The Ecclesia in Egypt.
The Ecclesia in Egypt.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Firstly, what was the spiritual condition of Israel during their time in Egypt — Did they remain faithful?
The Prophet Ezekiel gives us the answer!
Eze 20:6 In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
Eze 20:7 Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
They had become defiled with the idols of Egypt, — & yet God remained faithful to his promise.
They never renounced the idols of Egypt, even in the wilderness they made the “molten calf”
The prophet Ezekiel again speaks of their idolatry which came from Egypt & never left them.
Eze 23:3, 8, 21, 19 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.
In her “youth” in Egypt she had played the “harlot” — the whoredoms of Egypt overcame Godâs chosen people.
How careful we need to be, to ensure the “Egyptian world” in which we live doesn’t overcome us.
So many attractions that can divert us, covetousness is idolatry, which of us can say we are not affected by the materialism of the world?
With that background thought, letâs consider the true ecclesia in Egypt, those whose faith never wavered, but who watched the signs of the times, as they saw by faith the time had come for Yahweh to redeem his people.
So we have many parallels with today as we see by faith the signs of our Lords return.
This faithful remnant were the true ecclesia in Egypt, they had an air of expectation because they knew the time had come for God to deliver his people, from the house of bondage & to restore them to the land of promise.
TheÂ Abrahamic covenant was the foundation of their hope.
Gen 15:13 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;
Abrahams seed was to be a stranger in a land that was not theirs, and they would serve them & they would be afflicted.
Gen 15:16Â But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again:
And so now — after the death of Joseph there was a New King & a new policy towards the children of Israel — they were afflicted & they were made to serve with rigour,
Exo 1:11-13 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.
The word for “burdens” is only ever used to describe the “burdens”Â that the Egyptianâs put on Israel — It has the sense of “a heavy load” — “forced labour” & “compulsory service”
It occurs just six times & only in Exodus — not only does it speak of their physical burden — but in a typical sense it speaks of the burden that the Egyptian world puts upon God’s people,
In the world, we serve with rigour — King Sin is our taskmaster. — but just as God provided a deliverer in Moses — so we have been delivered by the greater prophet like unto Moses, even The Lord Jesus Christ.
So the faithful would see in the conditions under which they served, with rigour & hard bondage, the signs that God was about to deliver his people
The prophecy given to Abraham was being fulfilled as they suffered & served in Egypt.
But an earlier prophecy given to Abraham had also been fulfilled —- The nation had multiplied in Egypt.
Notice there are four words used to emphasize the increase in the nation:-
Exo 1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty, and the land was filled with them.
The increase of the nation was the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham in
Gen 12:2Â And I will make of thee a great nation,
Even as they suffered in Egypt God was watching over them to fulfill his promise.
Steven says in Acts “the time of the promise” was drawing nigh.
Act 7:17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
The nation in Egypt cried unto God he heard them & remembered his covenant.
Exo 2:23-24 And it came to pass in 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.
The word for “cried” is the same word used in Judges when Israel were suffering under their oppressors & they “cried” unto God for deliverance. — “& Yahweh heard them & raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel. [ Judg 3:9 Othniel, Judges 3:15 Ehud, Judges 6:8 Gideon,]
So the time had come when Israel cried by reason of their bondage — & Moses was ready — after 80 years of preparation, 40 in Egypt, 40 in the wilderness, now he was ready — Yahweh’s had prepared him to deliver his people from the iron furnace of Egypt.
Abraham had been promised “in a 4th generation” they would come hither again.
Moses was of the 4th generation that dwelt in Egypt, the time of deliverance had come.
In Exo 1:2 We are told that the first generation that entered Egypt included Levi.
Exo 6:16-26 we have the genealogy of Moses recorded to show he was the 4th generation.
Exo 6:16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath,
Levi was the 1st generation & Kohath the 2nd.
The third generation is in
Exo 6:18 And the sons of Kohath; Amram,
So Amram, Moses father was the 3rd generation, & Moses was the 4th.
Exo 16:20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife, and she bare him Aaron and Moses:
God was preparing his people so that when the time came, in the lifetime of the fourth generation they were ready & willing to leave Egypt.
Stephen speech in Acts links the birth of Moses to the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham.
Act 7:17 Time of the promise drew nigh which God had sworn to Abraham,
Acts 7:20 In which time Moses was born.
The faithful of the 4th generation were looking for a deliverer to release them from the bondage of Egypt & bring them back to the land of Canaan. — as God had promised to Abraham.
The conditions under which they now lived, — the circumstances of their lives were to prepare his people to be willing to depart from Egypt:-
Whilst Joseph was alive, he was next unto Pharaoh & the nation enjoyed prosperity & was at rest, — in those benign conditions, why would they want to leave their comfortable life in Egypt?
But now there was a New King & a New policy towards Israel — the old conflict of Gen 3 was renewed,
The warfare between “The serpent’s seed” & the “seed of the woman” was now the everyday reality of life in Israel, — they were in the iron furnace, under hard bondage, to the serpent power of Sin, — Pharaoh was the manifestation of the power of King Sin, he afflicted them, — the continuing conflict of Genesis was being outworked in Egypt.
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The enmity of Pharaoh the serpents seed & the people of God — “The seed of the woman”
The seed of Israel were being afflicted & bruised in the heel — But Pharaoh & all his hosts were to be bruised in the head & die.
The Song of Moses expresses Yahweh’s victory over the power of Sin represented by Pharaoh & all his host.
Exo 15:1-6 Â Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.
5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
A song of victory that was also prophetic of the future —- a song to be sung with immortal voices when it is called “The song of Moses the servant of God & the song of the lamb”
A song celebrating the great victory of Christ, the greater than Moses, who has delivered his people from the iron furnace of Sin & death.
Rev 15:1-3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
So Pharaoh set about to destroy the male seed of Israel, — the people had multiplied, they were more & mightier than the Egyptians, they had become a threat to Pharaohâs power.
If we turn to history,
Josephus in his second book CH 9, sect 2. records that Pharaoh was informed of the birth of a child in Israel that would be the downfall of Egypt:-
“One of those sacred scribes,Â who are very sagacious in foretelling future events truly, told the king, that about this time there would a child be born to the Israelites, who, if he were reared, would bring the Egyptian dominion low, and would raise the Israelites; that he would excel all men in virtue, and obtain a glory that would be remembered through all ages. Which thing was so feared by the king, that, according to this man’s opinion, he commanded that they should cast every male child, which was born to the Israelites, into the river, and destroy it;
History is written after the events have occurred & is open to embellishment — But prophecy is written before & cannot be changed — so while historical records can give us some background to the times, we can only rely upon the testimony of the bible,
From the scriptural record, we can say for certain, that the ecclesia in Egypt were expecting a deliverer to lead them back to Canaan, it’s therefore very likely that the Egyptians would be aware of their hope.
Exo 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.
So Pharaoh ultimate concern was that Israel ” would “get them up out of the land” — the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham — in a 4th generation you will come hither again.
Pharaoh saw the increase of Israel & implemented policies to weaken & destroy them.
He appointed taskmaster [ princes of Tribute] over them & they were made to serve with rigour building “treasure cities” — “bigger barns” for Pharaoh to bestow his goods.