Exodus 13:17-22



Verse 17-22


Ex. 13:17,18  And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: {18} But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

I.   God saw by foreknowledge that Israel would forsake the right way, therefore, He protected them by sending them another way.

A.     I Cor. 10:13 - God provided a way out of temptations, without Israel ever knowing they were in temptations.

B.     Ex. 14:10-12 - Israel complaining to God when God placed them here for their own protection.  Israel cried out to God and complained to Moses.  People in churches do this today to their pastor because they don't understand the direction God is moving the pastor to move the church.

1.       God was going to drown the Egyptians here.  Note: Israel was complaining before they knew God's plan.

2.       Ex. 3:11 - God gave this as a sign to Moses (Mt. Horeb is near Mt. Sinai) before Israel ever knew he was their leader.  (So often church members don't realize how God has touched their pastor before they knew him.)


II.   How often we complain about a situation when we don't really understand the severe troubles God has removed us from.

A.     A very recent example is when Mike Allison came to join our church.

1.       He seemed a very nice respectable young man who wanted to serve the living God.

2.       Instead, we have found out he is very immoral, raping some women and trying to break into the homes of others.

3.       God protected us because we trusted God.

4.       This will always work.

5.       This doesn't mean bad things won't ever happen to us, but even in the bad things (which are meant for our good), God will enable us to be overcomers.

B.     The word "harnessed" means:

1.       Armed with weapons.

2.       Girded - meaning prepared in an orderly fashion for a given task.  Israel left Egypt not only armed, but left in an orderly fashion, not in a mass of confusion.

3.       I Cor. 14:33 - God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.


III.   They probably left by tribe, perhaps as in Numbers 2.


Ex. 13:19  And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

I.   Gen. 49:29-33, 50:7-14 - Jacob's death and burial in Canaan - This ties him in with Abraham and Isaac and the promises they received.

A.     Gen. 50:24-26 - Joseph dies and is embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.  (All that remains of Joseph is dry bones, yet his bones leaving Egypt is a symbol of his living hope in the promises of God)  Joshua 24:32 - Joseph's bones are buried.

1.       It is very interesting to note that the Pharaoh that took over Egypt after Joseph died immediately forgot the good things God had done to Egypt through Joseph.

2.       The Jews haven't forgotten Joseph in all the years they have been in Egypt.

3.       The Jews are looking forward to God fulfilling His promises to them, while Egypt don't know God has fulfilled any promises toward them.

B.     Num. 14:29,32 - The reason the "carcasses" fall and were buried in the wilderness is because they failed to believe the promises of God concerning His giving them the land of Canaan.

1.       As far as I know, there is no scripture that clearly states that the bodies of the people that die in the wilderness are buried, or what happened to the bodies of the Israelites who died while living in Egypt.

2.       I know it is an abomination for a dead body to be cremated, or left unburied.

3.       There are plenty of scriptures that tell of proper burial for God's followers.

4.       Therefore, I believe these bodies were buried in the wilderness as a sign of their unbelief of God's precious promises.

5.       For examples of Israelites who died and were buried in the wilderness see the next point.


II.   Acts 7:15,16 - Some suppose that as the Israelites died in Egypt, they were carried to Sychem and buried.  If this didn't happen, they were carried about for 40 years of wilderness journeys. This seems to be an unreasonable burden on travelers and an advancing army.

A.     There is some scriptural evidence that Israel buried their dead in the wilderness.

1.       Numbers 11:34 - The people that lusted meat and died from eating quail were buried in that place in the wilderness.

2.       Numbers 20:1 - Miriam, the sister of Aaron and Moses died and was buried at Kadesh.

3.       Deut. 10:6 - Aaron died and was buried at Mosera.

4.       Deut. 34:5,6 - Moses died and was buried in the land of Moab.

B.     Ex. 14:11 - The rebels are accusing Moses of being a false prophet (leader) saying he fulfilled all the outward parts of the promises, but only God's man could fulfill the inward parts.  Note: These people never did believe Moses was led of God.


Ex. 13:20-22,  And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. {21} And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: {22} He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

I.   Camped at Etham - The house or sanctuary of Tum (The Sun God worshipped especially by that name in Lower Egypt).

A.     Can you imagine this great company of people camped around the Sun God's house?!!

1.       It was here that the Shekinah glory (or the appearance of the Divine Majesty) appeared for the first time.

B.     It is very important for us to realize that we ought to follow God regardless of what any other religion does.

1.       Some Baptists shy away from saying "Amen" because that is an emotional outburst and identifies them with some other very vocal groups.

2.       Some Baptists shy away from wearing the clothes God commanded because they don't want to be associated with some religions that wear clothing in order to be saved.

a.       Some Baptists want the Lord's Supper to be "open" or "close" (not "closed") because that is what other religions do.

3.       If we will just do what God says we ought to do, we will be in the place God wants us to be, and will be in a position to receive the blessings God has for us.


II.   Brief history of Shekinah glory:

A.     Ex. 40:35 - Moses couldn't enter into the tabernacle to minister because of the Shekinah glory.  This glory proved that God accepted the work of Moses and Israel in building the tabernacle.

B.     Lev. 16:2 - God instructs Moses that Aaron come not behind the vail into the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle lest he die.  The reason:  This is the place where God will appear (in a cloud) upon the mercy seat.

C.     II Sam. 6:2 - When David was going to get the ark of God from Kirjathjearim to Jerusalem, it is said that God is the one who dwells between the cherubims.

D.     I Kings 8:10 - When Solomon build the temple and they put the ark, mercy seat and cherubims in the Most Holy Place and the priests came out, the cloud from the Lord filled the House of the Lord.  This shows that God accepted the work of Solomon in building the temple, just like he accepted the work of Moses in building the Tabernacle.

E.      II Chronicles 5:13 - A further description of the cloud filling the temple built by Solomon when it was dedicated to the Lord.

F.      Ps. 80:1 - David proclaims that God dwells between the cherubims.

G.     Is. 37:16 - Hezekiah prays to the God who dwells between the cherubims for help from the armies of Sennacherib, the king of Assyria.

H.     Ezek. 9:1-11:25 - These chapters tell of the departing of the Spirit of God from Israel.  THIS IS A VISION.

1.       9:3 - The spirit leaves the dwelling place between the cherubims.

2.       10:3 - The cloud departs from between the cherubims and travels to the inner court of the Tabernacle.

3.       10:4 - The cloud goes to the threshold of the house, and the house and courtyard were filled with the glory of God.  This is a very visible presence.  All Israel could see what was happening, but they failed to mourn because God was leaving them.

4.       10:15 - The cherubims are lifted up (apparently in beginning to leave).

5.       10:18 - The glory of the Lord (cloud) left the threshold and stood over the cherubims.

6.       11:22 - The cherubims and the glory of God are together and prepare to leave.

7.       11:23 - The glory of the Lord goes up from the midst of the city and stands upon the mountain on the east side of the city.

8.       From there, the glory of God is seen no more in Israel.


III.   Note the rebellion of Pharaoh.

A.     14:5 - It was told the king - 2,000,000 people would hardly hide or move in secret, especially if they camped at the Sun God's house.

B.     So now you know who told the king!  (Everybody)


IV.   Note the rebellion of Israel against Moses.

A.     14:10-12 - They rebelled in spite of being able to see the Shekinah glory.

1.       They rebelled even though they could see the leadership of God.  They had no faith in God, only in the things they could see, with their own heart.

2.       Even when they could see the Shekinah glory of God with their own eyes, they refused to believe God was leading Moses.

B.     Later, we'll find that many of the people resented Moses's leadership and wanted to be in control themselves.


V.   Verse 22 – the assurance of God’s presence.

A.     Any time of the day or night, the Israelites could look up and see God’s presence.

B.     There is never a reason to doubt God’s presence with them, or with us.

1.       But sin enters us, and we look around us, instead of looking up.

2.       When we look around us, we are not trusting, nor are we believing God is with us.

3.       Therefore we plunge into sin and wickedness.