A Land Flowing With Milk And Honey - Part I
Ex. 13:1-2 - “And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto Me all the firstborn, whatsoever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: It is Mine”
The firstborns were to be sanctified unto the Lord, which means set apart unto the Lord, because they were to be a representation or a type of Christ. They were to be a picture of the salvation plan. Jesus is referred to as “the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).
Immediately after Israel was redeemed out of Egypt, instructions were given respecting the annual observance of the Passover. That is to say, Israel was to perpetually confess to the world that her salvation out of Egypt and her settlement in Canaan were wholly due to the preciousness of the blood of the paschal lamb.
Jesus being the firstborn doesn’t mean that Jesus was “born again” after the crucifixion as some teach, but rather that He was the originator or the father, one might say, of the salvation experience. This means that through the Cross, He made salvation possible, even for the worst sinner.
WHETHER ISRAEL OR THE CHURCH, ALL ARE TO PORTRAY CHRIST
The whole of Israel was to be a type of Christ, with the firstborn being an even greater type. This extended, as is obvious here, even to the firstborn of animals. If it belonged to Israel, the type was to carry all the way through, even to that which they possessed, at least as far as the animals were concerned.
I want the reader to notice that even before the children of Israel were delivered from Egyptian bondage, instructions were being given to them that were very detailed regarding character and scope. These people had been raised up for a particular purpose, and that was, in effect, to serve as the womb of the Messiah. They were to also give the world the Word of God, which they did do.
However, as Israel was in the world, the church is to be as well. The difference is, the Word of God has already been given, and the church is to exemplify that Word. Also, Christ has already come, so the church is to portray Christ. Whether Israel or the church, all are to portray Christ, and above all, what He did at the Cross on behalf of lost humanity.
Mackintosh said, “As we’ve already stated, true Christianity is but the manifestation of the life of Christ, implanted in us by the operation of the Holy Spirit.”
DELIVERED FROM THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE
“And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. This day came you out in the month Abib” (Ex. 13:3-4).
Israel was to understand, and to understand fully, that they had been delivered out of this house of bondage, not by their own ingenuity, strength, ability, or talent, but by the strength of the hand of the Lord.
There was no way they could have extricated themselves from this bondage, and even with God, it took His miracle-working power.
In essence, the Lord was telling the Israelites that they were now His people, for He had bought them, and they were, therefore, to be holy. They had been slaves to Pharaoh, but now, they were to be slaves to Jehovah.
However, as the Master would say: “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Mat. 11:29-30).
Due to that yoke being easy and that burden being light, many, if not most, little function as they should. We take the blessings of the Lord for granted, actually demanding much, and give Him precious little in return. Perhaps that is the case with all of us.
At the least, I think one can say without any fear of contradiction that the best among us, whomever that might be, little serves as we should.
A redeemed people become the property of the redeemer, which should be obvious. Consequently, the first exhortation in Romans, which follows the doctrinal exposition in Chapters 1 through 11, is, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).
Personal devotion is the first thing that God has a right to expect from His blood-bought people.
Verse 4 specifies that on a certain day, even in a certain month, the children of Israel were brought out of Egyptian bondage.
This tells us in no uncertain terms that salvation is not merely a philosophical quest, but rather a genuine know-so salvation. In other words, the believing sinner knows the exact moment that Christ comes into his heart.
At that moment, in the portals of glory, the Lord writes down the name of that individual in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Forever, that date, time, and place are written down in glory so that it can be forever said, “This day came you out.”
Oh, how I sense the presence of God. How so much the Lord has done for us; how so great is His salvation; and how so glorious is the moment we passed from death to life, from darkness to light, and from sin to salvation!
As the following verses explain, the instruction given here pertaining to unleavened bread concerned itself with that feast which was to take place every year at the time of the Passover. During this time, no leavened bread was to be eaten because this bread represented Christ, who is perfect, sinless, holy, undefiled, etc.
Christ was the deliverer of the children of Israel, as He is the Saviour of all who trust in His name. As well, He delivered them by and through the type of the shed blood of the lamb.
In effect, one might say that they were delivered on credit, awaiting the day when He would come to this world and die on a Cross, thereby, taking away all sin (Jn. 1:29).
In fact, all seven of the great feasts of Israel, which were conducted at three different times of the year, required a male of every house to attend. All of these feasts, and without exception, proclaimed Christ and His expiatory, substitutionary work.
A LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY
“And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which He swore unto your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month” (Ex. 13:5).
Several things are said in this passage:
- Without fail, the Lord would bring them into the Land of Promise. Regrettably, because of unbelief, Israel would take some 40 years to arrive there when they should have taken only about two years or less. In fact, the only thing that hinders the Lord is unbelief.
- While it is true that the land was filled with enemies, the Lord specifically stated that He would give this land unto them, which meant that He would defeat all of their enemies. The difference now is, He has already defeated all of these enemies; therefore, we make a sad mistake when we try to fight this battle all over again, as many of us have done. The victory is not ours to obtain for the simple reason that it is victory already possessed. We have it, and we maintain it by simply trusting in Christ and what Christ has done for us at the Cross.
- The Word of God has been given “which He swore unto your fathers to give you,” and it was, therefore, guaranteed of fulfillment.
THE PERFECTION OF CHRIST
The first feast pictured Christ as the deliverer of His people, and the price He would pay on the Cross for that deliverance. The second feast portrayed the perfection of Christ, which made the sacrifice of Himself acceptable. The third feast pictured His resurrection. So, we have death, perfection, and resurrection.
- Furthermore, it was a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Everything that God gives is glorious, wonderful, and good. In fact, He has absolutely nothing that is bad in any respect. While He definitely does demand that we give up some things, what He gives us to take their place is so much more than what we lose that there is no comparison. Regrettably, at times, we sully His great and glorious gifts, but the fault is ours and not His.
- During the month of Abib (Nisan) each and every year, this great deliverance was to be celebrated by three particular feasts. It was to be the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Firstfruits.
A FEAST TO THE LORD
“Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in all your quarters” (Ex. 13:6-7).
In fact, this Feast of Unleavened Bread lasted throughout the entirety of the seven days, but the first day and the last were to be kept especially holy (Lev. 23:6-8).
These injunctions have, in fact, already been given in Exodus, Chapter 12 (Vss. 15, 19). It was repeated, no doubt, in order to deepen the impression that the lesson the Holy Spirit desired to be taught would be amply learned.
The number seven here is not without significance. As used in the Word of God, it portrays in its final analysis the glory, totality, and perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, all of these feasts, as given by God to Israel, were meant to portray the ministry of Christ in some fashion, which we will more fully explain when we come to the installations of the feasts in the giving of the law (Ex., Chpt. 23; Lev., Chpt. 23).
THE SEVENTH DAY
The seventh day of the seven days, which was deemed as a special day, refers to the finished work of Christ in that His mission would be a completed mission.
The unleavened bread, as sated, signified the perfection of Christ as it regarded His perfect body, perfect mind, and perfect actions. In other words, there was no sin in Him.
The Scripture says of Him that He was and is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Heb. 7:26).
Leaven is used in the Old Testament and, as well, by Paul as a type of sin (Gal. 5:9). So, during these seven days, unleavened bread only was to be eaten, which typified that the coming Messiah would have no sin.
CHRIST IN US
Even though all of this typifies Christ, even as it is meant to do, at the same time, it typifies the sanctification of the believer for all of us, at least all who are born again who are in Christ.
To eat unleavened bread signifies separation from all evil in order that we may feed upon Christ. That this feast lasted seven days, which is a complete period, tells us that this is to last throughout our whole sojourn on earth.
It is to this that Paul referred when he stated: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor. 5:7-8).
All of this was a type as it regarded Old Testament means and methods; however, it was meant to portray that which Christ would do within our hearts and lives.
Every Christian knows that all sin must be purged out of our lives; however, the great question is, how is this done? If we miss it here, then we miss it altogether.
Once again, we go back to the Cross. Remember that Paul said, “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7).
While the Scripture doesn’t teach sinless perfection, it definitely does teach that sin shall not have dominion over us, and this basically speaks of the sin nature (Rom. 6:14).
There is only one way that the child of God can walk in victory—not five ways, three ways, or even two ways—only one. We go back to the original meaning in the text in Exodus, Chapter 13, as it speaks of Christ.
The church has run aground in 10,000 different ways in attempting to carry out this of which we speak, and I refer to living an overcoming, Christian life. It can only be done in Christ, but how is it done in Christ?
The clue is in what Paul said concerning Christ’s sacrifice of Himself (I Cor. 5:7). As the second man, i.e., the representative man (I Cor. 15:45-50), which refers to Christ being our substitute, He has done all things for us simply because it was impossible for us to do them ourselves.
In other words, if man were to be saved, salvation would wholly have to come from outside of man, which it did in the realm of Christ and the Cross. While everything Christ did played a great part in the redemption process, the believer must first of all zero in on the sacrifice of Christ, even as Paul stated, that is, if he is to understand redemption.
As is obvious, this refers to the Cross.
This article is an excerpt from the book, When I See The Blood, by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart.