“And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.””
Exodus 14:10-14 NKJV
In our lives in Christ, there are moments when we must have faith, often more than we ever have had before. These are rights of passage, where critical decisions are made that can determine the course of one’s life. As I read through Exodus once again, I found myself reflecting on the crossing of the Red Sea by the children of Israel.
As I read, I dwelled on the reality that their crossing was only possible through the intervention of God. The Lord showed HIs power and faithfulness, by parting the sea, that the children of Israel could pass on dry land. They could not escape the Egyptians, they could not fight, and the threat was not going to go away.
Furthermore, the Lord placed Himself between His people and the enemy in the form of a pillar of fire. Elohim stood in the gap, the raging fire that engulfed the bush that did not burn, was now standing in the path of those who would destroy the children of Israel.
I could not help but think of another Red Sea, the flowing blood of slaughtered lambs, symbolized earlier in sign of the passover, of blood splashed on lintel. Once again the Lord was making a way of escape from the enemy.
All these things point to the blood of Jesus, for by His blood, we have been given a path through the sea of death, by the blood of Christ, which takes away sin. Egypt is a type of sin in the Old Testament, and the blood of Jesus does away the our sins, that they never be seen again.
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalms 103:10-12 NKJV
Through Christ, we have been delivered from the penalty of sin and death, for He took the punishment that we deserved, and He came away victorious. Because of His sacrifice we, who call upon the Lord for salvation, are made righteous.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
II Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:1-2 NKJV
The crossing of the Red Sea was but the beginning for the children of Israel, for they entered the wilderness crossing on the way to the promised land. I love the mental picture of the people crossing from bondage to freedom, for it reminds me of the life of the growing follower of Jesus.
Though we have been delivered from the fetters of bondage and slavery to sin, we battle doubt day in and day out, often complaining, and deceiving ourselves into thinking that what we had before was better than what we have in Christ.
But our God is faithful, continuing to love us through our disobedience, provide for us though we are ungrateful, and is relentless in His grace as we slowly grow. Even when the children of Israel doubted the report of Joshua and Caleb, He continued to care for them.
There is blessing in persistence, for the Lord provides His power to us by the Holy Spirit, that we be able to contuse on the journey.
As for those in the wilderness, there is the crossing to the promised land, for the Lord provides rest for those who persevere. We press on through our journey in the wilderness, a journey we call sanctification. Many seek to avoid what comes next, opting to have “fire insurance”, for the what is to come can be difficult for it is a constant battle with the flesh.
“So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.”
Joshua 3:14-17 NKJV
Bothers and sisters, making this crossing is an act of faith, for it is a two way street. We must act by faith, and the Lord provides. We step into the Jordan at flood stage, and the waters heap up, pulled back by the Lord, that we pass sin dry ground. But we must take that first step.
There is great joy in crossing the Jordan, for the rest that the Lord promises is real, and the blessings are plentiful. In that crossing we have sense of the glory to come, as we walk day by day in the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is of great comfort to the followers of Jesus.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV
There is less striving, as the values of the world cease to be a draw on the Christian yielding great peace. Often it is the chastening that people seek to avoid, for the Lord is convicting, and those who walk circumspectly are more sensitive to those convictions.
“For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:10-11 NKJV
All of these things are preparing us for yet another crossing, for soon the born again follower of Jesus will cross from the mortal to the immortal, as we cross into the glory. May we be willing to press on and enter the ultimate promised land.
“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Revelation 21:22-27 NKJV
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One thought on “Crossings”
Amen and amen! Praise our great king Jesus!! Thank you, Bernie
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