Lesson 3 | Sabbath, 17 July 2021
“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”Exodus 19:4.
“In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9.
A path through the sea
1. What did the Egyptians do when the Israelites were camped near the Red Sea? What solution did the Lord present for this terrible situation?
Éxodo14:9,13-16. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon…13And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14TheLord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. 15And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: 16But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
“… Pharaoh commanded to let Israel go; but after the Egyptians had buried their dead, he repented that he had let Israel go. His counselors and mighty men tried to account for their bereavement. They would not admit that the visitation or judgment was from God, and therefore they pursued after the children of Israel.
“When the Israelites beheld the Egyptian host in pursuit, some upon horses and some in chariots, and equipped for war, their hearts failed them. The Red Sea was before, the Egyptian host behind. They could see no way of escape. A shout of triumph burst from the Egyptians to find Israel completely in their power. The Israelites were greatly terrified.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 265.
2. What path did the Lord open for His people? What did Israel see on that great, memorable day?
Exodus 14:22, 29-31. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left….29The children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 30Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 31And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed theLord, and his servant Moses.
“The Egyptians dared to venture in the path God had prepared for His people, and angels of God went through their host and removed their chariot wheels. They were plagued. Their progress was very slow, and they began to be troubled. They remembered the judgments that the God of the Hebrews had brought upon them in Egypt, to compel them to let Israel go, and they thought that God might deliver them all into the hands of the Israelites. They decided that God was fighting for the Israelites, and they were terribly afraid, and were turning about to flee from them….” –The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, pp. 209, 210.
“… The Lord commanded Moses to bid them go forward, and to lift up the rod and stretch out his hand over the sea and divide it. He did so, and lo, the sea parted, and the children of Israel passed over dry shod. Pharaoh had so long withstood God, and hardened his heart against His mighty, wondrous works, that he in blindness rushed into the path which God had miraculously prepared for His people. Again Moses was commanded to stretch forth his hand over the sea, ‘and the sea returned to his strength,’ and the waters covered the Egyptian host, and they were drowned.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 265, 266
Guidance by day and by night
3. Who led the people in their arduous journey? Could they see Him personally as He accompanied them as their vanguard and rearguard?
Exodus13:21, 22. 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: 22He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
“From the beginning of sin Christ was with His people to dispute the authority of Satan, for He saw that the conflict must be carried on here in the earth…. Enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and in the pillar of fire by night, Christ directed, guided, counseled the children of Israel in their journeyings from Egypt to Canaan. But how unwilling were the children of Israel to be led, how unwilling to be controlled by the voice of the Angel of the Lord! How eager they were in vindicating their own course, in justifying themselves in their rebellious feelings, and in following their own ideas and plans!”–Christ Triumphant, p. 108.
“The wonderful pillar of cloud which had accompanied them in their wanderings and served to protect them from the fervid rays of the sun, had moved grandly before them all day, subject neither to sunshine nor storm, and at night it had become a pillar of fire to light them on their way. They had followed it as the signal of God to go forward; but now they questioned among themselves if it might not be the shadow of some terrible calamity that was about to befall them, for had it not led them on the wrong side of the mountain, into an impassable way?” –Signs of the Times, April 1, 1880.
4. In addition to being their light at night and their shade during the day, what else did the “cloud” provide? Therefore, what can we say assuredly with the psalmist?
Exodus 14:19, 20. And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and dark ness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
Psalm 121:5. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
“The Egyptians could not see the Hebrews, for the cloud of thick darkness was before them, which cloud was all light to the Israelites. Thus did God display His power to prove His people, whether they would trust in Him after giving them such tokens of His care and love for them, and to rebuke their unbelief and murmuring.” –The Story of Redemption, p. 123.
5. What else did the “cloud” do throughout the wilderness journey? Were the Israelites ever alone or abandoned during their journey?
Exodus 40:36-38. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: 37But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. 38For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
Nehemiah 9:19. Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go.
“This nation of slaves was to be taught of God. Jesus Christ, enshrouded in the pillar of cloud and fire, was to be their invisible leader, the ruler over all their tribes. Moses was to be the mouthpiece of God. For forty years God ruled over them as they journeyed through the wilderness…. They were to be kept separate from all nations, to be directed and counseled until, through a correct representation of the divine character, they should come to know God, to reverence and obey His commandments.” –The Southern Work, pp. 41, 42.
“As were God’s people anciently, so should we be prepared to advance when the cloud rises and moves forward, and to halt when the cloud hovers over a certain place. None can stand still, making no advancement.” –(Manuscript 56, May 9, 1902) The Upward Look, p. 143.
Bread from heaven
6. What did the Lord provide for that immense multitude after traveling for six weeks and as reserves began to run low?
Exodus 16:4,17-18, 32. Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no…. 17And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.18And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating…. 32And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.
“And the Levites’ hymn, recorded by Nehemiah, vividly pictures God’s care for Israel, even during these years of rejection and banishment: ‘Thou in Thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness; the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go. Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years didst Thou sustain them in the wilderness…. Their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.’ Nehemiah 9:19-21.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 406, 407.
“The light that God has given and will continue to give on the food question is to be to His people today what the manna was to the children of Israel. The manna fell from heaven, and the people were told to gather it and prepare it to be eaten. So in the different countries of the world light will be given to the Lord’s people, and health foods suited to these countries will be prepared.” –Medical Ministry, p. 267.
7. For how long time did the Father provide daily food for His children? What did the Bible writer call that special providence?
Exodus 16:35. And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
Joshua 5:11, 12. And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. 12And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
Psalm 78:23-25. Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, 24And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.25Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.
“When the God of Israel brought His people out of Egypt, He withheld flesh meats from them in a great measure, but gave them bread from heaven and water from the flinty rock.” –Counsels on Health, p. 111.
“The manna continued to fall, and they were fed by a divine hand morning and evening. The cloudy pillar by day and the pillar of fire by night signified the presence of God, which was a living memorial before them. The divine presence was not dependent upon the presence of Moses. But at the very time that he was pleading with the Lord in the mount in their behalf, they were rushing into shameful errors, into transgression of the law so recently given in grandeur.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 340.
“For forty years they were daily reminded by this miraculous provision, of God’s unfailing care and tender love…. Sustained by ‘the corn of heaven,’ they were daily taught that, having God’s promise, they were as secure from want as if surrounded by fields of waving grain on the fertile plains of Canaan.
“The manna, falling from heaven for the sustenance of Israel, was a type of Him who came from God to give life to the world.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 297.
For additional study
“The wilderness wandering was not only ordained as a judgment upon the rebels and murmurers, but it was to serve as a discipline for the rising generation, preparatory to their entrance into the Promised Land. Moses declared to them, ‘As a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee,’‘to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no. And He … suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.’ Deuteronomy 8:5, 2, 3.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 407.