Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Before we go on to consider the final conflict between God and Pharaoh, we need to consider Pharaoh’s subtle bargaining. Pharaoh signifies not only Satan, but also the self and the natural man. In addition, our relatives or friends can also be a Pharaoh to us today. Furthermore, our natural mind, will, or emotion may be a Pharaoh who rebels against God or who bargains subtly with Him.
God’s demand of Pharaoh is stated in 5:1. According to this verse, the Lord spoke to Pharaoh through Moses and Aaron, “Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” Furthermore, the Lord required His people to take a three days’ journey into the wilderness and to sacrifice unto Him (5:3). Not only does this journey of three days signify a long distance; it also signifies burial and resurrection. In the Bible the third day signifies resurrection. The Lord Jesus was resurrected on the third day, and, according to Genesis 1, the dry land, a type of Christ in resurrection, appeared on the third day. Therefore, the three days’ journey here signifies burial and resurrection. The natural man had to be buried so that God’s people could be raised up from death into resurrection. The crossing of the Red Sea signified the process of burial and resurrection. In the eyes of both God and Satan, the children of Israel passed through the burial of the Red Sea and entered into resurrection. As God’s called and chosen people, we also must pass through such a process of burial and resurrection. This means that we must travel a three days’ journey in order to be buried and resurrected. By means of such a journey, God’s people not only come out of Egypt, but they also enter, in resurrection, into a new environment.
Negatively the wilderness signifies a place of wandering, but positively it signifies a realm of separation. When the children of Israel entered into the wilderness, they were separated from everything Egyptian, from everything worldly. This separation is related to burial and resurrection. Once we were in Egypt, that is, in the world. But through burial and resurrection we have passed out of the world into the wilderness, where we are separated to the Lord. In His dealing with Pharaoh, God demanded such a separation for His people.
Separation, however, is not the goal. God’s goal was that the children of Israel would hold a feast to Him. He wanted them to be happy with Him in His presence. To hold a feast unto God is to enjoy God with God. Everyone who has truly been saved has experienced times of overflowing with joy in the Lord’s presence. Such times are real holidays. If you have not enjoyed such a feast with the Lord but have only been happy when participating in worldly amusements, then perhaps you have not yet been saved. Being saved does not depend upon having such an enjoyment. Nevertheless, everyone who is saved will have the experience, at least once in his Christian life, of holding a feast to the Lord, of enjoying the Lord in His presence. Sometimes I have been so beside myself with joy in the Lord that it seemed as if I were dancing before Him. This is not doctrine or theory, but a marvelous enjoyment of our salvation.
Furthermore, the children of Israel were to sacrifice unto the Lord. According to our experience, when we hold a feast unto the Lord, enjoying Him in His presence, our heart is deeply touched by the Lord Jesus. He becomes so dear and precious to us, and we have a fresh love for Him. We simply have no words to utter how sweet He is to us. He touches the depths of our being, and we respond by thanking the Father for His dear Son. This is to offer sacrifice unto God, to present the precious Christ to God as a sacrifice. As we offer Christ to the Father, the Father is pleased, happy, and satisfied by us through our sacrifice of Christ. Therefore, God’s demand of Pharaoh was to let His people go a three days’ journey into the wilderness so that they could hold a feast to Him and sacrifice unto Him. This is the enjoyment of God’s salvation.
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