Delivered From Bondage & Yet Given Over to Lust, Fornication & Murmuring

Today’s selected reading continues in the first New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Corinth. More specifically today’s passage is found in the tenth chapter of this New Testament book. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat: And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:1-11).

 

            “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fal. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men: judge ye what I say” (1 Corinthians 10:12-15).

 

            “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? That the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” (1 Corinthians 10:16-22).

 

            “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof: Conscience I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? For if I by grace be a partakers, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:23-33).

 

            HEBREWS 3! HEBREWS 4. When you come to the tenth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints you will find him shifting gears yet again—this time calling the attention of the Corinthians to the narrative of the children of Israel. If you begin reading with and from the first and opening verse of this passage you will find the apostle Paul emphatically declaring unto them how he would not have them ignorant that all their fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. Moreover the apostle Paul declared unto them how their fathers were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea and all did eat the same spiritual meat and drink the same spiritual drink. This would immediately be followed by the apostle Paul declaring that their fathers drank of the same spiritual Rock which followed them—the Rock which was Christ. CHRIST IN THE WILDERNESS! CHRIST WITH THEM IN THE WILDERNESS! Oh how absolutely incredible it is read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and consider the fact that while the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness they were not only followed by the Rock which was Christ but they were also led by the Rock which was Christ. Pause for a moment and consider the incredible reality concerning the children of Israel that they were such who were delivered from their bondage, slavery and oppression in the land of Egypt by the mighty and outstretched arm of the living God who executed His judgments against and upon the Egyptians and the hardened heart of Pharaoh. What’s more is that if you read Scripture you will find that the living and eternal God exercised judgment against the false gods of the land of Egypt which they themselves worshipped during that time.

 

            In order to truly understand and appreciate the words and language which is found in the tenth chapter of this first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints we must needs recognize that the children of Israel did indeed and did in fact drink from that spiritual Rock which was Christ in the wilderness and it was only made possible because of the deliverance and freedom they experienced. Initially the living and eternal God would send Moses and Aaron unto Pharaoh after the LORD had appeared unto Moses and declared how He had heard the cries of the children of Israel as a result of their taskmasters. After spending forty years in the land of Midian tending to his father-in-law Jethro’s sheep the living and eternal God appeared unto Moses in the midst of a burning bush which burned yet was not consumed. Upon turning and directing your attention to the words which are found in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find the powerful exchange which took place between Moses and the living God as the Lord was preparing to deliver the children of Israel from their slavery, bondage and oppression after more than four-hundred years living as slaves in the land of Egypt. After the death of Joseph there arose a Pharaoh in the midst of the land who knew not Joseph nor the generation of his father and brethren. As a direct result of this new Pharaoh rising up in the midst of the land of Egypt he would enslave the children of Israel and set task-masters over them—those who would violently and cruelly oppress them. What’s more is that you cannot read the words which are found in the first and second chapters of the Old Testament book of Exodus without coming facing to face with the tremendous violence and oppression which was done unto the children of Israel under the leadership of this new Pharaoh and each subsequent Pharaoh that would sit upon the throne.

 

            Before we delve into the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints I would like to call and invite you to consider the words and language that is present in the first and second chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus. Moreover I would like to draw your attention to the words which are found in the fourth and fifth chapters of the same New Testament book for what we find within these chapters call and draw our attention to the continued oppression of the children of Israel at the hands of the Egyptians, Pharaoh and the task-masters whom he had appointed over them. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words found in this Old Testament book beginning with the first chapter of the book:

 

            “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we are: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they build for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour” (Exodus 1:7-14).

 

            “And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: and he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive” (Exodus 1:15-27).

 

 

            “And it came to pass in the process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them” (Exodus 1:23-25).

 

            It is absolutely necessary we recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is an incredibly powerful picture of the children of Israel becoming fruitful and multiplying in the land of Egypt. As a direct result of their fruitfulness and increase in the land of Egypt—not only was Pharaoh’s cynicism put on full display before the Egyptians but so also was his insecurities. As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will encounter and come face to face with Pharaoh’s response—not necessarily to any actions of the children of Israel but rather to his own insecurities and cynicism. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the narrative of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt it’s that when Pharaoh enslaved them and appointed taskmasters over them who would oppress them and make their lives bitter in rigor and mortar he did so because of his own cynicism and insecurities. Pharaoh’s insecurities and cynicism was put on full display before the children of Israel when he spoke unto them concerning the children of Israel being more and mightier than they were and getting themselves up out of the land of Egypt. Not only this but Pharaoh also accused the children of Israel as being such who might very well align themselves with the enemies and adversaries of Egypt and join them in battle against them. What we must needs acknowledge and recognize when reading the words found in the Old Testament book of Exodus it’s that the children of Israel were not enslaved because of any wrongdoing or action they had committed. It would be very easy to read the Old Testament book of Exodus and think the children of Israel were enslaved because of actions they had somehow taken against Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case.

 

            The more you read the words and language found in the Old Testament book of Exodus the more you will encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth that the children of Israel were enslaved and their lives made bitter by Pharaoh and the taskmasters he had appointed over them because of that which was present within Pharaoh’s own heart and soul. What we must needs recognize when reading the words found in the Old Testament book of Exodus is that Pharaoh’s actions were taken against the children of Israel for no other reason than his own insecurities and his own cynicism. With this being said we must needs recognize and understand that this same pattern plays itself out in our generation and has played out throughout the generations since. It is absolutely unmistakable and undeniable when considering history that men (and women) lash out against others—perhaps sometimes because of their own insecurities and cynicism. There have been countless individuals who have risen up in oppression against and upon others—not because of any wrongdoing or offense those individuals have taken against them but because of their own insecurities and cynicism. What’s more is I would dare say there have been individuals throughout history—individuals such as Adolf Hitler—who rose up in oppression against others because of their own insecurities, their own narcissism, and their own cynicism. If we look at Htiler’s “Final Solution” and the atrocities which surround the Holocaust you will find that his actions against the Jewish people was never because of anything the Jews had personally done unto him but because of his own narcissism, his own cynicism and his own pride and arrogance.

 

            If we look at something like Hitler’s “Final Solution” and what has become known as the Holocaust we must needs recognize and understand that such an atrocity did not take place because of any type of offense or wrongdoing the Jews had done unto him. If we are truly honest with ourselves we must needs acknowledge and admit that Hitler’s actions toward and against the children of Israel was a direct result of his own narcissism and cynicism. When we look at something like the Holocaust and Hitler’s Final Solution it is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize that the Jews had not committed any offense or wrongdoing against him and yet he persisted and proceeded to engage himself in the extermination of six million Jews. During World War II Hitler had confined and relegated countless Jews to torture camps, to gas chambers and the like in a full scale attempt to eradicate them from the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it draws and calls our attention to the tremendous truth of what we witness and behold concerning the children of Israel after the death of Joseph. It would be after the death of Joseph a new Pharaoh arose—one who knew not Joseph nor the generation of his brethren. This new Pharaoh was one who was not only insecure within himself but was also immensely narcissistic and cynical in his heart and soul. As a direct result of this manifestation within his heart and soul this new Pharaoh would subjugate the children of Israel to harsh labor, bondage, cruel labor and oppression. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it helps serve as the backdrop for the response of the LORD whom Scripture reveals as hearing the groaning of the children of Israel and remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. Moreover God looked upon the children of Israel and had respect unto them and the oppression, bondage and slavery they were presently experiencing.

 

            As you continue reading the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Exodus you will come to the third chapter which describes the living and eternal God appearing unto Moses on the backside of the desert. Moreover you will find the living God appearing unto Moses in and at the very place Moses would later lead the children of Israel unto—Horeb the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness. It would be in the third chapter of this Old Testament book of Exodus we find the living and eternal God appearing unto Moses as he tended his father’s sheep. This encounter between Moses and the living and eternal God would forever change the history of the children of Israel and would fulfill that which the LORD had spoken unto Abraham generations earlier. You will recall in the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis how the LORD would enter into covenant with Abraham after Abraham believed and it was credited unto him as righteousness. As a direct result of this covenant the LORD would speak and reveal unto Abraham how his descendants would be strangers in a foreign land where they would be oppressed for a period of time. Eventually in the course of time, however, the LORD would visit the children of Israel and would deliver them out of this land. What we must needs recognize is that not only would the living God deliver the children of Israel from this land but He would also enter into judgment against and upon that nation that oppressed them. Oh it is absolutely imperative we recognize this for when we come to the final verses of the second chapter of the book of Exodus, as well as the third and fourth chapters of the same book we find the LORD remembering His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.

 

            Having said all of this I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are present in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus. It is what we find in the third chapter of this Old Testament book we are brought face to face with the living and eternal God appearing unto Moses in the midst of a bush that burned with fire and yet was not consumed. When Moses turned aside to see this strange sight and how the bush burned and yet was not consumed the living God looked upon Moses and spoke to him from the midst of the burning bush. There at the backside of the wilderness at a burning bush which was present at Horeb the living and eternal God not only appeared unto Moses but also proclaimed a plan to extricate and deliver more than three million Jews from their slavery, bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt. There at the backside of the desert the living and eternal God made a powerful declaration and promise that He had not only heard the cry and groaning of the children of Israel but was indeed preparing to deliver them from such slavery, bondage and oppression. Consider if you will the following words found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the first verse of the third chapter:

 

            “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certaintly 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. And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians” (Exodus 3:1-22).

 

            Having presented you with the words found in this passage of Scripture I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the fact that just as the LORD had declared Pharaoh would not immediately agree to let the children of go. Initially the LORD would send Moses unto Pharaoh with certain signs which he would perform before him in his sight—the leprous hand which was made whole, the rod cast down upon the ground which became a serpent and water turning into blood. When Moses first appeared unto Pharaoh and demanded that he let the children of Israel go Pharaoh would not hearken unto Moses. What’s more is the magicians of Pharaoh’s court performed the same miracles which Moses had performed—namely, their staffs turning into serpents and even water turned into blood. It would be immediately following this the living and eternal God would enter into judgment with and against Pharaoh and the children of Egypt. What you find in the Old Testament book of Exodus is a powerful picture of the living and eternal God executing judgment against and upon Pharaoh, upon all those in his court, upon the taskmasters and upon all the people of the land of Egypt. The living and eternal God would send a series of ten plagues or judgments upon and against the land of Egypt that would not only be judgments against and upon them but would also be judgments against and upon the false and strange gods they worshipped. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Exodus it’s that the living and eternal God would do more then send ten plagues against and upon the land of Egypt but would in fact enter into judgment against the false and strange gods of the Egyptians. From the first plague unto the last plague the living and eternal God would engage Himself in an unseen war in the spiritual realm against the principalities, spiritual wickedness, rulers of darkness and unseen spiritual forces which were present within and over the land of Egypt.

 

 

            When you come to chapters twelve and thirteen you will find that after the first nine plagues and judgments were executed against Pharaoh, against the Egyptians and against the false and strange gods of the Egyptians there would be one final judgment that would be sent against and upon them. In chapters twelve and thirteen of this Old Testament book we find the living and eternal God sending one final judgment against and upon the land of Egypt—a judgment of death. The living and eternal God would warn the children of Israel through Moses of the death angel that would pass through the midst of the land and any house which did not hearken unto the voice of the LORD and place blood upon the doorposts of their house would awake the next morning to death being present in the house. Oh the words and narrative we find in this Old Testament book is an incredibly powerful reality when you think about it for having already executed nine judgments against and upon the land of Egypt the living and eternal God would execute one final judgment against Pharaoh, against the rulers in his court, against the Egyptians and against the Egyptians. This final judgment which was executed against Pharaoh and the Egyptians would also be a judgment against the false gods over and present within the land of Egypt for the living God would execute judgment in the form of death passing through the land. How incredibly powerful it is that in order to preserve and protect the children of Israel from the death angel that would pass through the land of Egypt they would need to take a lamb without blemish and slaughter it. Not only would they slaughter the lamb but they would take blood of the lamb and apply it with hyssop upon the doorposts of their houses. In addition to this they would roast the lamb and eat it fully dressed and ready for their departure from the land of Egypt.

 

            With all of this now before you and as we prepare to consider the words and language the apostle Paul wrote in the tenth chapter of the first New Testament epistle written unto the Corinthian saints it is important for us to consider how the living and eternal God delivered the children of Israel out of their slavery, bondage and oppression in the midst of the land of Egypt. Having already executed nine judgments against and upon Pharaoh, against the Egyptians and against the false gods of Egypt the LORD would execute one more judgment—the most striking and fierce judgment yet. This tenth and final judgment would be a judgment of death as the angel of death would pass throughout the land and strike down the firstborn in every house whereupon the blood was not applied to the doorposts. It is safe to say that all of the children of Israel had the blood of the Lamb applied to the doorposts of their houses and when the death angel passed through the land both they and their firstborns were protected from the death angel which would pass throughout the land. It would be this final plague and judgment executed against and upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians that he would once and for all agree to let the children of Israel depart from the land of Egypt together with their women,  their children, their livestock and everything they had in their possession. Consider now if you will the following words which are found in the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of this Old Testament book of Exodus:

 

            “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: It shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, IN the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house. And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of souls; every man according to his eating shall make you count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at al with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 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. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and y e shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever” (Exodus 12:1-14).

 

            “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the Passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they” (Exodus 12:21-28).

 

            “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take you flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they require. And they spoiled the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:29-36).

 

            While it is true the living and eternal God did in fact deliver the children of Israel out of their slavery, their bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness it is also true that when they entered into the wilderness they were led by the angel whom He sent before them. If you read the words found in the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find and discover the tremendous truth concerning the angel of the LORD who would not only go before them but would also go behind them. When we read the words which are found in the tenth chapter of this Old Testament book we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the children of Israel in the wilderness and how the living and eternal God led them forty years through the wilderness. Not only this but when we read the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the first epistle which was written by the apostle Paul we find and discover the children of Israel were led through the wilderness by the spiritual Rock which was the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of what is found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is an incredibly powerful picture of the children of Israel being led through the wilderness by the spiritual Rock which was the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul emphatically declared that the children of Israel drank of that spiritual Rock which followed them and how that Rock was Christ. Please do not miss how absolutely incredible this truly is when you consider it for there is something incredibly powerful about the manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ—Christos the eternal Logos who was in the beginning, who was in the beginning with God and who in the beginning was God. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that in the Old Testament it was the preincarnate Christ who followed the children of Israel through the wilderness and it was of this spiritual Rock which they all drank.

 

            With this being said we must needs recognize that when reading the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Corinthian saints—although they all drank of the same spiritual drink and from the same spiritual Rock which followed them there were many of them with whom God was not pleased. Not only this but within the tenth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints we find the tremendous truth that the living God overthrew many of their fathers in the wilderness. What we go on to read is the reason, the nature and the purpose the living God overthrew many of their fathers in the wilderness and how and why there were many who perished in the wilderness. In fact I would dare say that in order to get the true picture of what took place in the wilderness it is necessary to turn and direct our attention to the Old Testament book of Numbers. Although there were countless examples of the rebellion, the transgression and wickedness of the children of Israel in the wilderness and how the LORD destroyed among them it is what we find in the Old Testament book of Numbers that brings us face to face with the ultimate judgment of the living God against the children of Israel—namely, their being confined and relegated to the wilderness for forty years until the last of that first generation which departed from the land of Egypt, which witnessed and beheld the plagues and judgments of the LORD in the land of Egypt and which witnessed the salvation of the living God at the Red Sea after coming out of the land of Egypt. The ultimate judgment against and upon the children of Israel in the wilderness came when the twelve spies returned from spying and scouting out the land of Canaan. Ten of those spies would bring back a negative report which would sway the entire congregation against Moses and Aaron as well as against Joshua and Caleb. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Numbers concerning this tremendous judgment of the living God against the children of Israel and that generation which would perish in the wilderness:

 

            “And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey, and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cites are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the son of Anak, which some of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:26-33).

 

            “And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. But all the congregations bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORd said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou govest before them, by day time in a pillar of cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night” (Numbers 14:1-14).

 

            “…And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word, But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereunto he went; and he shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea” (numbers 14:20-25).

 

            “And the LORD speak unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still. And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly” (Numbers 14:26-39).

 

             I am absolutely convinced we must needs pay close attention to the words which are found in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of the Old Testament book of Numbers—not only because of the judgment the LORD executed against the children of Israel but also because of the words the Lord spake unto them. It is when reading the words found here you will find the LORD speaking unto Moses concerning the children of Israel and how they had provoked and tempted Him ten times in the wilderness. What’s more is the LORD God also asked Moses how long He would put up with and endure the children of Israel and their rebellion, their whoredoms, and their disobedience. The LORD spoke unto Moses concerning the rebellion of the children of Israel and how they would not hearken unto His voice nor believe and trust in Him but gave themselves to rebellion and disobedience in His sight. Oh there is something truly astonishing about this for when we read the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints we encounter the tremendous truth surrounding the children of Israel in the wilderness and how the children of Israel were those who transgressed the commandment of the LORD in the wilderness by refusing to believe His word. Despite the fact they witnessed and beheld His power, His might, his judgments, His works, His deeds and even heard His voice speaking unto them in the wilderness they still persisted in their rebellion and disobedience.

 

            The more I think about the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints we find the apostle Paul writing unto them concerning the rebellion(s) and transgression(s) of the children of Israel in the wilderness. The apostle Paul would emphatically declare concerning them that the things which were written concerning them were written for our examples to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. What’s more is the apostle Paul would declare how what was written concerning them was written that we be not idolaters as were some of them for as it was written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Of course we know that this was referring to the account of the golden calf when the children of Israel asked Aaron to fashion for them gods whom they could worship as the one(s) who led them up out of the land of Egypt. It is in the Old Testament book of Exodus we find and discover the narrative of the children of Israel at the base of Horeb and how despite the fact the glory and presence of the living God was upon the mountain and Moses went up into the presence of the living God they still persisted in their idolatry and rebellion against the living God. The apostle Paul wrote unto the Corinthian saints how what was written concerning them was written that we ought not to commit fornication as some of them committed and fell in one day twenty and three thousand. This would be followed by the apostle Paul speaking unto them concerning tempting Christ as some of them did and were destroyed of serpents nor murmur as did some of them and were destroyed of the destroyer. Oh please don’t miss and incredible truth that is found in the words the apostle Paul wrote here for not only did the apostle Paul speak of idolatry and lust but the apostle Paul also spoke of fornication, of tempting Christ and of murmuring and complaining. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are presented here in this passage of scripture concerning the children of Israel and how they were such who had committed great evil and wickedness in the sight of the living God.

 

            With all of this being said perhaps the single greatest atrocity they committed and that which struck at the very heart of all other wickedness and transgression they committed was that of unbelief. It was this the living God spoke of when speaking unto Moses and Aaron after the children of Israel murmured and grumbled against Moses, against the LORD and against the land. The LORD God Himself asked how long they would persist in their unbelief and their doubt and would not believe His word—this despite the display of His power and might among them in the wilderness. Oh we must needs recognize that at the very heart of lust, at the very heart of fornication, at the very heart of murmuring and at the very heart of tempting Christ is a hardened heart that is filled with unbelief and doubt. The apostle Paul would write unto the Corinthians how these things were written unto those upon whom the ends of the world came that he who thinks he stands should be mindful of his heart and mind and take heed lest he fall. The apostle Paul would also go on to declare how there has no temptation taken us but such as is common to man and how God is faithful who will not suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that we might be able to bear it.

 

            There is not a doubt in my mind that if we truly want to recognize and understand the words and language found in this passage of Scripture we need to consider the words which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote. If you turn and direct your attention to the words found in the third and fourth chapters of this epistle you will be brought face to face with an additional rendering and account of the history of the children of Israel—specifically when they emerged from their slavery, bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt. What makes the narrative of the children of Israel so incredibly unique is when you consider the fact that you don’t read any account or narrative of their rebellion, their disobedience, their wickedness, their transgression and their idolatry while they were enslaved in the land of Egypt. If you read the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers—even the book of Deuteronomy—you will find that it was after they were delivered and set free from their bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt they would begin to develop a pattern of hardness of heart as well as unbelief. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the tremendous truth that is found in the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and even Deuteronomy for within these books we find a steady pattern of rebellion and disobedience within the hearts of the children of Israel. In fact it would be when speaking unto Moses after their murmuring and grumbling in response to the report of the spies the LORD referenced ten different times they had tempted Him and provoke Him to anger. Pause for a moment and consider how it was in their freedom, it was in their deliverance, it was in their journey in the wilderness AFTER they had been delivered from Egypt and after they had passed through the waters of the Red Sea they would begin walking in rebellion and disobedience before and in the sight of the living God. With this in mind consider if you will the following words which are found in the third chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews found in the New Testament:

 

            “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not know my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; while it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:1-19).

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close it is absolutely necessary we recognize and pay close attention to the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it the apostle Paul speaks of the fornication, the lust, the idolatry and the murmuring of the children of Israel in the wilderness. It would be there in the wilderness where the children of Israel would not only tempt Christ but would also themselves give in to their own temptations—temptations which were fueled by the lusts which were present within their hearts. We have a great need to pay close attention to the words in this first epistle for at the very heart of them is the powerful narrative that what was written concerning the children of Israel was written for our example that we might be aware of the wickedness, the iniquity, the transgression, the idolatry and sin that is present within our hearts. Not only this but we find the apostle Paul issuing a sober warning unto the Corinthians and one which should be at the forefront of each and every one of us who name the name of Jesus Christ in this generation—namely that he who stands ought to take heed lest he fall. What’s more is we must also be aware that there has no temptation taken us but such as is common to [all] man and that God is faithful who will not suffer us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear. Moreover the living God will with the temptation make a way to escape it that we might be able to bear it—much like Joseph was able to escape the temptation and advance of Potiphar’s wife. With this in mind we must needs recognize the apostle Paul would go on to advise and instruct those to whom he was writing that they flee from idolatry that they might not be ensnared in the trap which idolatry places within the heart and soul of a man. Oh that we would recognize the words found in this passage of Scripture and would come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the reality of temptation, the need to be aware of temptation in our lives, the way of escape from temptation and the warning against pride and arrogance lest we allow ourselves to fall victim to temptation and commit sin and iniquity in the sight and presence of the living God.

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