As Exodus 13 begins, the Lord commanded that the firstborn of the womb of man and beast to be consecrated to Him. This command is really given as bookends in Exodus 13:1-2 and Exodus 13:11-16. These bookends point toward the Lord’s command to remember and celebrate the day the Israelites came out of Egypt. According to 1 Corinthians 5:8, we are to celebrate “not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Because Jesus was our Passover Lamb, we can all be redeemed and consecrated to the Lord as we trust in the atonement of Christ our Savior. We are expected to live a life of dedication to the Father just as Jesus did. We are also to be a kingdom of priests with Jesus as our High Priest from the line of Melchizedek.
In celebrating the feast, the Israelites were to remember that the Lord killed the firstborn men and beasts of Egypt but He redeemed the Israelites and forced Pharaoh to expel them from Egypt. When the Israelites left, they were armed for battle but God did not want His people to face war at that time because they might have returned to Egypt. To avoid that, God led them around the desert road toward the Sea of Suf (or Sea of Reeds) which is often translated “Red Sea.” This was most likely a more northerly route compared to the road through the Philistine country and opposed to the southern route that is traditionally suggested by many. The Bible tells us that the Lord went ahead of them guiding them in a pillar of cloud during the day and in a pillar of fire by night.
The Israelites camped at Pi Hahiroth by the sea opposite of Baal Zephon according to God’s command. It seems God wanted to draw the Egyptians out in order to destroy them. Upon seeing the Egyptians, the Israelites were very afraid but Moses assured them that the Lord would fight for them.
The Lord commanded Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites could go through the sea on dry ground because the Lord intended to gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army and through his chariots and his horsemen. This would cause the Egyptians to know that He is the Lord. It was at that time that the Angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them to position Himself between the armies of Egypt and Israel. In other words, He became their rearguard.
I’m sure the Israelites were amazed as they walked across the sea on dry ground while a wall of water was on their right and left sides. Can you imagine the wonder of it all? After everything God had done in Egypt, the Egyptians failed to fear the power of the Lord. Certainly, they realized God was performing a miracle by separating the sea and creating walls of water on the right and left side. Do you ever wonder if they considered for a moment that those walls of water might fall as they began pursuing the Israelites into the sea?
Eventually, the Lord caused the Egyptians to panic by causing their chariot wheels to come off. The Lord commanded Moses to put his hand out over the water again so the water returned and came crashing down on the Egyptians and their chariots like a flood. The Israelites later saw their dead bodies lying on the shore and sang a song of praise to the Lord. This song is in contrast to the son of the Lamb that will be sung in the future (Revelation 15).
The Exodus of Egypt shares parallels with the vision John recorded in Revelation 12:1-9. The woman about to give birth in this passage is Israel. She was clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. These labor pains are comparable to the pain caused by the plagues of Egypt that took place prior to the 12 tribes of Israel being expelled from Egypt. These will also be analogous to the coming seals and trumpets of Revelation.
As Revelation 12:3-4 continues, Pharaoh and his armies show similarities with the red dragon who swept a third of the stars out of the sky. These represent Satan and his demonic host who have always desired to destroy the 12 tribes of Israel. As we already know, Satan tried to destroy Jesus within two years after His birth. Since that strategy failed, Satan must have been delighted when Jesus died on the cross but was furious when He rose from the dead. Satan knows Jesus is destined to rule all the nations with an iron scepter. Satan doesn’t want that to happen so he must prevent it somehow. To accomplish this, he needs another scheme.
Revelation 12:14-17 provides us with his next game plan: “But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 12:6 and 14 is prophetic of the woman (Israel) who will flee into the desert at some time in the future to a place prepared for her by God so she can be taken care of for 1,260 days (42 months OR a time and times and half of a time of tribulation). This is the final time period prior to Jesus’ return. This prophecy should remind us of how the Israelites fled into the desert after their Exodus from Egypt where they would spend the next 40 years being cared for by the Lord. It is also comparable to how the Jews fled Jerusalem just prior to the destruction of temple in 70 C.E.
Revelation 12:15-17 specifies Satan’s future strategy will be a flood which will spew from the mouth of the serpent to destroy Israel. I don’t know exactly how or when this will take place but since the Lord destroyed Pharaoh and his army with water crashing down on them like a flood, Satan will consider that to be a good means to destroy God’s people and attempt to do the same.
When God causes this to fail, Satan will wage war against those who trust in Christ who are living throughout the world. Fortunately, when the appointed time finally comes, Jesus will return to deliver His people from their enemies and they will rejoice.
As we celebrate the past, let’s remember to look forward to the physical and spiritual deliverance God has planned for His people in the future and praise Him!