Bible Reading – Exodus 19
1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
The date on which the children of Israel departed from Egypt on “eagles’ wings” is extremely significant for historical and spiritual purposes. For the newly chartered nation of Israel, this became an annual remembrance and celebration known as the Passover. The first Passover occurred when the death angel passed over the doors of families who had the blood applied in Egypt, and centuries later Jesus was crucified on the week of the Passover celebration. The significance historically resulted in an annual, week-long celebration for the nation of Israel. When Jesus went to the cross, it would have been an event that every Jew would have been able to witness. Spiritually, it’s significance amplifies the importance of the Blood. When the death angel passed over, families were not judged by nationality, wealth, education, or spirituality. The only requirement for the appeasement of the death angel was the presence of the blood. Today, regardless of ethnicity, education, financial status or spirituality, the requirement for cleansing of sins is the presence of the blood of Christ shed some 2,000 years ago. So each year, Israel would come together to remember that they were saved from Egypt by the blood of the sacrifice, and Christ was the perfect Sacrifice for the sins of the world!
So also is it important to recognize the language of verse 3 where, under the inspiration of God, Moses pens the phrases “house of Jacob” as well as “children of Israel in the same verse. While Jacob and Israel are two names for the same person, using the name Israel after Jacob represents the blessings of God and transformation. Here at Mount Sinai where God brought Israel to Himself, they were to recognize that God, as He had before taken lowly Jacob and blessed him and changed him to Israel, had also blessed them and transformed their situation tremendously. When Israel left Egypt, they were instructed to ask Egyptians for their wealth and gold. For no reason other than the influence of God, the Egyptians gave the Israelites, their former slaves, their jewels and gold. As preacher said recently, this was to be used in building a temple, and the blessings of God in that day were astonishing. They were lowly slaves, but here some 50 days later at Mount Sinai, they may have been the wealthiest nation in the world. This coming to God would become another annual celebration where Israel would recognize and show gratitude for God’s blessing. Just as it was fifty days from the Passover to this celebration of blessing, some fifty days after the crucifixion, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles at Pentecost at a time where all Jews would have been able to hear the preaching, and 3,000 souls were saved in one day. The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian as the earnest of our salvation (Ephesians 1: 3,13,14). It is with this indwelling that we are eternally secure in our salvation (God the Spirit is ever with us ensuring we will spend eternity in heaven), and we are adopted into the family of God becoming joint-heirs (receiving equal inheritance) with Christ! As Jacob was blessed becoming Israel, and the nation of Israel was blessed by God, we also are blessed so tremendously with the Holy Spirit and all spiritual blessings in a life transforming way! This simple passage in Exodus ties together thousands of years of historical and spiritual significance and gives us a small glimpse of God’s incredible plan for salvation and spiritual blessing even at a difficult time in Israel’s history!
– Eli Faulds