypt and to hold them in bondage so that the Messiah would never be born to fulfill God’s promise of a deliverer.
We should take note that Joseph was already in Egypt before the others came. Joseph is a type of Christ, who was already designated as God’s Son who would deliver his people from their sin. Jesus’ death on the cross was planned and fulfilled in the mind of God before man ever fell into sin. God’s omniscient power had formulated a plan for the salvation of man long before he ever spoke the world into existence.
Just as Joseph was already in place to see that his family would be cared for, Jesus is already working in our lives to meet our need before we ever see the need arise. Before time began our Father in Heaven had already ordained and predestined that his chosen nation would be an example to all people of the depths of sin where we could go and the miracle of deliverance that he would bring.
Thus begins Exodus chapter 1.
Exodus 1:1-5, "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already."
All of Jacob’s family came down into Egypt. This is a type of the fact that every man is brought down by the fall of Adam. Not one member of Jacob’s family was left out of the pits of slavery. They all would need a Deliverer. They all would be in those miry pits of clay, making bricks in the hot sun while they served a hard taskmaster.
David said in Psalms 40:2, "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."
That’s the song that no only David could sing, but that every born again Child of God must sing. We were all caught in the slime pits and bondage of sin.
As a point of interest I want you to notice that Joseph is never listed as one of the 12 tribes of Israel. If you were to study a map of the inheritance given to the 12 tribes of Israel after their deliverance from Egypt and their occupation of the Promised Land you will note that neither Joseph, nor Levi are given a land to possess. Thus only 10 of Jacob’s sons are actually given an inheritance in Abraham’s land of promise. There is an important shadow of things to come that we should notice in this story.
(Put Tribes of Israel overhead on projector)
Joseph’s inheritance is not in Canaan because Jacob exalts him to the status of being a patriarch, equal in importance to that of Jacob himself. In Joseph’s place, his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, are elevated also to receive an equal inheritance with the other sons of Jacob. That would make 13 tribes in Israel. So what happens to make it 12 tribes?
Levi, is removed from the line of inheritance of property, and given the sole duty of becoming the priesthood. Their inheritance was to be continually in God’s service and their support was to be drawn from the inheritance of all of the other tribes of Israel.
Joseph typifies Jesus as our elder brother. Jesus’ kingdom and inheritance is not bound only to this world but it is a kingdom that is eternal, spiritual and Heavenly. His place is not among fallen men but he has been exalted above all men by the Father in Heaven. As all of Joseph’s brothers, and his earthly parents were to bow down before him, so will every knee bow before Jesus and confess him as Lord.
The parallels of Joseph and Jesus are far too numerous for us to go into them right now. That is a good study for you to do on your own time.
Levi, the son with no inheritance, is a type of the church. We are pilgrims and strangers and we have no inheritance in this world. We are just passing through. Our home and our eternal reward are with our Elder Brother, our Savior and our Lord in the Heavenly realms.
1 Peter 2:9 speaks of our inheritance and our purpose and notice how closely it ties in with the duties of the Levite priesthood of Israel who had no earthly inheritance, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:"
Thus the 13th tribe is not listed in the inheritance of the Promised Land because that Promised Land was a designated home for God’s earthly chosen nation, not his chosen heavenly Bride.
It didn’t take long for Satan’s plan to destroy Israel to begin to take effect. A new Pharaoh was in charge now. These Children of Israel were now the slaves of Egypt. They were drawn into bondage by a desire to meet the needs of the flesh.
For 430 years (Exodus 12:41) they would be in bondage. Generation after generation of God’s chosen people would never know the freedom from slavery.
I wonder how many generations of those who have turned their backs on God and fell into sin were lost?
There is a Generational Curse that remains upon a family who rejects the Lord. Children raised in homes where the Lord is not the center of that family have little chance to know the Love of God. The sins of the fathers are visited upon their children for many generations.
Only the power of the Blood of Jesus, cleansing away sin can break that chain. Thank God for the Blood of Jesus. It broke the curse of sin, picked us up out of bondage and set us free! Thank God for that freedom that comes only in Christ. Now we must continue to teach others about his saving power that all of God’s people can be set free.