Shadows Rising #3
May 2, 2021
Rising from the Nile River Valley are well over 100 wonders of the Ancient World, some of which date to over 4500 years old, that the clay baking sun has preserved for us in the desert sands of Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians knew them as tombs for Pharoah’s like Tutankhamun, Thutmose, Amenhotep, and Ramses. You know them as the Ancient Pyramids of Egypt. On November 26, 1922, Egyptologists used their spades and shovels to unearth the entrance to King Tut’s tomb. Inside they not only discovered Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus, they also found jewelry, gold, a chariot, weapons and clothing perfectly preserved beneath the sands.
But perhaps the greatest finds that day is one that received little fanfare. Inside Tut’s tomb, archaeologists unearthed kernels of wheat that had lied dormant for over 3300 years. But when these same archaeologists decided to plant them, one of them produced 15 stalks from a single seed.
So You Want to Go Back to Egypt?
Over the last two weeks, we’ve learned from the Scriptures about the seeds of Babylon that no longer lie dormant. Babylon in the Bible denotes confusion. It’s the problem with all mankind in the world right now. Today, I want to talk to you about the problems unique to the people of God in the world right now. We can sum them up in one word: Egypt. The word “Egypt” occurs over 700 times in the Old Testament; over 25 times in the New Testament. But here’s what’s interesting: in all but a few of those references, Egypt denotes spiritual issues plaguing the people of God. Those issues are summarized for us in Psalm 106:7-13
7When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. 8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known. 9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led them through the depths as through a desert. 10 He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them. 11 The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them survived. 12 Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. 13 But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
Lessons from Egypt
(1) Where you turn for refuge in one season is where you’ll find bondage in another (7).
What Egypt Had that Israel Didn’t:
The Nile River as a fresh water source for drinking and irrigation. When it flooded during a rainy season, the waters of the Nile provided silt for the land, thereby making it fertile for crops.
So Egypt Was A Place of Refuge:
(1) Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt during a famine;
(2) Similarly, Jacob sent his sons to get food from Egypt during a famine;
(3) Jeroboam fled to Egypt when Solomon wanted him dead;
(4) Joseph, Mary, and Jesus sought refuge in Egypt when Herod wanted Jesus dead.
That Became A Place of Bondage:
At the end of the Book of Genesis, Joseph ends up with a high position in the Egyptian Government after his brothers tried to get rid of him. While there, over a period of 430 years, Israel swelled in numbers.
The Lesson for Us:
Right now, you either living in the land of refuge or the land of bondage. Bondage happens when “where” you are becomes more important than “who” you are. Refuge happens when “who” you are becomes more valuable than “where” you are.
(2) We don’t realize that all types of bondages have the same solution (8)
Sometimes your life choices put you in bondage:
(1) Abraham chose to lie and pass his wife off as his sister to Pharoah;
(2) Then that exact same pattern repeated itself with Abimelech;
(3) Aaron chose to erect a Golden Calf (an Egyptian “g”od) while Moses was on a mountain for 40 days;
(4) Jeroboam chose to do the exact same thing.
Sometimes they don’t:
(1) Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt;
(2) Joseph’s descendants had no choice but to work as slaves for Pharoah.
But they both have the same solution:
(1) Only a deliverer can deliver;
(2) In the Old Testament, that Deliverer was Moses.
(3) In the New Testament, that Deliverer is Jesus.
The Lesson for Us:
There are some life circumstances only God is big enough to solve.
(3) Former things are not easy to discard, even after God’s miraculous intervention (12-13; Num. 14:4)
What Israel Witnessed:
(1) The salvation of God with mighty hands and an outstretched arm God parted the Red Sea;
(2) As a result, Miriam and Moses sang “I will sing to the Lord for He is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The Lord is my strength. He has become my salvation (Ex 15:1-2)
But on The Journey Between Egypt and the Promised Land, They Grumble:
And they said to one another “let us choose a new leader and go back to Egypt?” (Num 14:4)
Why We Choose to Return to Egypt:
(1) Don’t like that God requires faith between the land of the Past and the Land of Promise;
(2) We like what’s familiar instead;
(3) Liking what’s familiar will cause you to ignore what that which was familiar lacked;
(4) Thus the reason God led them out of Egypt.
The Lesson for Us
The journey were on between the land of the past and the land of the promise will reveal what we are really made of spiritually.
(4) We often forget what’s required to benefit from God’s care and power (9-10)
It was honesty the Pharoah wanted (Gen 12:18)
Walking straight back into the place that produced the most pain (Ex 3:10)
For the Children of Israel:
Blood on the doorpost (Ex 12:13)
For all of them:
Lesson for Us:
Obedience is required to benefit from God’s care and power. And there is a direct link between obedience and your understanding of what God’s care and power are really all about.