February 1 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 13-15 and Psalms 31
In Chapter 14 of Exodus, we find one of the best illustrations of Baptism in all of Scripture. 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 tells us, “Our forefathers – all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” This is a direct reference to Moses in Exodus yet Paul calls it “Baptism”. The reason for this is that the truths about Baptism are clearly seen in this historic event:
Israel was living captive in ancient Egypt and this slavery is a type or symbol of the darkness we found ourselves in before Jesus rescued us.
God’s desire was, and still is, to set people free from the kingdom of darkness.
Once Israel was delivered from Egypt and was on the way, the Egyptians chased them. This speaks of a further deliverance (Baptism)needed before we are truly free from Satan’s tyranny.
God’s “way out” was through the waters of Baptism (the Red Sea)
Satan’s forces and all sin’s dominion followed Israel into Baptism but they were buried there in a watery grave. The truth here is that when you obey the Lord and are baptized, there is a separation that takes place. God makes your hearts soft and writes His law there. Sin no longer has dominion over you and you have become a citizen of a new kingdom.
On the other side of the Red Sea, there was great victory and celebration but also a desert place and trials to face. We really should not be surprised at trials that may follow baptism. After all wasn’t Jesus led into the desert, and tempted by the Devil right after His Baptism?
Without Baptism there would not have been a “setting free” for Israel. Baptism was part of the salvation package.
We need to commemorate our Baptism and remember it as a pivotal event in our lives. The first thing Israel did after their “Baptism” was to hold a great worship service – a great deliverance had taken place. We won’t fully appreciate our baptism till we get to heaven and see our deliverer face to face! Remember this however – Even though this nation had been “saved” from slavery, this did not mean that sin was out of the picture because these people ( and we too) did sin and had to repent over and over again.
As we read through the Old Testament we must continually remind ourselves that it is full of New Testament symbolism. Who would have thought that we could find the doctrine of Baptism in the middle of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt?
By the way, if you haven’t been baptized, now would be a great time to do it!
1. What are some other illustrations of what Baptism is like in a Christian’s life?
2. What areas of your life were left behind when you were baptized. What do you do with the sin you still struggle with?