Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20060517.htm
EXODUS: FUNCTIONING WELL IN A HOPELESS GROUP ASSIGNMENT
Part I: God's Deliverance Of Israel Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
T. God's Call For Separation From Sinful Fellowships To Enjoy His Powerful Help
(Exodus 12:38a with 43-51; 13:1-16 et al.)
Lesson: God gave circumcision to Israel to LEAD her to KEEP TRUSTING Him to give her the land of Canaan, so the INCLUSION of the UNCIRCUMCISED "mixed multitude" in Israel's fellowship called for the need for the "mixed multitude" THEMSELVES to be CIRCUMCISED to celebrate the Passover to HIGHLIGHT their NEED to APPRECIATE God's fulfillment of that covenant. Yet, this "mixed multitude" failed to appreciate God and His promises, they did not submit to circumcision, so they helped lead Israel into unbelief and disobedience to God and its resulting tragic loss of blessing.
- A key theme in Scripture is that disobeying God brings a loss of blessing where obedience brings blessing.
- Thus, we must shield ourselves from fellowship with people who influence us to distrust and disobey God, a lesson supplied for us in Exodus 12:38a with 12:43-53 and 13:1-16 et al (as follows):
- God's Call For Separation From Sinful Fellowships To Enjoy His Powerful Help.
- When Israel left Egyptian bondage, a "mixed multitude" of "other Semites" who were not circumcised also left Egypt with them, Exodus 12:38a; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Exodus 12:38.
- However, God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt was in fulfillment of the covenant He had made with Abraham to bring his seed into Canaan, a covenant signified by the rite of circumcision, Genesis 17:9-14!
- Accordingly, God "drew a line of fellowship" with the "mixed multitude" and its keeping the Passover: if they wished to commemorate God's keeping His covenant with Abraham in celebrating Israel's Passover , they also had to be circumcised as was Israel, Ex. 12:43-51. (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 130)
- Similarly, the Lord instituted the rite of the dedication of the firstborn male of man and animal that also recalled Israel's redemption by the Lord from Egyptian bondage, Exodus 13:1-16:
- Though the King James Version and English Standard Version mention only the "firstborn" in Exodus 13:2a, the New International Version translates the word as "firstborn male".
- Actually, the Hebrew term for "firstborn" in that verse is the masculine term, bechor, not the feminine term, bechurah that is used exclusively of women, cf. Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 98; B. D. B., Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 114.
- Also, in Exodus 13:12, this "firstborn" is explicitly described as being a "male," for the Hebrew word dzachar meaning "male" describes this "firstborn" in that verse, Ibid., Kittel; Ibid., B. D. B., p. 271.
- Thus, the firstborn male of every animal was to be sacrificed (with the substitution of an lamb for the firstborn unclean animal of a donkey, 13:13a) and the firstborn son of every man was to be redeemed by a price of money to the Lord, Exodus 13:1-2, 12-13, 15b; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Exodus 13:13.
- The significance of these rites was that THROUGH KEEPING them, Israel and the "mixed multitude" might recall that to KEEP enjoying GOD'S POWERFUL HELP, they were to KEEP TRUSTING and HEEDING GOD and HIS WORD! (Exodus 13:3, 7-8, 14-15)
- However, the "mixed multitude" resisted being circumcised, and evidence exists that this group influenced Israel to neglect trusting and heeding God, and a pattern of apostasy arose that led to a loss of blessing:
- Joshua 5:2-6 reveals that though the generation that left Egypt was circumcised, they did not apply the rite to their sons, so the next generation needed to be circumcised at Gilgal in the land of Canaan!
- Apparently, the "mixed multitude" did not submit to circumcision and thus to keeping the Passover with a respect for God's keeping His covenant to Abraham, so they became a bad influence upon Israel:
- In Numbers 11:4, the "mixed multitude" became a negative spiritual influence on the nation Israel regarding their sinfully complaining about their diet.
- Eventually, such repeat unbelief and disobedience to God led to His judging that generation of Israel and the "mixed multitude" to die in the wilderness without reaching Canaan, Numbers 14:22-23.
- This would explain why Israel ceased even circumcising the next generation as commanded by God!
Application: We must watch that we not let ourselves be influenced by the ungodly, 2 Cor. 6:14-18!