“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NEAR; for God said, “THE PEOPLE MIGHT CHANGE THEIR MINDS WHEN THEY SEE WAR, AND RETURN TO EGYPT.” Hence God led the people around by the way of the WILDERNESS” Exodus 13:17 NASB.
As many of you know, we sold our home and now we are exiting. The book of Exodus means “a mass departure of people.” We are departing familiar territory and heading to the unknown. The children of Israel were in a land as slaves for over 400 years. When it was time to depart the Lord Adonai told them He was taking them to a land flowing with milk and honey! Flowing, abundantly gushing with prosperity. No more dry thirsty living baking bricks in the hot sun and being driven by task masters who worked you to death and beat you with lashings. However, something drastic had to take place before they could depart. Passover, also known as Pesach.
Ironic enough, the closing date of our home falls on Passover, the 14th of April.
Pesach/ Passover begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. Agriculturally, it represents the beginning of the harvest season in Israel. But the most important celebration is the Exodus from slavery.
Pesach means to pass through, to pass over, to exempt or to spare. Among other meanings, is to have mercy. The Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry and they did not have time to let their bread rise. The yeast represents PUFFINESS, PRIDE, AND SIN. All that must be left in Egypt, the land of sin.
Before the feast of unleavened bread, we are to go through our homes and scrub and clean and remove all traces of bread, yeast, and even forbid our pets to eat any food with yeast products. The stoves and refrigerators are to be scrubbed and so forth. Yes, it’s an outward cleansing of an inward priority. Unleavened bread. The children search their homes for any sign of bread and are awarded when some is found. No Easter egg hunting here. The bread that is found is taken outside of the house and burned.
The Passover lambs represent Yeshua/ Jesus, his blood on our door post covering our sins. Then EXODUS begins.
There comes a time in our lives when it’s time to exit. We exit jobs, homes, schools, church families, and sometimes it involves a great journey. Everyone is experiencing an exit in some fashion. We exit elementary school, for high school; we exit our parents’ home and spread our wings. We exit college or some form of training to hopefully move on to bigger things. Some experience empty nest syndrome when the baby birds exit the roost. Some exit broke marriages and others, unhealthy ties. My point is if you live long enough you will exit something.
“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NEAR; for God said, “THE PEOPLE MIGHT CHANGE THEIR MINDS WHEN THEY SEE WAR, AND RETURN TO EGYPT.” Hence God led the people around by the way of the WILDERNESS to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. Exodus 13:17-18 NIV.
Sometimes our Father takes us to a land that is not near, or a way that is not easy and we don’t understand. Abraham is one of those people who had to leave lands, and homes and even family and live in a tent, not knowing where he was going.
haShem took the Israelites on a way through the wilderness because fighting the Philistines would have been too great. The battle at times can be so hard we want to return to Egypt. The wife has Cancer, the son passed away, the finances and so on and so forth can seem so large we fall back into sin, addiction, bitterness and the lust of the flesh. YEAST!
Ultimately God is in control. Yes, we can go back to Egypt where we were but then there is no Exodus. Sin has a funny way of getting in. Complaining about the desert has a funny way of causing snakes to appear and bite us. If we remove all the leaven and apply the blood and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will lead us. His leading might not seem like the right way to us– THE WAY THAT’S NEAR. But ultimately it’s the easiest way. The way of the Philistines is interesting. When I did a word study on that word here is the definition from Webster.
Philistine: “Today a person who is guided by materialism and who has a disdain for intellectual or artistic values”. There is nothing in common with the way of the philistines and the way of The Lord Adonai.
George Warnock put it this way,
“Now the word “Philistine” comes from a word meaning “to roll in the dust, to wallow.” And though it is a well-beaten pathway, as it was in the days of Israel, and though it would seem to lead in a more direct route to the land of our inheritance, it will leave the one who travels this road wallowing in the dust. And why? Because there is nothing in common with the way of the Philistines and the way of God. The Philistine spirit is that spirit of the world, of the natural man, that knows nothing of the Spirit of God. But because it is a well-worn pathway, and because it seems to be leading in the general direction of our pursuit for God, it is enticing to the natural mind. It is the logical approach to the things of God. It is the positive, the most direct approach to things spiritual. But it leaves you wallowing in the dust of the old Adamic life, rather than soaring into the heights of the Spirit of God.”
George H. Warnock A Way Through The Wilderness.
Picture by Pesach | bethelberkeley.org.