In this article, we will discuss three things.
- The crossing of the red sea (once again)
- Bitter waters made sweet
The Horse and the Rider hath he thrown into the sea
We had meditated on crossing over of Red Sea previously. We had seen that it was symbolic of the New Testament baptismal experience. As Pharaoh was cast with his army into the Red Sea so will the beast that rules over nations be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10). This we had observed in the previous article. Today we will see other similar passages in the bible. First, we find that the locusts from the eighth plague were also cast into the Red Sea (Exo 10:19). Locusts in the bible, speaks of the army against Israelites (Joel 1:4, Judges 6:5, 7:12). So this signifies that enemy of God’s people will be destroyed similarly (in lake/sea). Secondly, we read the army of evil spirits having name ‘legion’ is also cast in the lake of Gergesenes ( Mark 5:13, Luke 8:33). I don’t think it is coincidental that the evil spirit army enters pig (beast/animal), and then the pigs are thrown in the lake! Locusts of eight plagues cast in the red sea, Pharaoh with his army in the red sea, the legion of evil spirits in the lake of Gergesenes, and beast in the lake of fire alludes to set pattern of God in destroying his enemies.
We also read that casting of Pharaoh in the red sea was described as God blowing winds from his nostrils (Exo 15:8-10). Moses says,
“With the blast of thy nostrils….thou didst blow thy wind and sea covered themExo 15:8-10
God also blew a strong wind to gather locusts in the Red Sea (Exo 10:19). Similarly, Paul describes God will destroy the antichrist with the Spirit of his mouth/nostrils (2 Thess. 2:8) (c.f. Job 4:9, Psalms 18:15, Isa 11:4, Hosea 6:5, Rev 19:15, 20-21).
Now, after the swallowing up of enemies of God, something new results each time. In Exodus, the destruction of Pharaoh in the red sea resulted in new life for Israelites. In baptismal destruction of Old Man, we have the resurrection of the new man in Christ. Similarly, after the destruction of the beast in lake of fire (Rev 19:20, 20:10, 15), we find New Heaven and New Earth appear (Rev 21:1-2). We find ‘New Jerusalem’ comes down out from heaven (which is waters above – Gen 1:6-8) after the destruction of the devil in the lake of fire.
Bitter Waters Made Sweet(Exodus 15)
Soon after the Red Sea event, we see Israelites feeling thirsty and seeking waters for three days. Finally, they reached a place called Marah but the water was bitter. So they began to complain. God then showed Moses a tree. Moses puts the tree in bitter waters and the waters turn sweet. This event had a parallel in the New Testament days. Just like the waters were bitter for Israelites after crossing of the red sea, so was the life for early church after accepting Jesus. They had to pass through persecution. But like the tree in bitter waters made it sweet, so did the presence of Christ amidst his disciples made them rejoice in persecutions (Acts 5:41, Heb 10:34, Matt 5:12).
It need not be reminded that the symbolic spiritual meaning of the tree is the cross of Christ (Gal 3:13). As the tree sucked the bitterness of the water, so did Jesus took upon himself the curse of the law (Gal 3:13). Observe carefully, that unlike TPM teaches, that one will receive Job and blessings after taking baptism in TPM, the biblical reality was quite opposite. The first-century church did not become materially rich after crossing the Red Sea. They did not get material blessings of life after accepting Jesus. On the contrary, persecution entered their lives. What was sweet in their life was their rejoicing in times of persecution. What was sweet was their redemption from the curse of the law. Therefore getting job, wife, house, promotion after going through TPM baptism is contrary to the pattern set in scriptures. Neither the Israelites were materially blessed nor the early church received comfort and luxury on joining the fellowship of the Apostles. The question we need to ask is our experience after receiving salvation similar to the early church and the church in the wilderness, or is it contrary?
Manna (Exodus 16)
Then we read that Israelites felt hungry. They began complaining about flesh and bread. And God told them
“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. ”Exo 16:4
Next morning the Israelites found a small round thing on the ground and they called in Manna. Jesus said that “I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eats of this bread he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world (John 6:48-54).” We read that the mixed multitude refused manna. They said we remember garlic, cucumber, onion, fish, watermelon which we eat in Egypt. Now there is nothing besides eternal life (Num 11:4-6 paraphrased). To say there is nothing besides manna is to say we have nothing in this world besides eternal life! To desire cucumber, garlic and onion as more pleasing than the eternal life we have received is to despise the bread of heaven. Mixed multitude says “Our soul ABHORS this light bread (Num 21:5).”