Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 09:17:56 +0100 Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 26 Contents ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Weekly reading, Exodus 12:13, Pesach 2. Psalm 78:51,53 3. New Testament, Revelation 5:11-13 1. Weekly reading, Exodus 12:13, Pesach ------------------------------------------------------------------------- And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt. Our text is taken from the well-known story of the exit out of Egypt. In this night, the LORD would go through the land, and kill all the firstborn. He commanded that Israel should take a lamb, kill it, take from its blood and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses. God would send His angel to kill all the firstborn. But the house whereon the blood was, the angel would pass over. Concerning this blood, our text says: "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are." It is important to see what the text says. It says not that the blood will be a token "for God", (though it was a token also for Him) but it is "for you". When God had said that He would kill all the firstborn, all the firstborn of Israel have also feared much. How could they be sure that God would pass them over? Would He not kill them also? Imagine, reader, that you are a firstborn, and that God says that He will kill all the firstborn. Wouldn't you fear exceedingly much? There was one possibility for escape for those firstborn. When they struck the blood of the lamb on their door posts. That was the one possibility for deliverance. But how could they be sure that this also applied to them? It was through the token of blood. That token was "for you" a sign, namely to serve as a visible sign that God would pass over. When the firstborn of that house became afraid that he would be killed that night, he could go out, and look to the blood. Then his fear vanished, for it was a sign for him. God said: "When I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you." So, how is the first-born delivered? Through the blood, and through nothing else. Not because of his work, how righteous he might be (and ought to be). Even the greatest righteousness did not help here. The only point of concern was here: Is there blood on your door post? Further is said that God would smite the land of Egypt. For there is written in our text: The plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, "when I smite the land of Egypt." In the last night, before Israel went out, God would smite the land. Yes, He had already smitten it through the preceding nine plagues. But this plague was the last and the most terrible. This land of Egypt was a house of bondage for the Israelites. They were Pharaoh's slaves, and had to build his cities. They were bondsmen. Egypt is a sign of our bonddage through our sins. We live in this world, that is, we live in Egypt. This world will be smitten by God because of its sins, great and terrible. This world will be devoured by fire, and heaven and earth will pass away. In the first years, the world was destroyed by the flood of water, but now, it will be destroyed by the flames of fire. This world, that is Egypt, is already being plagued with terrible plagues. Everyone, who looks around him, and who knows what happens in the world, can be assured of it. It creaks, for the end draws near. But God, in the last night, will lead his chosen out of this world of sin. However, our one possibility of escape is through blood. When we have the blood struck on our door posts, then God will pass over us. When we not have the blood, we will be destroyed with this world. This blood of the killed lamb showed forth the blood of another killed Lamb. Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah was the Lamb of God, and was killed. His shed blood will be a sign for all who believer in Him. Who have His blood struck on their posts of their heart, will be saved, likewise the Israelites in those times were saved. Who not believes in Jesus Christ, has not His blood struck on the entrance of his heart, and will be destroyed with this world. To those who fear the coming wrath, I say: look if you have the blood of the Messiah struck on your posts. When you see that blood, God will pass over you. But when you are stiffnecked, when you reject Jesus, I assure you that you will be destroyed with the cursed Egyptians. Therefore, repent from your wicked life, strike Jesus blood on the posts of your door, and be saved. It is the only possibility of escape. Another there is not. Who rejects this one possibility, he may work hard as he wills, but it will not profit him. God will not pass over you when he sees your hard work, but when He sees the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of David according to the flesh, and the Son of God according to the spirit. I have warned you. If you not believe, your blood be upon your head. I am free of it. But if you repent, and believe, I assure you in the Name of the one God of heaven and earth, that you will be saved. It is the last chance. Come then unto Jesus, I pray you. Do not longer reject Him. Jesus Christ, God's Son, is the prophet whereof Moses spoke. "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." (Deuteronomy 18:18) See in this text, that God will put His words in the mouth of that Prophet, that is, in Jesus the Messiah. So, believe His words, which are God's. When you not believe it, listen: "And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him." (Deuteronomy 18:19) When you not listen to Jesus Christ, to the words which He speaks in God's Name, it will be required of you. The blood of the Lamb of God, killed on Pesach, Jesus Christ, will save you from eternal destruction, and will give you an eternal heavenly inheritance. 2. Psalm 78:51,53 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of [their] strength in the tabernacles of Ham: But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. In this Psalm of Asaf is sung the exit out of Egypt, the story thereon following, and the great wonders God has done therein. God, in His goodness, made difference between Israel and Egypt. He smote the firstborn in Egypt, but kept those of Israel alive. What was the reason of this difference? Was Israel better then Egypt? Were the Israelites of a better race then the Egyptians? No, both descended from the same Adam. Both were men, and therefore sinners before God. But why did God smite "all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength"? And why did He keep the firstborn of the Israelites alive? The reason lay not in the people, but in the choosing pleasure of God. God loved the fathers, and had given them His oath. Because God loved the fathers, and He had sworn them to give their children the land of Canaan, therefore God led Israel out of the house of bondage, out of Egypt. And we do well when we keep this always in our minds. When we say that God led us out because of any good in us, we become proud. Scripture teaches us otherwise. We may not boast in our flesh, but when we boast, let we do it in God. God made difference, undeservedly. He smote all the firstborn in Egypt, "but made His own people to go forth like sheep." Israel is called here "His own people". What an honour is this! Being called the people of God. It is all in free grace, without any human merits. God in His grace loved Israel, and led them out of Egypt. He made them go forth like sheep. We know that sheep follow their herder. Likewise God went before the nation, namely in the cloud. The people followed Him like sheep. We know that, when we have a herdsman like God, we will never lose our way (that means, when we continue after Him, and not choose our own ways). Commonly, a herder leads his flock on the good pasture. God however did otherwise. He did not lead them to a good pasture, but to the sea, and afterwards in the wilderness. He gave His flock no grass, but led them in the stony and sandy desert. But a common herder cannot make grass himself and give it to his sheep. God however was not a common herder, but One who made heaven and earth. Was it too difficult for Him to make food for the people in the wilderness? I think no; for God does always so. "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;" (Psalms 104:14) For God, Who always gives us the food out of the earth, it was well possible to give them not food out of the earth in the desert (for there commonly grows nothing), but this time out of heaven. And so He did. He was such a good Herdsman, that He gave them the food from heaven, namely the manna. And what was the reaction of the people thereon? Though the food was of high quality, "the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread." (Numbers 21:5) Look, that was their thankfulness for God extraordinary cares for them: Our soul loathes this light bread. A wonder that God not loathed them at the same moment! How did the people feel under such a good Herdsman? Our text gives us the answer. God "led them on safely, so that they feared not". They believed in God, and knew that he would lead them safely, even through the greatest dangers. They went through the sea, through the wilderness, and through the enemies, but God led them safely. Therefore they feared not, for their trust was not put on their own strengths, but on God's power. They were led like sheep, and we know the sheep cannot defend themselves against wolves and bears. The herdsman will defend them. And so God did. He did it so well, that they feared not. David, in later times, was also a herder. He smote the lion and the bear; God however smote the whole land of Egypt, and the whole heir of Pharaoh in the Red Sea. David could not make grass for his herd, but God made bread from heaven, and gave it to them, besides meat on sometimes. David could not make water, but God made water flowing out the rock. David was but a temporal herdsmen, but God is eternal. He even now leads us like a herd, and we will do well when we follow Him like sheep. He is such a good herd, that we, when we follow after Him, will never fear in eternity. And when we fear, it is a clear sign that we have left God's footsteps, of that we no longer trust in Him. But when we believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ, it is also said of us: "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD." (Psalms 112:7) Another difference, whereof our texts makes mention of, is that Israel went through the sea safely, but the Egyptians not. When Israel stood before the sea, and their enemies, the Egyptians were behind them, they feared exceedingly much. They cried, and Moses called upon the Name of God. Then God said that they had to go forward, for He would make a path through the sea. This path was not made for the Egyptians, but for the Israelites only. And we see herein that God makes a way out, even in situations wherein we see no possibility of deliverance. When all ways are shut, and we expect to be killed through our enemies, God will make a way out whereof we had never heard, nor expected such a deliverance. This way, however, was not for the Egyptians. Nevertheless the went on it. They took the wonder which God had done for His people. And the result of that cheek? Our text says it: "the sea overwhelmed their enemies." Israel went safely through the sea, but the enemies were overwhelmed and thus killed. And in the same way it will go now. When God gives us a way out of our need, and the enemies take the same way, they will be overwhelmed. Reader, will you not put your trust in such a God? Know then that you will be utterly unable to do so, though it is your duty to do it. Look to Israel of old. They trusted God sometimes, namely after He had done great, and extraordinary wonders before their eyes. And even then, they often despised Him as their Welldoer. So, when God does not a great wonder in your life, how will you trust in Him? Yes, I know, you will say that you believe in God. And partly, you may be right; but words are not enough. Real belief must be seen in your life, namely in a renouncing from all evil, even the little. As long as you try to do that in own strength, you will fail. You need a wonder in your life. You need a renewed heart, which only God can give you. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26) When God has given you a new heart, and a new spirit within you, and when He has taken away your stony heart, and has given you one of flesh, then you will be able to put your trust in Him. He will do so to His chosen. He will give His chosen people a new heart, and the belief in the Messiah, Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God. Christ is killed as the Lamb of Pesach, given by God. He is killed on Pesach, when the people remembered their exit out of Egypt. I command you in the Name of God to believe in Him, and to do repentance. When you not do so, you belong to the Egyptians, and will be overwhelmed by the sea, and be drowned therein. The world is divided in two groups of people. The one group is called the spiritual Israel; namely those who put their trust in God and Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. The second group is called the spiritual Egypt, consisting of the unbelievers, who are fattened up for the day of slaughter. To which group do you belong? To Israel? Then you will go through the deserts of this life. Do you belong to the Egyptians? Then you may have the temporal benefits of this life, but you will be killed in the Red Sea. Check therefore, to which group you belong. Do that speedily, before it is too late. Repent, and believe in Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, Who shed His blood for His chosen. 3. New Testament, Revelation 5:11-13 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. John, the apostle, had a vision of the things which happened in heaven. These things were revealed to him, like in the Old Testament, there were things revealed to the prophets of that time. He saw a vision, and beheld, he saw something. What did he see? He saw a throne, four beasts, and elders. And behold, in the midst of that throne, and of the four beasts, and of the elders, there stood a Lamb. That Lamb stood there as it had been slain. In old times, this Lamb was foreshadowed by the lamb of Pesach. That lamb was slain by the people, and its blood was, in Egypt, struck on the door posts. Later on, the Messiah came into the world. He fulfilled the shadows of that lamb of Pesach, and was slain. His blood was not struck on the door posts, but had a like function. Everybody, on whom that blood was sprinkled through the belief, was saved from the angel of destruction. In other words, everybody who believed in Jesus was saved from eternal destruction. And now, the apostle John saw the same Lamb, but in heaven. It stood there as it had been slain. When John continued to look in that vision, he saw more and more. He saw, and also heard the voice of many angels round about the throne. They stood also round about the Lamb, which seemed to be slain. Jesus, the Son of God stood there, in heaven, and all the angels gave honour to Him. John saw also the four beasts and the elders, standing round about the throne and the Lamb of God. How much of them did John see? It were exceedingly much angels, namely ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. In other words, a huge number of angels gave the due honour to Jesus, the slain Lamb of God. The Messiah had finished His task on earth, namely to bring mankind back to God. Not the whole human race, but all those who believed in Him. The human race had (and still has) the habit to try to make itself pleasant in the eyes of God by accomplishing much work. They knew not (and still know not) that their works were defiled by their wicked nature. But Jesus came to bring the chosen people back unto God, and He reconciled them with Him. All the human works failed, but Jesus finished His reconciling task. He was also God, and thus God reconciled mankind with Himself. The believers, who are called "the seed of Israel", will be justified in the LORD. They will not glory in their own works, but only in the LORD. Who gloried in own works, does not belong to God's Israel. For there is written: "In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." (Isaiah 45:25) The seed of Israel will glory in the LORD, and be justified, not by their own works, but by God. The apostle John saw in his vision, that all the millions of angels, and the beasts and the elders gave honour to the Lamb of God, with a loud voice. They said: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, to receive riches, to receive wisdom, and strength, and honour. He receives glory and blessing for ever and ever. Jesus, the Son of God, being God, receives all honour due to Him. Not only the angels, beasts and elders in heaven gave all the glory to God, but also the whole earth. John heard that every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and even under the earth, yes, also in the sea;--yes, all that are therein heard John saying: Blessing and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sits upon the throne, namely God the Father, and unto the Lamb, namely God the Son, for ever and ever. That will be the work of the saved in heaven. Always, they give glory unto God, who saved them. And there is no better fulfilling of the law than this. The law said that we have to give all honour unto God. But only the saved do it as it ought. The people on earth give glory to themselves, but who is saved, is able to give all honour to God. You can work as hard as you will, but you will never be able to give due honour to God. Those, who are pulled out the pit of the world, will give all honour to God, who saved them. They are saved, before the world vanishes away. They are saved from this cursed world, which groans under the burden of our sins. Who lays his ear to listen, always hears the sighs of the earth, of the beasts thereon, and of the people on it. The burden of our sins is too heavy to bear for us. But God will save, and has saved, the elect. He took the unbearable load of their sins from their back, and they were accepted as children of God. Therefore, they say with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, will say: Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Who is still working, will be utterly unable to give the due honour to God. The work is too hard. When the Israelites were in Egypt, they sighed under the burden of their slavery. Through that hard work, and great distress, they were unable to praise God. That is, they were unable to do the law. But after they were saved from Egypt, they sang a new song. Likewise we, as long we work in this world, we will not be able to love God. But no sooner are we saved through Jesus, our Lord, or we will give all praise, honour, blessing and glory to God and the Lamb. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament Editor: Teus Benschop - firstname.lastname@example.org No copyrights on this publication Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands End of The Scriptures opened, 26 -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-026.txt .