Summary: We crossed the Red Sea in Salvation and Baptism. Now we are walking through the wilderness on the road to the Promised Land, but we have one more river to cross before we get home. Are you ready for the crossing?
ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS
By Pastor Jim May
There is an old song that we once sang that went like this:
There’s one more river to cross; one more mountain to climb
One more valley that I have to walk through
Then I’ll leave my troubles behind
One more battle with the devil, and I know He’ll understand
I’m going through with Jesus, Hallelujah
Holding to His nail scarred hands.
Tonight, I want us to talk about that final river that we all must cross. But let us begin our journey to that river by looking back at the Children of Israel and their travels for awhile.
In the Book of Exodus we find their story. Take time to read for yourself soon. I won’t take the time right now, so just listen for now and then go home and prove what I will say by the Word of God.
After 400 years of captivity, the Children of Israel were finally free – free from slavery, free from the brick pits, the slime pits and endless hours of toiling in the hot sun. They were free at last and now began the long journey through the wilderness of the Sinai as they slowly made their way eastward.
But it wasn’t long after they were free until they met the first major hurdle in their journey. Just a few days journey from Goshen, the Jews came to the banks of the Red Sea. Pharaoh was hot on their trail. After having finally hardened his heart and gathered his chariots of war he had come to put an end to these people and to this prophet named Moses, once and for all.
Of course we all know the story of how Israel went across the Red Sea on dry land, and how that Pharaoh’s entire army was drowned in the sea as the waters came crashing down upon them. There isn’t a child in the church that couldn’t give you an outline of the story.
But there is much more to this than meets the eye. Buried between the lines of what is printed in the Bible, there is an underlying meaning, an analogy, that carries such a powerful words for all of us. Israel’s journey from Egypt is symbolic for all of us as well.
Let me begin by saying that all of us were slaves in Egypt at some time. Whether we are new babes in Christ or whether we are Elders in the church with many years of serving the Lord behind us, we all came from Egypt.
Egypt is a type of the sinful life that men live in the world. It is a symbol of Satan’s power to enslave mankind in the pits of sin and impose upon him a life that is hard and full of trouble. That’s not how God intended for it to be for mankind. God had created Adam, placed him in a Garden Paradise, created woman as a companion for him, and gave Adam the rule over all of God’s creation. It was, and still is, God’s intentions that mankind should one day enjoy life and live in God’s protection forever.
I believe that one day soon, all of those who are of the True Church, the true Body of Christ, born again by the blood of Jesus Christ and who are found watching and waiting, will once again live in a new “age of innocence”. We will be made innocent because of the Gospel and the blood of Jesus Christ.
Out of Egypt’s land God called for us. He sent His messenger, in the form of a man, anointed with the Holy Spirit, to give us the message of deliverance. Moses, as a type of the Messiah, didn’t have an easy time convincing or leading Israel out of bondage, even though God was with him through it all. He knew that he could have faced certain death at the hands of Pharaoh for even entering into the land of Egypt. Likewise it was not a walk in the park for Jesus to come and lead you and I from the pits of sin either. He had to lay down his life and die for you and me.
Satan didn’t want to let us go, but he couldn’t stop it either. Satan has no power to stop that man or woman whose heart is under conviction, from bowing their head and hearts before God and surrendering their lives to Jesus.
Through Moses God sent seven plagues upon the land of Egypt. Each one of them represented God’s judgment against Egypt, not just for the mistreatment of God’s people, but they also represent God’s wrath against the idol gods of Egypt.
The first plague was aimed at the most valuable resource of Egypt, the powerful Nile River, along with the gods the Egyptians associated with it. Egypt’s food supply depended on the flooding of the Nile, as well as its annual deposits of silt to replenish the fertility of the soil. Sometimes, failure of the Nile to overflow its banks would result in a famine. So the Egyptians prayed regularly to their gods for abundant water. The first plague made the water undrinkable and rancid. The fish, a valuable source of food, perished.