The Road Home to You Podcast
"Lessons from the Road to the Promised Land"
(Originally aired July 31, 2018)
Brandy: Hi. Welcome to The Road Home to You. Thank you for joining Matt and I during our summer series that we're calling "Lessons from the Road."
We really appreciate you guys as you listen in every single week and take part in this journey alongside us.
Without further ado, here's Matt.
Matt: Hello and welcome to another one of our summer mini episodes on Road Home to You. Brandy and I are taking a break from our normal episodes and instead we're doing a series on road trips from the Bible.
Today's is going to be a little bit different than what I've done before. I wanted to do a comparison between the books of Exodus and Revelation. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail and quote a whole lot of scripture because there's not enough time to go through all of the different ways that these two books compare. But I'm going to try to give a rough overview and maybe give you something to think about.
Oftentimes, as we're reading our way through the Bible we can see a pattern repeat itself as we look at God's work in the world and in the history of humanity. As we look back He gives us events from the past that help us understand future or, even present events or events that are about to happen. I believe that Exodus foreshadows, or is of the same type of event, as Revelation.
I can go through and give you a few examples and maybe help you look at things in a new way.
I think it's kind of interesting to compare these two because Exodus is almost at the very beginning of God's work in the lives of a group of people that He will claim as His own. And Revelation is the end of that story. I think it's kind of fitting that one of the books at the beginning will relate heavily to one of the books at the end.
So, I'll give you a few examples and see what you think.
First off, as we look at Exodus, we see that God's people, the Israelites, are not in the land that they've been promised. They're not in their home. They're living in Egypt and they've been in Egypt for a long time but in the recent years of their time in Egypt, they have been taken over as slaves. They're being ill-treated by the Egyptians and doing forced labor and being treated very poorly.
Now I wouldn't say that everything in that particular scenario relates to things now or what-not but it certainly relates to things in Revelation that we see God's people being treated poorly and God's people crying out for deliverance and help, just as they did in Exodus.
Prior to the events of Exodus, we know that God has promised His people a place to call home. A place where they can be safe, a place where they will be well provided for, where they can grow crops and raise animals and a place where their children can grow up in safety. A place that will be their home.
In Revelation we have the same thing. God's people are not in their home and God has promised them a home - God has promised US a home - where we will be safe and we will be in God's presence forever.
Both Exodus and Revelation have God's people waiting for the fulfillment of those promises.
The second comparison that I've already briefly mentioned is how God's people are being treated in Exodus and then again in Revelation. In Exodus we see that the Egyptians are using the Israelites as slaves. They're forced to work long hours in the hot sun. They're not given all of the supplies and tools they need to do the job and then given expectations that they can't possibly meet. And when they can't meet the impossible expectations, they're beaten and treated cruelly.
In Revelation we see similar sorts of things. God's people are once again treated poorly by the world. And the antichrist is trying to discourage and beat down God's people in any way possible, or just flat out eliminate them.
I think there's certainly some comparisons that can be made. Even now, there are places in the world where right now Christians risk their lives just for claiming the name of Christ or to try to meet together as a church. It's a scary thing for a lot of Christians just to live out their faith. They take their lives in their hands everyday.
One of the final points of comparison that I'll make between Exodus and Revelation is that it's a story of God's process of bringing His people home. In both Exodus and Revelation, He does that through a series of incredible signs and wonders and miracles. And if you look at many of the plagues that God brings about in Egypt, they are mirrored, or at least very closely related, to many of the things that happen in Revelation.
So you see God bringing about these incredible things as He brings His people home, as He gathers them up.
As you look at Exodus, you see those plagues were brought about as a warning to the Egyptians, "Let My people go or else bad things are going to happen." And those bad things increase in their intensity and increase in the cost that they require of the Egyptians, to try to turn their hearts around and let God's people go.
You can see the same thing in the plagues in revelation. God is bringing about all these signs and wonders as a warning, "Turn your lives around and turn to the Lord before it's too late. He's bringing about all these incredible things to let people know bad things are on the way and this is just a taste of it and you'd better turn your life around now, before it's too late.
And all of these amazing, incredible events are all about bringing God's people to their home, bringing them out of a place that they don't want to be, a place where they don't fit in, they don't belong, into a place of blessing. A place that is home.
Just as God's people in Exodus were on a road trip to the Promised Land, we, in our time, are also on a road trip to the Promised Land as we wait for the fulfilment of God's promises and the events that He's prophesied in the book of Revelation.
I think it is worth taking a moment to take a look at what are some lessons that we can learn from the lives and experiences of of the ancient Egyptians [he meant Israelites] in Exodus that we could apply to our own road to the Promised Land, in our time.
As we look back at those ancient Egyptians - I'm sorry, ancient Israelites - on their road trip to the Promised Land through the wilderness, it's really easy to criticize and look harshly on some of their reactions and responses to some of the things that were going on. I think if we're really honest with ourselves and we look at how we react to some of the hard times in our own lives, I suspect we would see a lot of...scary comparisons that could be made.
And I say scary because God decided that the people that He initially bought out of Egypt weren't ready for the Promised Land. So He was going to make them wander around in the desert until that entire generation died off and then their kids would be the ones to finally make it to the Promised Land. Because the original generation that was brought out of Egypt just couldn't wrap their heads around how to behave as God's people. I think there's some real warnings to be seen there because it's easy for us to fall into some of the same traps they did.
Let's take a look at some of those.
One of the first problems that we see in Exodus that we're all probably guilty of at one point in time or another, and I'm certainly no exception to this, is the Israelites’ habit of grumbling and complaining about some of their problems. it was bad enough that God got tired of their grumbling. We have a patient and understanding God, so when God gets to the point where He starts to get fed up with grumbling and complaining, you know it's a problem.
God brought about some amazing miracles to deliver His people out of the hand of the Egyptians and sometimes even within a few hours or even the next day, it was almost like they had forgotten the incredible events or miracles that had been brought about to save them. And they started complaining about the next thing that was in front of them.
It's easy to read that and really criticize them and yet, when I think back to some of my own responses.... There have been times where God has done some incredible, miraculous things in my life and either the next day, or maybe the next week I find myself getting upset or impatient or grumbling about some situation that's bothering me. It's so easy to forget the incredible deliverance that God has brought about. We need to remember that God is continuing to work in our lives and God is continuing to bring about that deliverance and God is always working on perfecting us and bringing us home.
As I mentioned earlier, God is a patient and understanding God and He knows that we have weaknesses and that we're only human. So why does He come down on that generation of Israelites that was brought out of Egypt; why does He criticize them for their complaining and then other people later on in scripture seem to get away with it.
I think that brings up the second trap or pitfall that they fell into and that's that they're grumbling and they're complaining came from a lack of faith.
As I implied earlier in talking about how God would deliver these people and then they would turn around and start complaining about things to the point where they would say to God, "Why did You even bother saving us, just to bring us out here to the desert? You may as well just let us die."
I think that really exemplifies the lack of faith that they had. It was kind of an attitude of, 'Well sure, You did something yesterday but what are You doing today? What are You doing for me right now?' And not really believing that God would bring about the deliverance that they needed and that God had a plan and a purpose for the things that were happening to them.
It's easy for us to fall into a similar lack of faith. If we don't see God's hand at work in our lives on a regular basis we start to think, 'Maybe He's just not going to do anything. Maybe nothing's really going to happen.'
It's easy to lose track of the promises that God has made and lose faith in the work that He's doing in our lives.
When that lack of faith is really brought into fruition and we see the results of it, what we see is the third problem and that is God's people turning away.
When we look at the ancient Israelites in Exodus we see multiple times where they turn their back on God and they either invent a god of their own or they decide just not to listen and not to follow what it is that God wants them to do.
There again, we've all been guilty at one point in time or another of turning our backs on God or deciding to go our own way or perhaps even bringing about something in our lives through our own efforts that end up taking God's place as the central focus of our lives.
I think on our own road trip to the Promised Land we need to remember the previous road trip to the Promised Land in Exodus. We need to remember, we don't want to be the whiny kid in the backseat going, "Are we there yet? I'm hot. I'm bored. When are we going to get there? When are we going to stop and eat?" We need to just relax and enjoy the scenery and understand that there's somebody in control who's working things out, who has a plan and that everything is going to work out the way that He's said that it will.
We will get to our destination. We will get to that Promised Land where we will be provided for and where we will be in the presence of our Lord and Savior for the rest of our lives.
Remember the destination. Remember the One who's in control and trust that He's going to get us there.
I hope the comparison has been helpful and maybe you can look at Exodus and Revelation in a new light and remember how the lessons of those early Israelites can relate to our own lives right now and our own road to the Promised Land.
So, this is me, hoping that you don't have too many bumps in the road and that you can relax and enjoy the scenery and thank the One that's in control, that we have a beautiful destination to look forward to.
Brandy: Hey, you guys, thank you so much for joining us again for another episode in our series called "Lessons from the Road."
I trust that this has been a good summer for you. I trust that things are going swimmingly. Did you get that? 'Swimmingly'? Because it's summertime. And I don't know about where you live, but where I live, it is really stinking hot and I wish we had a pool but we do not.
Anyway, you guys, if you would like to take a look at the show notes or links or any other fun stuff that you could find, you can check out our website which is www.roadhometoyou.com. There are links to everything there including Facebook and Instagram. Or you could just go to those place individually. However you get there, just do it. That's where you need to be.
It's been fun. We've been having some conversations about road trips and bad drivers on Facebook, so if you want to be a part of that, join the group. It's a good place to be.
Alright, you guys have an awesome day. Drive safe. Play hard. Love even harder. And we'll talk to you next week. Alright, bye.