The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
April 8, 1880 Journeyings of the Israelites
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.

After leaving the , the , guided by the , journeyed through the . Although the scenery around them was most dreary, composed of solemn looking destitute of , , and the sea stretching far away behind them, its banks strewn with the bodies of their enemies, they were in the consciousness of their , and for a time every thought of was hushed.

But for three days they journeyed without finding any water to quench their thirst, having that only which they had been commanded to take in their vessels. and were acquainted with this route, and knew that after traveling several days in the way in which they were then going they would find only bitter water. With what intense anxiety, therefore, mingled with forebodings, did they watch the leading of the pillar of cloud. And how the heart of Moses ached as the people gave the glad shout, Water! water! and it was echoed all along the line. Men, women, and children in joyous haste rush to the water, when lo, what a moan of anguish breaks forth from that vast company,–the water is bitter.

In their grief and disappointment, they reproach Moses for having led them in such a way, and do not consider that the Divine Presence in that mysterious cloud had been leading Moses and Aaron as well as themselves. Filled with sorrow as he saw the suffering of the people, Moses did that which the people should have done: he prayed earnestly to God, and he did not cry in vain. The Lord showed him a tree to which had been imparted healing properties, so that on its being cast into the fountain, the water became pleasant to the taste.

God here made a covenant with his people, through their leader:–If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

From Marah the people journeyed to Elim where they found “twelve wells of water and three-score and ten palm trees.” In this delightful spot they remained several days before entering the wilderness of sin. When they had been a month away from Egypt, they made their first encampment in this wilderness. Their store of provisions had now begun to fail. There was scanty herbage in the wilderness and their flocks also were fast diminishing. Famine seemed to be staring them in the face, and as they followed the cloudy pillar over the desert wastes, doubts filled their hearts, and again they murmured, even the rulers and elders of the people joined in complaining against the leaders of God’s appointment: “Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, and when we did eat bread to the full! for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” The children of Israel seemed to possess an evil heart of unbelief. They were unwilling to endure hardships in the wilderness. When they met with difficulties, they would regard them as insurmountable obstacles. Their confidence would fail, and they would see nothing before them but death.

They had not really suffered the pangs of hunger. They had food for the present necessities, but they feared for the future. They could not see how the hosts of Israel were to subsist, in their long travels through the wilderness; and in their unbelief they saw their children famishing. The Lord was willing that their supply of food should be cut short, and that they should meet with difficulties, that their hearts might turn to Him who had hitherto delivered them. He was ready to be to them a present help. If, in their want, they would call upon him, he would manifest to them tokens of his love and continual care. But they were unwilling to trust the Lord any further than they could witness before their eyes the continual evidences of his power. If they had possessed true faith and a firm confidence in God, inconveniences and obstacles, or even real suffering, would have been cheerfully borne, after the Lord had wrought in such a wonderful manner for their deliverance from bondage.

The Lord had promised that if they would obey his commandments no disease should rest upon them, and it was criminal unbelief in them to anticipate that themselves and children might die of hunger. They had suffered greatly in Egypt by being overtaxed with labor. Their children had been put to death, and in answer to their prayers of anguish, God had mercifully delivered them. He had promised to be their God, to take them to himself as a people, and to lead them to a large and good land. But they were ready to faint at any suffering they should have to endure in the way to that land. They had suffered much while in bondage to the Egyptians, but now they could not endure hardships in the service of God. They were ready to yield to gloomy doubts, and to sink in discouragement when they were tried.

The sinful course of the Israelites is recorded as a warning to the people of God now upon the earth. Many look back to them, and marvel at their unbelief and continual murmurings, after the Lord had given them such repeated evidence of his love and care. They think that they would not have proved so ungrateful. But some who thus think, murmur and repine at things of far less consequence. They do not know themselves. God frequently proves them, and tries their faith in small things; and they endure the trial no better than did ancient Israel.

Many have then present wants supplied, yet they will not trust God for the future. They manifest unbelief, and sink into despondency and gloom. Some are in continual trouble lest they shall come to want, and their children suffer. When difficulties arise, or when they are brought into strait places–when their faith and their love to God are tested–they shrink from the trial, and murmur at the process by which God has chosen to purify them. Their love does not prove pure and perfect, to bear all things. The faith of the people of the God of Heaven should be strong, active, and enduring–the substance of things hoped for. The language of such will be, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name; for he hath dealt bountifully with me. Self-denial is considered by some to be real suffering. Depraved appetites are indulged. And a restraint upon the unhealthy appetite would lead even many professed Christians now to start back, as though actual starvation would be the consequence of a plain diet. And, like the children of Israel, they would accept slavery, diseased bodies, and even death, rather than to be deprived of some hurtful indulgence. Bread and water is all that is promised to the remnant in the time of trouble.

God was not unmindful of the wants of his people, and in his wisdom he provided the needed supply. He said to their leaders; “I will rain bread from Heaven for you.” The Lord designed to prove them, and by indulgence through miraculous provision for their wants to test them to see whether they would keep his commandments or no. The Lord promised to supply them through Moses with abundance of food. By his power he would give them flesh to eat in the evening and in the morning bread in abundance. Moses told them that their murmurings were not against him, but against the Lord. He that was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud heard all their murmurings and bitter complaints. While Aaron was speaking to the congregation there was a remarkable change in that pillar of cloud.

The Lord designed to give the Israelites evidences of his presence that they might be held in restraint and subordination as they knew the presence of the Lord, not merely the man Moses, was guiding them. Evidences of this kind were the books of knowledge opened to their senses that they should learn in regard to God, and his fear be before them. The greatest changes were to be wrought in the characters of these demoralized people. God was working by his power to lift them up through a knowledge of himself. Thus a visible manifestation of the glory of God was given them; a splendor which they had never witnessed, which symbolized the Divine presence. While the people were greatly terrified at this revelation of God, and feared his judgments, an audible voice came from the glory commanding Moses and Aaron to draw near to the cloudy pillar in which his glory was manifested. And the Lord talked with Moses and Aaron, and the Israelites heard his voice, saying that he had heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, and repeated his promise of flesh in the morning and bread in the evening. There God gave them evidence that he would supply their necessities, protect and preserve them, if they would be obedient to his commandments. In the evening the quails covered the ground about the camp. And in the morning the ground was covered with a strange substance, in small, white grains of the size of coriander seed, hard, and pleasant to the taste. The children of Israel knew not what it was, so they called it manna, which means, What is it? Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, gather of it every man, according to his eating, an omer for every man according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.”

The people gathered the manna, and found that there was a sufficiency for the entire company. They “ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and made cakes of it; and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.” We are also told that “the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.”

According to the direction of Moses they were to gather an omer (about five pints) for every person; and they were not to leave of it until the morning. Some attempted to keep a supply until the next day, but what they laid by bred worms and became offensive. The supply for each day was to be gathered each morning; for as the heat of the sun increased, the substance melted and disappeared.

Jenny @ 4:37 am
April 1, 1880 The Two Ways
Filed under: EG White Articles

“Strive to enter in at the ; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to , and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” These roads are distinct, separate, and in opposite directions. One leads to , the other to death, . There is a distinction between these roads, also between the companies traveling in them. One road is broad and smooth, the other is narrow and rugged. So the parties that travel in them are opposite in , life, dress, and conversation.

Those traveling in the narrow way are talking of the joy and happiness at the end of the journey.

Their countenances are often sad, yet beam with holy, sacred joy. A man of sorrow and acquainted with grief opened that road for them, and traveled it himself. His followers see his footsteps, and are comforted. He went through safely; so can they if they follow him. In the broad road all are occupied with their dress and the pleasures in the way. They freely indulge in hilarity and glee, and think not of their journey’s end, of the certain destruction that awaits them there. Every day they approach nearer their destination; yet they madly rush on faster and faster.

Why is it so hard to lead a self-denying, humble life? Because professed Christians are not dead to the world. It is easier living for Christ after dying to the world. They desire to be as much like the world as possible, and yet be considered Christians. Such seek to climb up some other way. They do not strive to enter through the narrow way and strait gate. Earth attracts them. Its treasures seem of worth to them. They find enough to engross the mind, and have no time to prepare for Heaven. Satan is ever ready to plunge them deeper and deeper into difficulty; and as one perplexity and trouble is removed from the mind, he begets within them an unholy desire for more of the things of earth. Thus time passes, and when it is too late they find they have nothing substantial. They have grasped at shadows, and lost eternal life.

If the Christian would have a true and saving influence, let him show his faith by righteous works, and make the distinction great between himself and the world. The words, the dress, the actions, all should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all. God hates pride. “And all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly will be stubble; and the day that cometh will burn them up.” Religion will work like leaven upon hearts that embrace it, and purge away pride, selfishness, covetousness, and love of the world.

In these days childlike simplicity is rarely seen. The approbation of man is more thought of than fear to displease God. Some spend time that is worse than thrown away in studying how to decorate their person, forgetting that the same body may in a few days be food for worms. Mothers frequently set the example of pride to their children, sowing seed that will spring up and bear fruit. The harvest will be plenteous and sure. It is much easier to teach a child a lesson of pride than of humility. If in after years they would counteract the influence of such a lesson, they find it impossible to do so. Pride early fostered in the heart remains there; and nothing but the Spirit of God can eradicate it.

Both young and old neglect the study of the Bible, and do not make it their rule of life. That important book by which they are to be judged is scarcely studied at all. Idle stories have been attentively read, while the Bible has been passed by, neglected. A day is coming when all will wish to be thoroughly furnished by the plain truths of the word of God.

It would be an act of mercy to children if parents would burn the idle story books and novels as they come into the house. The reading of them bewilders and poisons the mind. Unless parents awake to the eternal interests of their children, they will surely be lost. They should be exemplary, and rebuke pride in their children, as they value their eternal interests.

The Master’s sacred head was decorated with a crown of thorns. “He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” Many who profess to be his followers decorate themselves with needless ornaments and costly array.

The ax must be laid at the root of the tree. Pride must not be suffered to exist in the heart. It is this that separates God from his people. When Bible truths affect the heart, they cause a desire to be separate from the world, like the Master. Those who acquaint themselves with the meek and lowly Jesus will walk worthy of him.                          

Mrs. E. G. White

Jenny @ 8:40 pm
April 1, 1880 Israel Leaves Egypt
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.

The had followed the directions given them of God; and while the was passing from house to house among the , they were all ready for their journey, and waiting for the rebellious king, and his great men to bid them go. “At , there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” All the in the land, “from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of cattle,” had been smitten by the . When the Egyptians had seen the great preparations made by the people of God for that dreadful night, they had mocked at their hopes, and ridiculed the token of blood upon their door-posts. But now there was wailing throughout all Egypt. Pharaoh remembered his proud boast, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” His haughty pride was now humbled. He called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” He hoped that a blessing from God would protect him from the further effects of that dreadful plague. The officers of the king, and the people, united in imploring the Israelites to be gone, for, they said. “We be all dead men.”

“And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment. And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required; and they spoiled the Egyptians.”

The Lord revealed this to Abraham about four hundred years before it was fulfilled: “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”

Although the Israelites left Egypt in haste, yet they were arranged in order, being divided into companies, with a leader for each. A “mixed multitude” accompanied them, and “flocks and herds, even very much cattle.” The latter were the property of the Israelites, who had never sold their possessions to the king. Jacob and his sons had brought their flocks and herds with them to Egypt, where they had greatly increased. The children of Israel also had become exceedingly numerous, and it was a vast company that at the dawn of day were on their way from the land of bondage.

“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt. But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.” “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him; for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

The Lord knew that his people would meet with opposition, should they attempt to pass through the land of the Philistines. The latter would regard the Israelites as fugitives escaping from their rightful masters, and would make war upon them. In bringing them by the way of the Red Sea, the Lord revealed himself a compassionate God, as well as a God of judgment. He informed Moses that Pharaoh would pursue them, and he directed him just where to encamp before the sea. He told Moses that he would be honored before Pharaoh and all his host.

After the Hebrews had departed from Egypt, the counselors of Pharaoh informed him that his bondmen had fled, and would never return to serve him again. The Egyptians regretted that they had been so foolish as to think the death of their first-born was the result of the power of God. In bitterness they asked of one another, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” It was a great loss to be deprived of the service of these laborers, and notwithstanding all that the Egyptians had suffered from the judgments of God, they were so hardened by their continual rebellion that they decided to pursue the Israelites and bring them back by force.

Pharaoh prepared a well-equipped army, composed of the priests of their idol gods, and of the rulers, and of all the great men of his kingdom. They thought if their priests accompanied them, they would be more sure of success. The most mighty of Egypt were selected, that they might intimidate the Israelites with the grand display of their power and greatness. They thought that when the news should reach other nations, that they were compelled to yield to the power of the God of Israel, whom they had despised, they would be looked upon with derision. But if they should go with great pomp, and bring Israel back by force, they would redeem their glory, and would also have the service of their bondmen again.

On the third day of their journey, the Hebrews encamped by the Red Sea, whose waters presented a seemingly impassable barrier before them, while on the south a rugged mountain obstructed their further progress. Suddenly they beheld in the distance the flashing armor, waving banners, and moving chariots of a great army. As they drew nearer, the hosts of Egypt were seen in full pursuit. Terror filled the hearts of Israel. Over all the encampment rose a tumultuous sound. Some cried unto the Lord, but far the greater part hastened to Moses with their complaints:–

“Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? for it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”

Moses was greatly troubled because his people were so wanting in faith, especially as they had repeatedly witnessed the manifestations of the power of God in their favor. He felt grieved that they should charge upon him the dangers and difficulties of their position, when he had simply followed the express commands of God. True, they were in a place from which there was no possibility of release unless God himself interposed to save them; but having been brought there in obedience to divine commands, Moses felt no fear of the consequences. His calm and assuring reply to the people was,

“Fear ye not; stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

It was not an easy thing to hold the hosts of Israel in waiting before the Lord. They lacked discipline and self-control. Impressed by the horrors of their situation, they became violent and unreasonable. They expected speedily to fall into the hands of their oppressors, and their wailings and recriminations were loud and deep.

The wonderful pillar of cloud which had accompanied them in their wanderings and served to protect them from the fervid rays of the sun, had moved grandly before them all day, subject neither to sunshine nor storm, and at night it had become a pillar of fire to light them on their way. They had followed it as the signal of God to go forward; but now they questioned among themselves if it might not be the shadow of some terrible calamity that was about to befall them, for had it not led them on the wrong side of the mountain, into a impassable way? Thus the angel of God appeared to their deluded minds as the harbinger of disaster.

But now, as the Egyptian host approaches them, expecting to make them an easy prey, the cloudy column rises majestically into the heavens, passes over the Israelites, and descends between them and the armies of Egypt. A wall of darkness interposes between the pursued and their pursuers. The Egyptians can no longer discern the camp of the Hebrews, and are forced to halt. But as the darkness of night deepens, the wall of cloud becomes a great light to the Hebrews, illuminating the whole camp with the radiance of day.

Then hope came to the hearts of Israel that they might yet be delivered. And Moses lifted up his voice unto the Lord. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”

Then Moses, obedient to the divine command, stretched out his rod, the waters parted and Israel went into the midst of the sea, upon dry ground, while the waters stood like congealed walls on either side. The light from God’s pillar of fire shone upon the foam-capped billows, and lit the road that was cut like a mighty furrow through the waters of the Red Sea, and was lost in the obscurity of the farther shore.

All night long sounded the tramping of the hosts of Israel, but the cloud hid them from the sight of their enemies. The Egyptians, weary with their hasty march, had seen the Hebrews only a short distance before them, and as there seemed to be no possibility of escape, they decided to take a night’s rest, and make an easy capture in the morning. The night was intensely dark, the clouds seemed to encompass them like some tangible substance. Deep sleep fell upon the camp, even the sentinels slumbered at their posts.

At last a ringing blast arouses the army! The cloud is passing on! The Hebrews are moving! Voices and the sound of marching come from toward the sea. It is still so dark they cannot discern the escaping people, but the command is given to make ready for the pursuit. The clattering of arms, and the roll of chariots is heard, the marshalling of the captains, and the neighing of the steeds. At length the line of march is formed and they press on through the obscurity, in the direction of the escaping multitude.

In the darkness and confusion, they rush on in their pursuit, not knowing that they have entered upon the bed of the sea, and are hemmed in on either hand by beetling walls of water. They long for the mist and darkness to pass away, and reveal to them the Hebrews and their own whereabouts. The wheels of the chariots sink deep into the soft sand, the horses become entangled and unruly, and angels of God go through the host and remove their chariot wheels. Confusion prevails, yet they press on feeling sure of victory.

At last the mysterious cloud changes to a pillar of fire before their astonished eyes. The thunders peal, and the lightnings flash, waves roll about them, and fear takes possession of their hearts. Amid the terror and confusion the lurid light reveals to the amazed Egyptians the terrible waters massed up on the right hand and on the left. They see the broad path that the Lord has made for his people across the shining sands of the sea, and behold triumphant Israel safe on the farther shore.

Confusion and dismay seizes them. Amid the wrath of the elements, in which they hear the voice of an angry God, they endeavor to retrace their steps and fly to the shore they have quitted. But Moses stretches out his rod, and the piled up waters, hissing, roaring, and eager for their prey, rush together, and swallow the entire Egyptian host in their black depths.

As the Hebrews witnessed the marvelous work of God in the destruction of the Egyptians, they united in an inspired song of lofty eloquence and grateful praise. Miriam, the sister of Moses, a prophetess, led the women in music.

God in his providence brought the Hebrews into the mountain fastnesses, with the Red Sea before them, that he might work out their deliverance and forever rid them of their enemies. He might have saved them in any other way, but he chose this method in order to test their faith and strengthen their trust in him. 

There are times when the Christian life seems beset by dangers, and duty seems hard to perform. The imagination pictures impending ruin before, and bondage or death behind. Yet the voice of God speaks clearly above all discouragements, “Go forward!” We should obey this command, let the result be what it may, even though our eyes cannot penetrate the darkness, and we feel the cold waves about our feet. 

The Hebrews were weary and terrified, yet if they had held back when Moses bade them advance, if they had refused to move nearer to the Red Sea, God would never have opened the path for them. In marching down to the very water, they showed that they had faith in the word of God, as spoken by the man Moses. They did all that was in their power to do, and then the Mighty One of Israel performed his part and divided the waters to make a path for their feet. 

The clouds that gather about our way will never disappear before a halting, doubting spirit. Unbelief says, We can never surmount these obstructions, let us wait until they are removed, and we can see our way clearly. But faith courageously urges an advance, hoping all things, believing all things. Obedience towards God is sure to bring the victory. Through faith only can we reach Heaven.

There is a great similarity between our history and that of the children of Israel. God led his people from Egypt into the wilderness, where they could keep his law and obey his voice. The Egyptians, who had no regard for the Lord, were encamped close by them; yet, what was to them a great flood of light, illuminating the whole camp, and shedding brightness upon the path before them, was to the hosts of Pharaoh a wall of clouds, making blacker the darkness of night. 

So, at this time, there is a people whom God has made the repository of his law. To those who obey them, the commandments of God are as a pillar of fire, lighting and leading the way to eternal salvation. But unto those who disregard them, they are as the clouds of night. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Better than all other knowledge is an understanding of the word of God. In keeping his commandments there is great reward, and no earthly inducements should cause the Christian to waver for a moment in his allegiance. Riches, honor, and worldly pomp are but as dross that shall perish before the fire of God’s wrath.

The voice of the Lord bidding his faithful ones “Go forward,” frequently tries their faith to the uttermost. But if they should defer obedience till every shadow of uncertainty was removed from their understanding, and there remained no risk of failure or defeat, they would never move on at all. Those who think it impossible for them to yield to the will of God and have faith in his promises until all is made clear and plain before them, will never yield at all. Faith is not certainty of knowledge, it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. To obey the commandments of God is the only way to obtain his favor. “Go forward,” should be the Christian’s watchword.

Pharaoh, who would not acknowledge God and bow to his authority, had delighted to show his power as ruler over those whom he could control. Moses had declared to the haughty monarch, that God, whom he pretended not to know, would compel him to yield to his claims, and acknowledge his authority, as supreme ruler.

In the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the Lord plainly showed his distinguished mercy to his people, before all the Egyptians. He saw fit to execute his judgments upon Pharaoh, that he might know by sad experience, since he would not otherwise be convinced, that the power of God was superior to all other. That his name might be declared throughout all the earth, he would give proof to all nations of his divine power and justice. It was the design of God that these manifestations should strengthen the faith of his people, and that their posterity should steadfastly worship Him alone who had wrought such merciful wonders in their behalf.

It had been very hard for the Egyptian monarch and a proud and idolatrous people to bow to the requirements of the God of Heaven. While under the most grievous affliction the haughty king would yield a little, but when the scourge was removed he would take back all he had granted. Thus, plague after plague was brought upon Egypt, and he yielded only while he was compelled by the dreadful visitations of God’s wrath. The king even persisted in his rebellion after Egypt had been ruined. Moses and Aaron related to him the nature and effect of each plague, before it came, that it might not be said to have happened by chance. He saw these plagues come, exactly as he was told they would come; yet he would not yield. At first he would only grant the Israelites permission to sacrifice to God in the land of Egypt. After Egypt had suffered by God’s wrath, he consented that the men alone should go; and when the land had been nearly destroyed by the plague of locusts, he granted that the women and children might go also, but still refused to allow them to take their cattle. It was then that Moses warned the king that the Lord would slay the first-born.

Every plague had come a little closer, and had been more severe than the preceding; and the last was to be more dreadful than any before it. But Pharaoh humbled not himself. And although, when the first-born of Egypt lay dead in every house, the rebellious monarch relinquished his grasp upon his bondmen, yet, after his people had buried their dead, and felt assured that the judgments had ceased, he dared once more to array himself against Jehovah. His last act of rebellion, in pursuing the hosts of Israel to the Red Sea, filled up the measure of his iniquity. This place was appointed for the closing display of the power of God before the infatuated Egyptians. Then were fulfilled the words which the Lord spake to Moses, “And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the Lord.” The judgment of God was manifested in the utter destruction of the Egyptian host.

Jenny @ 8:30 pm
March 25, 1880 The Passover
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.

The Lord gave Moses special directions for the children of Israel, in regard to what they must do to preserve themselves and their families from the fearful plague that he was about to send upon the Egyptians. Moses was also to give his people instructions in regard to their leaving Egypt. On that night, so terrible to the Egyptians, and so glorious to the people of God, the solemn ordinance of the passover was instituted. By the divine command, each family, alone or in connection with others, was to slay a lamb or a goat “without blemish,” and with a bunch of hyssop sprinkle its blood on “the two side-posts, and on the upper door-post” of their houses, as a token, that the destroying angel, coming at midnight, might not enter that dwelling. They were to eat the flesh roasted, with bitter herbs, at night, as Moses said, “with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s passover.” This name was given in memory of the angel’s passing by their dwellings; and such a feast was to be observed as a memorial by the people of Israel in all future generations.

Leaven works secretly, and is a fit emblem of hypocrisy and deceit. And on this occasion the children of Israel were to abstain from leavened bread that their minds might be impressed with the fact that God requires truth and sincerity in his worship. The bitter herbs represented their long and bitter servitude in Egypt, also the bondage of sin. It was not enough to simply slay the lamb, and sprinkle its blood upon the door posts, but it was to be eaten, thus representing the close union which must exist between Christ and his followers.

A work was required of the children of Israel, to prove them, and to show their faith in the great deliverance which God had been bringing about for them. In order to escape the terrible judgment about to fall upon Egypt, the token of blood must be seen upon their houses. And they were required to separate themselves and their children from the Egyptians, and gather them into their own houses; for if any of the Israelites were found in the dwellings of the Egyptians, they would fall by the hand of the destroying angel. They were also directed to keep the feast of the passover for an ordinance, that when their children should inquire what such service meant, they should relate to them their wonderful preservation in Egypt: That when the destroying angel went forth in the night to slay the first-born of man, and the first-born of beast, he passed over their houses, and not one of the Hebrews that had the token of blood upon their door-posts was slain. 

The people bowed their heads and worshiped, grateful for this remarkable memorial given to preserve to their children the remembrance of God’s care for his people. There were quite a number of the Egyptians who were led to acknowledge, by the manifestations of the signs and wonders shown in Egypt, that the gods whom they had worshiped were without knowledge, and had no power to save or to destroy, and that the God of the Hebrews was the only true God. They begged to be permitted to come to the houses of the Israelites with their families upon that fearful night when the angel of God should slay the first-born of the Egyptians. The Hebrews welcomed these believing Egyptians to their homes, and the latter pledged themselves henceforth to choose the God of Israel as their God, and to leave Egypt and go with the Israelites to worship the Lord.

The passover pointed backward to the deliverance of the children of Israel, and was also typical, pointing forward to Christ, the Lamb of God, slain for the redemption of fallen man. The blood sprinkled upon the door-posts prefigured the atoning blood of Christ, and also the continual dependence of sinful man upon the merits of that blood for safety from the power of Satan, and for final redemption. Christ ate the passover supper with his disciples just before his crucifixion, and the same night, instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s supper, to be observed in commemoration of his death. Up to this time the passover had been observed to commemorate the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. But in its place he now left an ordinance to commemorate the events of his crucifixion. After partaking of the passover with his disciples, Christ arose from the table, and said unto them, “With desire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.” He then performed the humiliating office of washing the feet of his disciples. Christ gave his followers the ordinance of washing feet for them to practice, which would teach them lessons of humility. He connected this ordinance with the supper. He designed that this should be a season of self-examination, that his people might have an opportunity to become acquainted with the true feelings of their own hearts toward God and one another. If pride existed in their hearts, how soon would it be discovered to the honestly-erring ones, as they should engage in this humble duty. If selfishness or hatred existed, if would be more readily discovered as they engaged in this humble work. This ordinance was designed to result in mutual confessions, and to increase feelings of forbearance, forgiveness of each other’s errors, and true love, preparatory to engaging in the solemn ordinance of commemorating the sufferings and death of Christ. He loved his disciples well enough to die for them. He exhorted them to love one another, as he had loved them.

The example of washing the feet of his disciples was given for the benefit of all who should believe in him. He required them to follow his example. This humble ordinance was designed not only to test their humility and faithfulness, but to keep fresh in their remembrance that the redemption of his people was purchased upon condition of humility and continual obedience on their part. “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

Jesus then took his place again at the table, whereon were placed bread and unfermented wine, which arrangements had been made according to Christ’s directions. He appeared very sorrowful. “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of me. Likewise, also, the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Here our Saviour instituted the Lord’s supper, to be often celebrated, to keep fresh in the memory of his followers the solemn scenes of his betrayal and crucifixion for the sins of the world. He would have his followers realize their continual dependence upon his blood for salvation. The broken bread was a symbol of Christ’s broken body, given for the salvation of the world. The wine was a symbol of his blood, shed for the cleansing of the sins of all those who should come unto him for pardon, and receive him as their Saviour.

The salvation of men depends upon a continual application to their hearts of the cleansing blood of Christ. Therefore, the Lord’s supper was to be observed more frequently than the annual passover. This solemn ordinance commemorates a far greater event than the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. That deliverance was typical of the great atonement which Christ made by the sacrifice of his own life for the final redemption of his people.

Jenny @ 8:22 pm