Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider the three stations in the fulfilling of God’s purpose as they are mentioned in Exodus 3. In God’s call the chosen people were directed to three different stations. Verse 18 says that the children of Israel were to take a “three days’ journey into the wilderness.” In verse 12 the Lord said to Moses, “Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” Finally, in verses 8 and 17 the Lord promised Moses that He would bring the children of Israel out of Egypt into a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Therefore, the three stations spoken of in this chapter are the wilderness, the mountain, and the land.
Many Christian teachers have emphasized the importance of the experience of the children of Israel in the wilderness. However, they interpret the wilderness as a place of test and trial. Although elsewhere in the Bible the wilderness has this significance, this is not the meaning of the wilderness in 3:18. Here the wilderness denotes a place of separation from the world. According to 3:18, the children of Israel were to make a journey of three days into the wilderness so that they might sacrifice to the Lord their God. It was impossible for God’s people to sacrifice to Him in Egypt. In order to serve God in this way, they had to be in a place of separation.
The wilderness was separated from Egypt by the Red Sea. The crossing of the Red Sea is a type of baptism. After we believed in the Lord Jesus and took Him as our Passover, we were baptized. Thus, the water of baptism separates us from the world and brings us into the wilderness where we can serve God. However, many saved ones have not yet been delivered into the wilderness. This means that although they have been saved, they have not been separated from the world.
The wilderness, the place of separation from the world, is the first station in God’s deliverance of His chosen people from Egypt. Our experience testifies to this. Before we were saved, we were very much occupied with the things of the world. But God’s salvation has delivered us from this preoccupation and has brought us into the wilderness. Everyone who is properly saved must have this kind of experience.
This is seen both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The only difference is that the Old Testament presents the type, the picture, whereas the New Testament presents the spiritual reality in words. Because it is often difficult for us to grasp the spiritual things in the New Testament, God in His wisdom uses the pictures in the Old Testament to help us understand them. The history of the children of Israel is a portrait of a believer’s full salvation. For example, the Passover is a type of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 5:7 Paul says, “Our Passover, Christ, has been sacrificed.” Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 10:1 and 2 Paul indicates that the crossing of the Red Sea is a type of baptism. In addition, the manna and the water from the cleft rock are also types of Christ (1 Cor. 10:3-4). It is not difficult to see the significance of these types; however, hardly any Christians realize that the good land is also a type of Christ. Hence, many regard only the beginning stage of the history of the children of Israel as a type. How we thank the Lord for showing us that the whole history of the Israelites is a portrait of our salvation.
The children of Israel came out of Egypt and into the wilderness by the enjoyment of the Passover (12:11, 31-41) and through the baptism in the Red Sea (14:21-30). To them, the Passover was an enjoyment; they enjoyed the lamb, the unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs. The supply they received through this enjoyment strengthened them to walk out of Egypt. Furthermore, the baptism in the Red Sea delivered them from the Egyptians. This indicates that by Christ as the Passover Lamb and by His death we are separated from the world and brought into the wilderness, the first station in fulfilling God’s purpose.
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