Exodus: Going With God #1 A New King - Exodus 1
The title Exodus is a transliteration of the Septuagint title Exodos, which of course means “departure” or “going out.” It is interesting, though, that the Hebrew name for the book is simply the first phrase, “These Are the Names.”
Exodus takes up the story of the Israelites where Genesis leaves off. The almost 400 years after Joseph is coming to an end and God is preparing to bring His people out and take them to the promised land. Much has to happen before that great work can begin, Moses their great leader must be broken and remolded by God. The Children of Israel, now numbering perhaps over a million people, must be broken and remolded as well that they might become not just the children of Israel but the Nation of God.
E. E. Flack says, “Exodus is undoubtedly the most significant book dealing with the birth of a nation that has ever been compiled” (“Interpretation of Exodus,” Interpretation, Jan., 1949). “All subsequent Hebrew history or philosophy of history as reflected in the prophets looked back to the Exodus as the creative act of God which constituted the Hebrews a nation” (Alleman and Flack, Old Testament Commentary, p. 207). - Charles F. Pfeiffer, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: Old Testament, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), Ge 50:22.
For us it is a historical narrative that we need to know but it is also a picture of God dealing with His people in all generations and ages. The Hebrews of the Exodus had to choose every day to go with God and the Church of the Lord in this age must make that same choice.
So lets go to Exodus 1:1 and read of …
A New King - Exodus 1:1-8
Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt; each man and his household came with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already). And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
The New King Hates God’s People
Historians tell us that that time that is being recorded here in the book of Exodus, a new dynasty had arisen in Egypt.
The upper and lower kingdoms of Egypt, which had been at war, were now joined under one Pharaoh. The old Pharaoh’s kingdom, the old dynasty, that had allowed Jacob and his children to enter Egypt and live in peace, was overthrown and the new kings of lower Egypt now ruled.
Ready for some ancient Egyptian history? I know you are! It seems that “The Hyskos invaders controlled Egypt from about 1720 B.C. until 1570. They were driven from the land by Amosis I, the founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty. After the expulsion of the hated foreign kings, the enmity of the Egyptians was turned against all who had been associated with them, particularly the Hebrews, who were related to the Hyksos both by race and by position. (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
The Hebrews came under an oppressive authority which hated them because they represented the old ruler who they saw as an occupying force.
The King of This World Hates God people.
As I was thinking about this I realized that there is a parallel, an application that can be made between the Hebrews in Egypt and Christians in our country today. For we in this country also have in the last few decades come under a new authority, a new king so to speak. A new king that hates everything and everyone associated with the old authority.
You see, we were once a country that viewed and believed itself “a nation under God.” Yes, it’s still in our pledge of allegiance, but not much of anywhere else. Some today would even deny that our nation was ever a “Christian” nation, but the proof of that truth is found everywhere in our history.
Let me take a moment to define what I mean and what I think is historically true about being a Christian nation. I don’t mean that we were a theocracy. The Anglican / Presbyterian / Puritans tried to establish their colonies and towns that way and it was a disaster. America was never a theocracy governed directly by the Old Testament Laws as given to the Israelites. No modern nation should ever try and be what only Israel was meant to be and even they failed to be.
But America was a nation that based its laws, culture and institutions on the foundation of what the Bible taught. We were a nation heavily, if not exclusively, influenced and shaped by belief in and submission to the God of the Bible.
There is undeniable historical proof of this truth.
Our Declaration of Independence was a declaration of our belief in on God.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Our Constitution was a foundation for a nation founded on God’s Word.
At least 50 out of the 55 men who framed the Constitution of the United States were professing Christians. (M.E. Bradford, 1982).
Benjamin Franklin, at the Constitutional Convention gave this plea when they had reached an impasse and could not go forward.
“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: "that God governs in the affairs of man." And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in the political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little, partial local interests; our projects will be confounded; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war or conquest. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”
The Convention was dismissed and a declaration made for all citizens to pray and fast seeking God’s intervention. And after that recess of prayer and fasting The United States of America arose.
There is much, much more, but we will save it for another time. But even from this small sampling we see that our nation had a foundation on the Word of God, in the prayers to God and the morality taught by God. What the Founding Fathers believed then and what even what our parents and grandparents believed just a few years ago is what promised in ….
Ps 33:12-18 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
But that belief is no longer the case in the United States. Today a new dynasty is in power. A new king has invaded the land and he despises all that the old authority stood for.
Since the 1960s our nation has been turned morally upside down and spiritually inside out.
Prayer has been purged from public schools. The Ten Commandments has been ripped from the walls of schools and state capitals. Even the sidewalks outside any government building are a forbidden zone for any reminders of God in this nation. The Bible is almost universally forbidden to be read in any city, state or federal government building. Crosses, that symbolize the sacrifice of our Savior for our salvation, have been torn down and removed from parks, government buildings and even official seals or flags.
Homosexual marriage is not only legal it is encouraged and praised. Drug use has been legalized from border to border. Innocent children are being mentally, emotionally and spiritually scared by sexual perversion promoted by the entertainment industry, the media, libraries, and our government. We are told by “doctors, scientists and psychologists” that even biological genders which come from the Creator, no longer exist. There is no such thing as a man or a woman. Choose whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do because if there is no God then there is no right or wrong, no truth or lie, no black and no white.
You can’t help but remember the words of God through Isaiah in …
Isaiah’s Woe Upon Wickedness
Isaiah 5:20-23 20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
Never have those words of God been truer than they are in our nation than today. Let’s go back to Exodus and see if there other application and warnings we can find as God’s people in the land of a Godless king, then and now.
A New Affliction - Exodus 1:9-11
And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land." Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.
The New King’s Slavery
After 400 years, living in peace in the region of Egypt called Goshen, the new Pharaoh of Egypt rises to power, a Pharoah who did not know Joseph, he is afraid that the Hebrews would unite with the enemy he had just driven from the land or any other invader and rebel against him. He says, Exodus 1:10 “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.”
His idea of dealing with them wisely is in the next verse, Exodus 1:11Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.
The children of Israel, the Hebrews, had been in the land for almost 400 years at this stage of the narrative. God had prophesied to Abraham in Genesis 15:13-14 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
Exodus 12:40 confirms this number. “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.”
It is amazing that after 400 years, the Israelites had not been assimilated into the culture and intermarried with the Egyptians. Even more amazing after 4000 years, the Jews still stand as unique in their culture, beliefs and identity as the Covenant People of God. It is one of the strongest proofs of God’s existence and the truth of His Word. Israel still exists as a people and as a nation. They should not, hundreds if not thousands of other ancient peoples no longer exist, but God’s chosen nation is still here.
Throughout history Satan has tried to destroy them, using religious and world leaders but still they stand. Hitler rounded up millions, confined them to ghettos, stole their possession, transported them to concentration camps and shot or gassed 6 to 7 million Jews and yet, the people of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob still stand. The nation of God still stands because the promises of God still stand.
And aren’t you glad because we, the New Covenant people of the Lord, stand on the promises given to us through God’s own Son, Jesus Christ.
The New Slavery
Today we can see that the goal of many who serve the King of this World is to make us all slaves. Almost every day I read stories of those who would take away our freedom of religion, freed of speech and the freedom to assemble from the church and our nation.
City after city has passed laws which prohibit churches from starting anywhere in a city except where the city allows. Some even going so far as to prohibit Bible studies and prayer meetings in private homes.
The Supreme Court had to settle the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Jack Phillips a Colorado baker, refused to design a custom cake for a gay couple's wedding in 2012. Phillips, a Christian, told the couple that while he was happy to sell them other baked goods, he could not bake them a wedding cake because doing so would be tantamount to participating in a religious ceremony to which he objected. The couple complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and later sued Phillips. The commission and state courts found that Phillips had violated Colorado's anti-discrimination laws. Colorado is one of 22 states that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Jack Phillip won that case but the state of Colorado has brought two other case against him since that time and he is under indictment even as we mee here this morning.
In Oregon another bakery has been fined $135,000 for doing the same and 70-year-old Barronelle Stutzman, a florist in Washington has been fined and is now liable for the court costs of her own trial that could amount to over $350,000. Both Christian companies will be driven out of business if the fines stand.
And there is an even more dangerous threat to Christians today a threat that truly could and is making us slaves.
Not slaves in the OT sense or even in the Civil war sense but slaves, nevertheless. Slaves are individuals who are not free to make their own choice in the most important matters of their life. In that sense the “new rulers” have been very successful in making new slaves. Willing and supposedly happy slaves. People today are emotional and spiritual slaves to the King of This World. They are slaves to the world’s fads and fashions, slaves to the worlds ideal of popularity, slaves to the world’s idea of love, sex or marriage. Slaves to the world’s philosophy and eventually slaves to the world’s emptiness and hopelessness. Slaves who willing take up the chains offered by this world and gladly shackled themselves to the stocks of sin and sorrow.
Paul warns of this danger in Romans 12:2 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Harriet Tubman on Slavery
Harriet Tubman was the most famous conductor of the “Underground Railroad” she freed 100s of slaves by herself and during the civil war she led a raid as a scout for the Union Army that freed over 750 people at one time. She hated slavery and what it did to her and her people She said, “Slavery is the next thing to hell.”
What Harriet Tubman said about physical slavery is also true of spiritual slavery. We may not as easily recognize it, but it is just as deadly and debilitating to a soul as chains are to a body.
In her later years she was recognized as one the great heroes of our nation and books were written about her and newspapers interviewed her. In one of those places looking back on her life she said, “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
If only we knew that the sin of this world makes us slaves, we would cry out to the Lord as the Hebrews did, and as Harriet Tubman did. Crying out for the freedom that only comes from turning to the Lord Jesus and following Him.
Let’s go back to Exodus 1 and see what happened to the Children of Israel as Pharoah tried to control them, make them slaves and destroy them.
A New Strength - Exodus 1:12-14
But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage--in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.
Prospering Under Affliction
No matter how hard the whips of the Egyptian taskmasters fell on the backs of the Children of Israel, the Bible says God’s people flourished. Do you know why? Because, in spite of it all, they were, and they still are God’s people. Despite their imperfection and flaws they were still the people of the covenant. Despite their apathy they were still protected by the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Despite their sin, they were still the people of God that will rule the earth with their Messiah as prophesied in the Covenant of David. They are God’s people, and He will not forget nor forsake them.
Isaiah 49:14-16 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. (The Lord answers) 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…
Isaiah 54:8-10 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. 10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
Suffering, slavery, and even sin cannot undo God’s love for His own. Those things cannot make God forget His covenants with Israel, nor His promises to those He has called to be his own. He is the eternal God and His promises are eternal promises.
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
1 Samuel 15:29 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.
Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Protection In Affliction
Israel has endured untold, endless and merciless persecution and yet Israel still stands, and we rejoice with them because the same God who protected Israel in Egypt, is the same God who is protecting the true church today. God’s covenant with the Abraham, will never be broken and God’s new covenant will never be broken.
Just as Israel in Egypt continued to flourish even under the burdens and lashes of the taskmasters, the Lord churches today grow and strengthen even as the persecution of the Satan and his minions increases.
Christian Persecution Today
It is easy for us in the United States to miss the fact that the greatest persecution in the world today is poured out on Christians, while Jews are the second most persecuted.
In 2019 According to Open Doors USA, an average of 105 churches are burned or attacked every month. That is more than three per day, and almost all of those attacks get ignored by the mainstream media in the western world. In addition, an average of 345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons every single month.
And even though the persecution of Christians is more widespread outside the United States, we are no immune. Here is a short list of the church shootings that have occurred since 1999 in our nation.
Over 23 church shootings since 1999
1999 Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas
2001 Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
2002 Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Lynbrook, New York
2003 Turner Monumental AME Church in Kirkwood, Georgia
2005 Living Church of God in Brookfield, Wisconsin
2005 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
2006 Zion Hope Missionary Baptist in Detroit, Michigan
2006 Ministry of Jesus Christ Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2007 First Presbyterian Church in Moscow, Idaho
2007 First Congregational Church in Neosho, Missouri
2007 New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado
2008 First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois
2009 Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas
2012 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
2015 Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
2017 Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee
2017 First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
2017 St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno, Texas
2019 West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas
2022 The Church In Sacramento in Sacramento, California
2022 Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California
2022 Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa
2022 St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Churches Burned - When churches are not killing fields they are often targets of hatred in the form of arson. Back in 2015 It was estimated that half of all church fires were arson. Some deranged Satan inspired soul, hated the Lord’s church so much that they could not even stand to see the building.
During the 2020 Black Lives Matter and Antifa Anarchist riots churches were burned and vandalized in cities all across the nation. It made little news in the midst of all the other destruction, but understand the radical Marxist leaders of BLM and Antifa hate Christianity as much as they hate the police.
Shaun King on the most influential leaders of the BLM movement made this statement on social media for all the world to read, “Yes. All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down. They are a gross form of white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down.” And come down they did during the riots.
East Texas Church Burnings - And lest we think those things only can happen in big cities or outside the Bible Belt, do you remember 2010 right here in East Texas? Here is the list of churches burned by just two individuals.
January 1 – Little Hope Baptist Church, Canton
January 1 – Faith Church, Athens
January 12 – Lake Athens Baptist Church
January 12 – Grace Community Church, Athens
January 16 – Tyland Baptist Church in Tyler
January 17 – First Church of Christ, Scientist in Tyler
January 20 – Prairie Creek Fellowship of Lindale
February 4 – Russell Memorial United Methodist Church in Wills Point
February 8 – Dover Baptist Church outside Lindale
February 8 – Clear Spring Missionary Baptist Church, on CR 426 near the Smith-Van Zandt county line
And in 2020, it was not arson or gunmen that shut down our churches it was our own Federal Government. At first this seemed reasonable, even wise but in many cities when the lockdown just dragged on and on, churches had enough and they began to meet again. When that happened, many pastors were threatened with arrest and many were arrested, some right in the church building others in the street after services or at their homes. Churches were padlocked and in one liberal city, the mayor ordered the city workers to fence in the church so that no-one could even get into the parking lot.
Just last year in 2022, 25-30 FBI agents arrested Christian pro-life activist Mark Houck after storming his home with holding automatic weapons, helmets and body armor. The rifles were pointed at the man and his wife in front of their young children. Mark Houck was arrested. His crime? Praying at an abortion clinic when a man accosted Marks 12 year old son and his dad had to intervene between the man and his son, the man was knocked down and filed charges, which the local police refused to act upon. Good thing the FBI decided to rectify that omission. He was acquitted in January of this year, if he had been convicted he faced 11 years in prison.
In England, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, the director of the U.K. March for Life, has been arrested twice since December of last year for daring to silently pray in front of an abortion center. She was acquitted both times but the second time told by the court not to come back.
What is the result of all this persecution?
Have the people of God, the church of Jesus Christ given up? Have they walked away? Have they decided that it’s just not worth it? You know the answer because you are living the answer right here this morning. Just as the Children of Israel could not be defeated by Pharoah’s taskmaster’s, the church of Jesus Christ will not be defeated by Satan’s taskmaster today. No matter how high in authority they sit in our school boards, cities, state, and federal legislatures or even in the White House.
The true church will not be conquered, cowed or coerced because we are the stand on the promises of our founder and protector, Jesus Christ. We know and stand on the promises He has made to us, the New Covenant people of God.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:18-19 …upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
We know just as surely as Paul knew and told Timothy in his epistle, 1 Timothy 3:15 “the house of God, …is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” It will not cease until the Lord calls us to Himself when He prepares to return in glory and power.
I want to close with the words of Jesus that our faith rest upon, now no matter that difficulties or persecution which may come, and word that our faith will rest upon for all eternity.
Three times in the Gospels it is recorder that Jesus said, Matthew 24:35 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Jesus everlasting words of truth brought us everlasting salvation. His eternal words of power give us full assurance of our eternal salvation. His unfailing words of protection give us unfailing hope knowing the church will always stand
One day all of the host of heaven will celebrate when the Lamb takes his bride arrayed in spotless white. What a day John told us of in Revelation 19:6-9 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
What a day that will be. What a joy we will experience as the church of Jesus Christ becomes the Bride of the Lamb.