From Egypt To The Promise Land
Upon being set free from Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, the Nation of Israel was required to keep three Feasts of the Lord.
Exodus 3:14 , “ Three times shall thou keep a feast unto Me in the year. 15,“Thou shall keep the feast of unleavened bread (Passover). 16, “ and the feast of harvest,(Pentecost) the first fruits of thy labors which thou has sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering at the end of the year”.
The feasts were significant at that time of the wanderings of Israel and are just as relevant to us now. The nation kept the feasts physically and today we keep these feast in the spirit of how God had intended. We don’t need to go anywhere, be affiliated with any church group etc: God’s Word, the Bible, carries us through as we feed on the scriptures. God is our Father and He supplies what is necessary to mold his children into citizens of His kingdom. Men can help as Philip did with the eunuch of Ethiopia.
Acts 8:29, Then the spirit said unto Philip, “ Go near and join yourself to this chariot.” 30, And Philip ran thither and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, “ Understandest what thou read?”31, And he said, “how can I except some man should guide me.” And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Without knowing the reason for the feasts, we would never understand what God is doing in our lives and how He’s doing it. We can read of these feasts in the book of Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 16:16, “Three times in the year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread(Passover), and in the feast of weeks,(Pentecost) and in the feast of Tabernacles (ingathering) : and they shall not appear before Me empty.
Before Israel left Egypt under Moses, the nation was instructed to keep the Passover. This was the ordinance of choosing a lamb, killing it, and feasting on the lamb all night. In the morning they were to leave Egypt. Of course this was an ordinance that was a shadow and type of God’s true Passover, namely Jesus Christ.
1Corinthians 5: 7, “Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”.
The Passover was their first feast and to their credit, the people had the faith to follow Moses as he was lead by God. The miracles and protection that God had afforded them during the night of the Passover were soon forgotten. Their faith was short lived with their murmuring and complaining to Moses.
Exodus 16: 2, And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
Verse 3, And the children of Israel said unto them, “Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots and when we did eat bread to the full; for you have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole congregation with hunger”.
The people thought that Moses brought them out of Egypt and not God. They had forgotten the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea and the defeat of the Egyptian army, proving that miracles will never convert anyone. Only a change of heart guided by a different spirit can bring lasting results. God satisfied their complaint and told Moses to continue to lead the people.
Exodus 19:1, In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day they came to the wilderness of Sinai.
This would be approaching the time of Israel’s second feast, the feast of Weeks or Pentecost. God no longer wanted to speak to the people through Moses but wanted to speak to the people Himself.
Exodus 19: 10, And the lord said unto Moses, go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.
To understand the results of Israel allowing God to speak only the ten commandments to them and not the rest of His law has had enormous influence in the way we worship God today.
Exodus 20:18, And all the people saw the thundering and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19, and they said to Moses, “ Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
So Pentecost was never fulfilled even in the physical sense because of the nation’s lack of faith. They never understood that God was offering to Israel the promises made to Abraham.
Genesis 13: 14, And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up now thy eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward and westward: 15, for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.
This promise would have been fulfilled even in the physical sense because God’s promises were unconditional.
Genesis 17:4, “ As for Me, behold My covenant is with thee, and thou shall be a father of many nations. 5, Neither shall thy name anymore be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 8, And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou was a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for a everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
The history of the Exodus records how God was working with the descendants of Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham. It is important to note how God was working with the people He led out of Egypt.
God had never asked the children of Israel to do anything He didn’t do himself. If the children were to dwell in a tent, God would also.
Exodus 29:4, “ and Aaron and his son’s shall bring to the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water.
The word Tabernacle is a tent where God would dwell, along with the ark and the most holy things. Only Moses was allowed to approach God in the Tabernacle.
Exodus 33:8, And it came to pass, when Moses went out to the Tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door.
A tent is only a temporary dwelling. As they journeyed, they would take their tent with them and set it up at the next resting place. And this is what they would continually do. Because the people were afraid to have God speak to them directly, they didn’t have the faith to finish their journey to the land of Canaan, thus they wandered forty years in the wilderness.
That is the record set forth in the scriptures. The entire generation missed their opportunity to complete the journey and receive the promises that were theirs if they had the faith.
What are the results of the example the people set for us today? Most live by the only law they heard, “The Ten Commandments”. That was it. The people heard only what God had given them through the teaching of Moses. They heard only a limited version of what they needed to bring blessings to other nations who they would come in contact with. We need to consider that the law was written on tablets of stone which was an imitation of our hearts. Ezekiel gives us the goal God had for the nation.
Ezekiel 36:24, “ For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all the countries, and I will bring you unto your own land. 25, Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I clean you. 26, A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
There is a reason why there are so many religions and congregations in the world today. Men have done the same today as the nation did during the wanderings. We’ve stopped along the way as they did. Instead of living in a temporary dwelling, a tent so to speak, we’ve built houses of worship to have men tell us what God requires of us. Some think that their only obligation is to sit in some structure made of wood and stone and that is an end in itself. But what does God expect of His people today.
Hosea 6:6, “ For I desire mercy, ( love ) and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
How will any know the mind of God without studying His word, the Bible, that guides us into all truth. That was what the eunuch told Philip. Jesus, our guide, is called the “ Word of God”.
Revelation 19:13, And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called “The Word Of God”.
The purpose of those being led by God today is to make it to our promise land. Two of God’s feast have occurred, Passover and Pentecost. The fullness of the feast of Tabernacles is yet ahead of us. Our journey is one of a temporary dwelling ( our flesh ), and will manifest the glory of God at that third feast, the feast of Tabernacles.