Ex 18:5                                  Israel Restored                               11/22/2009    ßà   

  • An Insert (Ex 18:1-12,24-25, Num 10:11-12,29-30)

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       Moses’ Wife (Isa 54:5, Jer 3:14, 31:32, Psalm 5:5, Hos 2:2, Jer 3:8, Rom 11:1,5,7,12,15)

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Divorce (Ex 4:26, 1Cor 1:23, Rom 11:20-22, John 1:13, Gal 3:16)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Reconciliation (Rom 11:23-27, Gal 3:28)

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Timing of Israel’s Restoration (Ex 18:1-12, Rom 10:17, 9:6, Rev 12:10)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Deliverance from Pharaoh (Rom 4:8,15, 5:13, 6:7,18,22, 7:4,6, 8:1)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 18:1 (2X). This chapter that is before us contains two distinct sections. Today we are going to deal only with the first section, which runs from verse 1 through verse 12. The second section from verses 13 to the end of the chapter we will postpone till another year. The first part of this chapter deals with the restoration of Zipporah, the wife of Moses. That is why this sermon is titled, Israel Restored” (2X). Let me now speak about “An Insert”.

  • An Insert (Ex 18:1-12,24-25, Num 10:11-12,29-30)

Historically speaking, I want you to know that this chapter 18 is an insert. In chapter 17 the nation of Israel camped at Rephidim. In chapter 19 the nation of Israel camped at Mount Horeb, which is the same as Mount Sinai, for Mount Sinai is not in the Sinai Peninsula but in Arabia. Rephidim was the 10th camping place and Mount Horeb was the 11th camping place, which was only one day of travel away from Rephidim. It was the 3rd month after leaving Egypt that the nation of Israel reached Mount Horeb, the Mount of God. But it was 11 months later that Jethro, the father in law of Moses came to visit them. Let us search the Bible and let me prove that chapter 18 is an insert. Let us begin to read Ex 18:1-12,

Ex 18:1-12  When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt; Then Jethro, Moses’ father in law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back, And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land: And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh: And Jethro, Moses’ father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God: And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her. And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent. And Moses told his father in law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them. And Jethro, Moses’ father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father in law before God.

This was the history of the restoration of Zipporah, Moses’ wife. It was her father Jethro who brought her back to Moses. Please put a sticker here in Ex 18, and please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Numbers, Num 10:11 (2X). The timing when Jethro, also named Reuel, or Raguel, visited Moses is not recorded in Exodus, but it is recorded in the Prophecy of Numbers. We read in Num 10:11-12,

Nu 10:11-12  And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony. And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

This was the time when Jethro visited Moses. It was the second year, on the 20th day of the second month. Jethro then recommended that Moses appoint rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, and rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. But Moses implemented Jethro’s recommendation only after Jethro had left. We can see that when we drop down to verse 29. We read in Num 10:29-30,

Nu 10:29-30  And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel. And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.

Then, when Jethro had left Moses appointed these rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, and so on. Please turn again to the prophecy of Exodus, Ex 18:24 (2X). We read in Ex 18:24-25,

Ex 18:24  So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.

Ex 18:25  And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

And thus the entire chapter 18 of Exodus fits chronologically within the words of Num 10:11-30. God placed this passage in Ex 18 because it fits the context of what we are reading in Ex 16 through Ex 20. In Ex 16 we saw the event of the manna, the Bread of Life, which refers to the incarnation of Christ. In Ex 17, in the first half, Moses struck the Rock, which represents Christ, and this refers to the atonement of Christ. In Ex 17, the second half, corresponds to the battle between Christ and Satan after the cross, particularly as the Gospel spread through the Gentile nations of the world. Now in Ex 18, in the first half, we will see how the remnant of the Jews is brought back to a saving relationship with Christ.

#1.       Moses’ Wife (Isa 54:5, Jer 3:14, 31:32, Psalm 5:5, Hos 2:2, Jer 3:8, Rom 11:1,5,7,12,15)

In this historical parable Moses fills the role of God, and Zipporah fills the role of national Israel, the wife of Jehovah. That OT national Israel was the wife of Jehovah can be seen in many OT passages, such as Isa 54:5, where God says, “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel;” and in Jer 3:14, “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you:” and in Jer 31:32, “which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:” To be precise we actually have to say that only the remnant of OT Israel, who was truly saved, was the wife of Jehovah, for God never loves the wicked. God says in Psalm 5:5, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” And so, God never enters into a loving relationship with the wicked, but only with the righteous within the nation of Israel. Since the apostacy in the nation of Israel increased with time God warned them that He was going to divorce them. For example, He sent the prophet Hosea to play the role of God, and his wife the role of adulterous Israel. Then God put His words in the mouths of two of her children, and we then read in Hos 2:2, “Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband.” And God said in Jer 3:8, “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.” By the time the Lord Jesus came to this earth the fraction of truly saved individuals in the nation of Israel was very small. Then came the cross, and the divorce between God and the nation of Israel became final, because the entire ceremonial law was done away. But all along in the OT writings God promised that His wife, the remnant chosen by grace out of the nation of Israel was going to return to Him. We see that soon after the Lord’s resurrection and ascension in the upper room there were 120 faithful gathered. And at Pentecost there were about 3000 souls added to them, mostly out of the nation of Israel. Herein we can see the nation of Israel returning to her Maker and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. But the fraction of Jews who were saved and believed was very small. Most Jews did not want anything to do with this new movement that was called, “The Way.” And when we read in the OT as well as in the NT about God’s dealings with the nation of Israel whom He loves, we do well to remember that God speaks only of those who belong to the remnant chosen by grace. Please turn now to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 11:1 (2X). After the cross all those who hold on to the old ceremonial law are now called, “The synagogue of Satan,” for they are fighting against the Gospel of Christ. In Rom 11 God speaks lovingly about the return of the nation of Israel to Him, but again we must think here only of the remnant chosen by grace. We read in Rom 11:1,

Ro 11:1 ¶  I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

God has not cast away everyone from the nation of Israel, for I also am an Israelite. Drop down to V.5

Ro 11:5  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Even so today there is a remnant chosen by grace out of the nation of Israel as well as out of the Gentile nations. As a whole Israel seeks to serve God, but they will serve Him in their way. Drop d. t. V.7

Ro 11:7  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

Those that were blinded crucified the Lord of glory, but their offence actually served the purpose for which Christ came to this earth. “It must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” And then God makes a grandiose statement in Rom 11:12 where we read,

Ro 11:12  Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

If their sin brought spiritual riches to the Gentiles, then how much more their fullness. We need to remember that God is speaking only of the remnant from the Gentiles, and thus the fullness that God speaks about is only the fullness of the remnant of Israel chosen by grace. Drop down to Rom 11:15,

Ro 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them

be, but life from the dead?

Initially after the cross they were cast away, for the ceremonial law died. But the angels rejoiced when the number of elect Jews were saved by grace. “Life from the dead” applies to everyone who becomes saved; for when we are born again, or born from above, we are changed from being dead in trespasses and sins to being alive to God. Can we now apply all this to Moses’ wife, Zipporah?

  • The Divorce (Ex 4:26, 1Cor 1:23, Rom 11:20-22, John 1:13, Gal 3:16)

Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 1:23 (2X). When we were in Ex chapter 4 Moses took his wife and two sons with him to go to Egypt. But since his two sons were not circumcised the Lord met him at the inn and sought to kill him. Then at the direction of Moses Zipporah circumcised her son, and this was sufficient evidence for the Lord that Moses would obey Him also in this matter of circumcising his children. And then we read in Ex 4:26,

Ex 4:26  So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

This tells us that the offense of the cross was the primary cause of the alienation of Israel from God. The shedding of blood was the stumbling block of Zipporah, just like it was a stumbling block of the Jews. We read in 1Co 1:23, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;” It was then that Moses sent his wife and two sons back to his father in law Jethro. Spiritually this was a picture of the divorce between God and Israel. It was the time of the cross. Please turn a few pages to your left, to Rom 11:20 (2X). God speaks of this divorce in Rom 11 in the Parable of the Olive Tree. There is a good olive tree of which Christ is the root and the firstfruit. This olive tree represents the eternal church. It existed before the cross, and still exists after the cross. We are the branches of that olive tree. But before we were grafted into that good olive tree we were broken off from a wild olive tree. However, in AD 33 most of the natural branches of the good olive tree were broken off because of the offence of the cross. We read in Rom 11:20-22,

Ro 11:20-22  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

But then God speaks also of reconciliation, both in the OT as well as in the NT. However we should keep in mind that nobody gets into heaven on the coattails of his parents, or his pastor, or any other human being. God expresses this principle in John 1:13, which is a verse that you all probably know by heart. God says in John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” It means that all who are saved are born again, or born from above, but not because they were of the right bloodline, and not because they wanted to be born again, and not because their parents caused them to be baptized, but they are born from above because God decided they should be saved. This is the only reason, and that is why it is a salvation by grace. But notice that the first of the three “nots” is “Not of Blood.” Most people forget this. It means that any Israelite is not saved because of he is a descendant of Abraham, for the promises were made to Abraham and his Seed, which is Christ (Gal 3:16). And thus the promises were made to Christ and all those who are in Christ, which means all the elect. Salvation, both in the OT as well as in the NT time, is Not of Blood. And when God promises reconciliation to Israel, it may not be at the expense of cancelling this principle, “Not of Blood”, for God is not a liar. If salvation depended on the right bloodline, then salvation is no longer by grace, but it is by certain inherent qualifications in man. Therefore let us now look at the Biblical view of reconciliation.

#2.       Reconciliation (Rom 11:23-27, Gal 3:28)

How did reconciliation take place at the time of Moses and Zipporah? Jethro brought back Zipporah and gave her to Moses. Jethro was a Midianite, a Gentile. Jethro was also a priest. A priest intercedes for other people before God. In other words, Jethro represents a remnant of the Gentiles who becomes saved, and who evangelizes the remnant of Israel to be reconciled to Christ. Is this also the process that we see develop here in Rom 11? Let us continue in Rom 11. We read in Rom 11:23-24,

Ro 11:23-24  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

Consider the incredible love and mercy of God that He would take us after a lifetime of living in sin, and that He also is willing to take back the descendants of those who nailed Him to the cross. If they turn from their unbelief to faith in Christ, it means that the Father is drawing them, and this means that Christ has paid for all their sins on the cross, and this means that long before the foundation of the world the Father placed their names within the mind of the Son. And this process also applies to us. Our names were in Christ when He went to the cross and paid for all our sins. He loved us long before the foundation of the world, and predetermined our destiny, so that we will be holy and without blame before Him on the last day. And even though we lived a life filled with trespasses and sins, through it all He guided our steps so that we came under the hearing of the Gospel, and God the Holy Spirit gave us spiritual ears to hear. God used the sin in my life to bring about His salvation. Let us go on in Rom 11:25

Ro 11:25-27  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Till when is this spiritual blindness on the major part of the descendants of Jacob? God says, “Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” That is when the last day of the world has come. We have seen the meaning of this “fulness” before in Rom 11:12. The fulness of the Gentiles means the fulness of all the remnant of the Gentiles from all nations of the world. The fulness of Israel means the fulness of all the remnant from the nation of Israel. And since the nation of Israel is no longer God’s favorite nation, according to Gal 3:28, the fulness of all the remnant from all the nations of the world shall have come in when God is finished with the goal He has set up for creating mankind. And then we read in verse 26, “And so, or in this manner, shall all Israel be saved.” God does not say, “And then shall all Israel be saved” This Greek word has never been translated “then”. It always has been translated: so, or thus, or even so, or on this wise, or likewise, or after this manner, but never “THEN”. In this manner shall all Israel be saved. If we want to interpret this sentence as only applying to those who are the physical descendants of Jacob, we should say, “Spiritual blindness will dominate the major fraction of national Israel until the end of time, when the fulness of the Gentiles have come in, and in this manner shall all the remnant of national Israel be saved.” And then we read in verses 30-32 the capstone of God’s mercy

Ro 11:30-32  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

God begins to say, “Through their unbelief in crucifying Christ ye have now obtained mercy. Even so, through your mercy, they also might obtain mercy.” By this God refers to our witness to the Jews, our bringing of the Gospel to them, is the love and mercy that we bestow on them. And accompanying our witness is God the Holy Spirit who will turn the hearts of those for whom Christ died. And thus, when we read in verse 32 about “ALL”, we need to remember that this word “ALL” only applies to the remnant saved by grace. Let us now return to Zipporah, and let us see how beautiful all this fits the description of Israel Restored. Please turn again to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 18:1 (2X).

  • The Timing of Israel’s Restoration (Ex 18:1-12, Rom 10:17, 9:6, Rev 12:10)

Jethro, a priest of Midian, representing a remnant of the Gentiles who became saved, and who evangelized the remnant of Israel to be reconciled to Christ, is now bringing the remnant of national Israel to the Lord Jesus Christ. When did Jethro do that? It was “When he heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.” We are reminded of Rom 10:17, where God says, “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”. When we read in Ex 18 about Israel taken out of Egypt, even down to the last Israelite, we must remember that this was a large multitude representing all the remnants of all the nations of the world. This is another Israel than Zipporah represents. Zipporah represents only the remnant out of the nation of Israel. But the multitude taken out of Egypt represents the Israel of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is called Israel, and therefore all those who are in Christ are also called Israel. This is the Israel who is referred to in Rom 9:6, where God says, “They are not all Israel which are of Israel.” And notice the place where Jethro met Moses. Jethro waited until Moses encamped at the Mount of God, for Jethro also had become a believer. Moses reached Mount Horeb in the 3rd month. Eleven months later the children of Israel were still encamped at the foot of Mount Horeb. That is how important it was for them to listen to the Words of God before they moved on to heir next camping place. And then again we read

Ex 18:8-9, “And Moses told his father in law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.”

This was the timing of the meeting, when the Lord had delivered them, not only delivered from the Egyptians, but also delivered from all the travail that had come upon them. But verse 10 is remarkable:

Ex 18:10  And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.”

Can you see that there is a great redundancy in the words of verses 8, 9, and 10? It is as if God wants us to remember that Pharaoh was a formidable foe. Pharaoh is a picture of Satan, and Egypt is a picture of this world, which is the kingdom of Satan. And what is the weapon that Satan holds in his hand? Satan is called the Accuser of the Brethren, in Rev 12:10, and he has in his hand “the law of God

#3.       Deliverance from Pharaoh (Rom 4:8,15, 5:13, 6:7,18,22, 7:4,6, 8:1)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 4:8 (2X). When Christ delivers us from our bondage to sin and Satan, He will also deliver us from the law. Sin is a transgression of the law. Therefore, if Christ is going to deliver us from our sins, then He must also make a provision that we no longer transgress the law. To this end God stated in Rom 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” No more sin? When is this blessedness going to be ours? When Christ paid for all our sins on the cross, all our sins were still future sins. But when they were paid in AD 33 the guilt of all our sins disappeared. And then, when we became born again, we died to the law, and a new man rose up in my place. Formerly I was called a sinner, but now I am called a saint. It does not mean that I do not sin any more, but all my sins are forgiven. And thus God says to me in Rom 4:8, “Blessed are you, for the Lord will not impute sin to your soul”. I could not believe my eyes when I first realized the impact of this verse. But then I found other verses that say the same thing. For example Rom 4:15 says, “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” Before the moment of salvation the law of God was actually my enemy. But after having been born again the law has become my friend. The law has made me see my need for a Savior from my sins. The law has led me to Christ. But after I was rescued by Christ the law shows me what I can do to be pleasing in the sight of God. And then I read, “For where no law is, there is no transgression”. This is the same blessed state as in Rom 4:8. Next we move on to Rom 5:13, where we read, “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Again it is the same message as in Rom 4:8. For those people for who have died to the law, “sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Next we move on to Rom 6:7, and there we read, “For he that is dead is freed from sin.” In other words, when we became born again we died to the law, and thus we are freed from sin. And no additional sins will be imputed to our soul. Next we move on to Rom 6:18, where we read, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Here again the message is: You are now a saint, you are free from sin. You are now a servant of God, no longer a servant of Satan, and God has declared you a servant of righteousness. What righteousness is this? It is the righteousness of God which was imputed to our soul, for only if we have the righteousness of God can we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Next we move on to Rom 6:22, where we read, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” This tells us again that we are made free from sin. No sin now, and no sin later, for Christ has paid for all our sins, including all our future sins. This is the character of servants of God: to be blameless. Next we turn to Rom 7:4, where we read, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” We have become dead to the law by the body of Christ. It means that at the cross Christ suffered in His humanity and all those who are in Christ have been crucified with Christ, and have with Him, and in Him, endured the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. We have died with Christ, and this has become effective when we were born again in our lifetime. Next we move on to Rom 7:6, where we read, “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Clearly, we are delivered from the law. And when we were still under the law we were dead in trespasses and sins. This was the condition in which we were held by the power of the law. The oldness of the letter refers to the law. The newness of spirit refers to the new life in Christ and as servant of God that I now live in. Next we move on to Rom 8:1, where we read, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Clearly, there is no condemnation to all of those who are in Christ Jesus, for He has done away with all our sins, past, present, and future sins. If we had only one sin on our soul, the righteousness of God demands that we must be cast into Hell. But not one sin remains. And the Lord Jesus Christ assured us that we are in His covenant, which means that we are in His last will and testament. No one can remove our names from His last will and testament. But if we would have only one sin, we would not be eligible to receive such a great inheritance, for we would not go to the NH&NE but to Hell.

And so, what is the bottom line of all this? The bottom line is summarized again by Rom 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”. No sin, because we have died to the law. No sin because we were in Christ when He died, and He died to fulfill the law in our place. No sin because there can be no condemnation fro all those who are in Christ Jesus. The weapon of Satan, the sword of Pharaoh, and the curse of the law have been defeated by the atonement of Christ.

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.