Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years – on that very same day – it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:40, 41. (NKJV)
With this post, we want to start a series on the Tabernacle, that building which accompanied Israel on its sojourn from Egypt to the Promised Land and then served as the center of worship for many decades until the building of the Temple during Solomon’s reign. However, the children of Israel had to get out of Egypt before any of that could happen. This post is about the beginning of those events which led to the construction of the Tabernacle.
After some instructions from the LORD about the Passover, which was to serve as a reminder of slavery in Egypt and their deliverance from it, verse 51 repeats what vs. 40, 41 said: And it came to pass, on that very same day, that the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
“On that very same day….”
Four hundred and thirty years had passed. Several generations of Israelites had come and gone in Egypt. Things had gotten much worse, Exodus chapter 1 – I think Satan knew that the time of God’s promise was drawing near and, while there was nothing he could do to prevent that from happening, he determined he’d make it as rough as possible on the people of God.
But finally, that last day dawned, and “on that very same day,” Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage.
“That very same day.”
In the Old Testament, God had promised that the Messiah, the Deliverer, would come to His people after a certain period of time had elapsed, Daniel 9. Indeed, another “time promise” of God’s had led Daniel to intercede for his people. In v. 2, Daniel wrote, in the first years of Darius’ reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
That seventy years served as a springboard for another “time promise” – Daniel’s “seventy sevens” in the rest of Daniel 9. It’s not our purpose here to get into all that is meant here, but there is one more Scripture germane to the fulfilment of what God promised.
In Galatians 4:4 we read,
when the fulness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son….
“the fulness of the time”
At the exact moment of time – “the time” – ordained in the purpose of God, cf. 1 Peter 1:20, a virgin girl in Israel was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, and God’s deliverance of His people – from both Testaments – was set into motion.
What does all this mean to us on this rather gloomy fall day in this year of our Lord 2018?
It means that we can trust God.
We don’t know for sure what each day will bring. We might have a general idea, get up and go to school or work, or any number of other things, but we don’t know for certain what will happen.
David rejoiced in this fact. In Psalm 139:15, he wrote,
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them (emphasis added).
Some people are bothered by the idea of God’s sovereignty in our affairs, perhaps preferring to believe that God can be caught by surprise, but there are no such “oops” moments with God. He never has to call “an emergency meeting of the Divine Council,” as one writer put it years ago. He has no “Plan B”.
Our text, and the other verses we used, all remind us that God is never late. He is always on time, and He is always there. He is always here.
Oh, that we might lift our eyes upward! We get so caught up in the affairs of life – and, yes, we are supposed to pay attention to our lives. Still, we too easily forget God. I’m thankful He never forgets us.