Old Testament Exodus Pilgrims of Promise

Pilgrims of Promise

As we continue to look at the glorious song found in Exodus 15, we are reminded of what we have looked at so far to begin with we noticed that the people who were redeemed saying praises to their God and savior the one who has redeemed them from slavery and rescued them from the hand of pharaoh. We noted that this song is done corporately as the people although individually addressing their Lord. We also saw the praise of the people to God even in his acts of judgment in his victory and justice. And last week we saw one of the loftiest descriptions of the majesty and excellency of God in the whole Scripture. That he is incomparable, he is holy, he is awesome, and he is doing wonders. We now come to the final section of this song from verses 12 to 18 again there is a lot to cover in this portion but would seek to be able to do it in parts to be able to help us understand each aspect of this song. We will see it in five parts God’s purchased people the guided flock the vanquished enemies the established sanctuary and the unrivaled rule.

Purchased People (vs 13a, 16b)

When it comes to our language, we often can understand the general broad concept of a word but no not particularly of that individual aspect of that word I think one of these words that is found in our bibles that we generally understand the concept of this word is the word redeemed. We know that redeem speaks of our salvation. We know that to be redeemed means that we are saved from our sin. But often these words have taken on this broad sense of the meaning rather than understanding the specific nature of it. What I mean by this is that to when we use the word redeemed in Old Testament language it has a lot more of a cultural concept that is connected to this. The concept of “kinsman redeemer” in the Old Testament, particularly illustrated in the Book of Ruth, is deeply rooted in the Israelite culture and legal framework. A kinsman redeemer, also known as a “go’el” in Hebrew, was a relative who had the responsibility to protect and provide for the family in times of need, particularly in cases of poverty, widowhood, or land redemption. The concept of a kinsman redeemer, exemplified in the Book of Ruth through Boaz’s actions, is deeply embedded in Israelite society. Boaz, as a close relative of Ruth’s deceased husband, fulfills his role by redeeming the family’s land, providing for Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi, and ultimately marrying Ruth. Through these actions, Boaz demonstrates the responsibility of a kinsman redeemer to protect and provide for family members in times of need. Moreover, the story of Ruth and Boaz serves as a poignant illustration of God’s providence and care for the vulnerable, foreshadowing the ultimate redemption brought by Jesus Christ.

This is the exact word that is used in Exodus chapter 15 as the people sing that they have been redeemed by God. Now this will be very important when we think about what is to come, as the connection to marriage is helpful, that here when God commands them that they shall have no other gods before him (Ex 20:3). They are called to serve God alone as a husband is to be faithful to his wife and visa versa, so we see that God is to be faithful to his people and his people faithful to him. But also this is helpful when we think about the role of the Kinsman redeemer as the one who provides for his new wife. He is to provide everything for her so that she is not in need. To manage their land until their son is able to look after it for her. So to God will provide for his people.

But we also see that he has purchased his people in verse 16. As 1 Peter 2:9 puts it “purchased for his own possession.” Specifically when we think of this terminology have been purchased by God in the New Testament we have two clear examples of what this looks like in first Corinthians Paul explains that we have been purchased by Christ so therefore we are to honor God with our bodies( 1 Cor 6:20). it shows again what first Peter reiterates that we are called to be holy because our God is holy. Secondly, and I think more important aspect is the method of which God has purchased his people mainly through the blood this concept is hard to see in the book of exodus but what saves and redeems his people is the payment of the blood of the Passover lamb as again first Corinthians points out that Christ is our Passover lamb. But more specifically it is made clear in the New Testament as we see throughout many passages (Acts 20:28, Eph 1:7, Rev 5:9). That this purchasing comes through the blood of Jesus Christ specifically that he has paid the price of sin for us and atone for our sin so that we might be is. This should give the believer comfort in life and death as the first question to the Heidelberg catechism states,  “That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ, who has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.”

Guided flock (vs 13b)

The second aspect that we’ll look at today is that God guides his people like a shepherd guides his sheep. We looked at this concept in detail when we were looking at Psalm 23. But it is worth being repeated that here the relationship between god and his people is that of a shepherd and the sheep. That here we see that he leads in verse 13 and he guides his people. Again what a brilliant thing for us to be able to dwell on as redeemed and saved people is not merely that God saves us from our sins and merely just leaves us to our own devices. But following salvation he also leads and guides us that we might make it to our final destination. The God cares about us watching over us as we go through many difficult times and troubles. Now this does not mean it is clear sailing. What it means is that we are always on the right path as we follow our shepherd. The shepherd in Psalm 23 does walk through the valley of the shadow of death. There was a time when the sheep in Psalm 23 have a table set before them with thee in the presence of their enemies. So too just because God leads and guides the people does not mean that they will not have any uphill battles or conflicts. They will actually face many many that stem from sin from internal conflict within the camp. But also external conflict that surrounds them such as kings coming up and fighting against them again the the life of the believer is no guarantee that there are no problems or troubles or woes. However the promise is that God will always be with them. The promise is that god will lead and guide them to be able to walk in the path that he has set before them.

Vanquished enemies (vs 14-16a)

The third aspect that we see here in this song is the global anticipation of how other nations will respond to God and his people. That because of what God has done other nations will tremble they will be dismayed they will melt away that terror and dread will fall upon them all because of who God is. That they will hear of this great story of redemption and sing praises to God or they will face his judgment. Like Egypt did. Now again this is interesting as we think about what is to come that actually it’s the exact opposite as the people of God walk into the promised land as they send the 12 spies to be able to scope out the land which is promised Abraham Isaac and Jacob and instead of the other nations been seized with the pangs as they tremble and they’re dismayed as they melt away this is what happens to the people of God they’re more worried about those who look like giants as they appear to be like grasshoppers they do not think of this song in which they sang and which the response of other nations was to fear God and they feared other nations. But also interestingly as we think about further down in Joshua chapter 2 where we meet rahab and she hears of this great and glorious conquest of what God has done and she is intrigued to learn about the Lord most high. As Rahab specifically says, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath” (Joshua 2:9–11).

Now we need to understand something when we think about how we are then to go forth into all nations to be able to proclaim God’s greatness and glory. We go forth to be able to evangelize to be able to speak the good news found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We often think that evangelism is a salesmen’s term though we go forth and we’ve got to try and convince people that they need God. However, that’s not what evangelism is the rather new testament what the people of god are called as they go forth and proclaim this good news is witnesses. They go forth and proclaim what god has done. That boldness that comes from evangelism is not trying to twist and distort and try and seek a way to be able to convince a person to become a Christian that evangelism is merely stating the facts of how powerful and almighty God is specifically as we think about his might and his power to be able to redeem and save sinners. That we are always should be ready to be able to give a reason for the hope in which we have. Those who are true truly regenerated by the spirit will be changed not through the words in which we speak specifically but more importantly the spirits work within their hearts opening their ears to be able to hear the gospel of the good news that faith comes through hearing.

Established sanctuary (vs 17)

Fourthly we see that God has purchased his people he has guided them as the flock he has vanquished all their enemies that he might eventually establish the sanctuary for him to be able to dwell with his people. That one of the vital points and truths of the life of the believers not again that there are merely just saved from their sins. But they are saved from their sin so that God might dwell with them and they might dwell with God. That the movement of the book of exodus does not end at this moment when Pharaohs army has been defeated. The movement of exodus ends when God comes down to be able to dwell in the Tabernacle that is built by the saved and redeemed people. The God seeks to be able to make a way for his people to dwell with him. And not just temporarily as we see in verse 17 that God is going to bring them as he leads and guides them as his flock and be able to plant them on his own mountain like a tree to be able to stand the test of time. And we see this clearly in in the believers walk that we are not merely just saved from our sins but we are saved from our sins to be able to head towards the destination in which we will go dwell with God forever. As Jesus tells his disciples in John chapter 14 That when he comes again he will take his people to himself that where Christ is they would be also. That is in the end of the Book of Revelation as the apostle John sees this great and glorious vision of what John Bunyan calls the celestial city and in Revelation 21:3 the loud voice from the throne says “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more for the former things have passed away.” So we see this truth in our lives even today. The god has saved us from our sins that we might serve him in the places you he has placed us guiding and leading us all the way home which is to dwell with him for all eternity.

Unrivaled Rule (vs 18)

And finally we see in verse 18 that the Lord will reign forever that he would have an unrivaled rule. That even at this point in history the people of God can be able to see that no one can conquer God. The God will sit and throne and above all kings and nations forever and ever. They sing of the Kingdom that is going to last for all eternity. Taking us back to what we looked at last week that who is like you O LORD. That there is no one like the God in which has saved his people. That God is almighty, we see this a common aspect of the Psalms that God will reign forever, (Ps 10;16, 29:10: 45:10: 146:10). But we also see specifically who this speaks of again in the book of Revelation, “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev 11:15). That this rule and reign belongs to one whose name is printed on his blood covered robe of King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev 19:1, 16). As the great Hymn “Crown him with many Crowns” says so eloquently,

“Crown him with many crowns,

the Lamb upon his throne.

Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns

all music but its own.

Awake, my soul, and sing

of him who died for thee,

and hail him as thy matchless king

through all eternity.”

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