Exodus Day Thirty-Five
August 18, 2020, 5:00 AM

Through the Waters
Exodus 15:8, 19

“At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up;
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea
…and the people of Israel walked on dry ground
in the midst of the sea.”

“In the midst of the sea” — Through the waters.
Major happenings in the Bible happen through the waters— Such as…
Birth – Judgment – Anointing – and Purification.

In the Big Inning, God gave birth to a wild child— “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” However, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The earth rose through the birth canal of amniotic fluid— the chaotic waters of creation. “…And God said, [on the third day] ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:2, 9-10). God tamed the angry waters; and with a with an artistic touch through the waters of creation, the birth of the earth; through which life ensues!

In the days of Noah, the waters would once again swallow up creation as in the days of creation, reversing life. The earth was flooded in judgment; but God brought the family of Noah through the waters. Cresting high above the stormy waters in a rudderless, Divinely Captained, floating coffin containing life, rather than a corpse.

In the Exodus, I love the use of vivid stacked language used in the Song of Moses to describe the pilgrimage through the waters of the Red Sea: “At the blast of your nostrils —
the waters piled up;
the floods stood up in a heap;
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea
…and the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea.”

Just as at Creation, a New Creation. The Twelve Hebrew Tribes are birthed into One Nation, Israel. Brought safely through the waters. Subsequently, this New Creation, God’s Firstborn Son, after forty years of wilderness testing, will be given new life through the waters of the Jordan River as they enter the Promised Land. As we know, this will be a long and stormy habitation in the Land. It will take the much later, but right on time arrival of God’s only begotten Son, “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Col. 1:15)— to return to the waters of the Jordan to be anointed through the waters of baptism, ready to lead his people out of Egypt, for good!

If you are fortunate enough to visit the Holy Land, you will notice that in many archeological digs, hundreds upon hundreds of mikvehs have been unearthed. Mikvehs were purification (baptismal) pools. On the hill south of Temple Mount (the Ophel, pictured above), the area is covered in mikvehs. This was the entrance to Temple Mount, and the thousands of pilgrims entering the Temple precincts would pass through the purifying waters of the mikveh before stepping into the sacred sanctum. Incidentally, on the day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 2:41), when there were thousands of baptisms, this was the likely location of that high-volume revival.

The picture below is of a mikveh in the ruins of Qumran, east of Jerusalem on the Dead Sea. You can see that there are two sets of steps leading into the pool. You enter through one set of steps unclean, pass through the waters and exit the opposite steps, purified. The symbolism from the Red Sea crossing would be an enduring image. Through the waters!

As the revelation of Scripture comes to a close in the Revelation, the waters are once again prominent. In the Throne Room vision of chapter four, John sees God in the splendor of his heavenly court. In sharp contrast to the chaotic, dark waters of creation, and the army swallowing waters of the Red Sea, and the perilous flooding Jordan, the waters before the Throne are calm and still— “Before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass.” (Rev. 4:6). The waters before the four living creatures and the Lord God Almighty are tame, as if worshipful.

The final scene of the Revelation (21:1) is even more striking: “Then [John] saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. The sea was no more! I do not think this means there will be no water in New Eden. That would be so un-Eden. Water is the substance God created for life. How could that not be there? No, I think what John sees is that there is no more stormy, chaotic, judging, tempestuous, wild waters in Paradise Regained. No more sea to split for escape. No more rivers to cross. The raging deeps are no more.

As I close today’s blog, I must point out more Exodus in this final scene of the Bible (Rev. 21:2-3). God promised to be with his people. So he did when they came out of Egypt in the pillar of fire and cloud. So he would do from the mountaintop at Sinai. So he would do in the Tabernacle in the wilderness. So he would do in the Jerusalem Temple. So he would do in the Incarnation of the Son of God. So he would do in the Holy Spirit. But, when the Day comes, he will be with us as he was in the first Garden.

This: "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.
He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,
and God himself will be with them as their God.’”

You must go through the waters to get there!
May you be encouraged today as you remember your own journey through the waters. The waters of your baptism!


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