We are going to the Book of Exodus. The word “exodus” means “the way out.” Our word “exit” is derived from it. The Book of Exodus is so titled because it has to do with the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. Egypt was not a bondage to Israel in the beginning when they first arrived there, but it became a bondage to them. The realm we have been in is becoming a bondage, too. It wasn’t a bondage at first, but it becomes an Egypt when we stay in it too long without progressing on into new realms in God. Isaiah characterized Egypt as the land that is “sitting still” (Isaiah 30:7). When Christians “sit still” without progressing spiritually, they become bonded to that realm. So, you see, we need to have an exodus, too.
Exodus 19:1-4 In the third
month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt,
the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself.
This is also what the Lord is trying to do for us; that is, bringing us unto Himself. He spoke of this in the Gospel of John. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:2b-3.
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is mine.
They were already His people but if they would obey His voice then they would become a peculiar treasure, a people really special to Him. Obeying His voice involves much more than you might think. His voice doesn’t always use the same channel. Therefore, we must learn how to discern His voice.
Exodus 19:6 And you shall be unto Me a Kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Israel becoming a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation depended upon their ability to hear the voice of the Lord. The inability to hear limits the creativity of God. When He wants to create His world in you He speaks. In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4. If we do not receive His Word, He will not be able to create His will in us.
Jeremiah 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
Did God require of the children of Israel burnt offerings and sacrifices when they were at Mount Sinai? What did He command of them?
Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people: and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
Their commandment was to obey the voice of the Lord and that is what He is requiring of us, too. He is not asking us to do religious rites; He is telling us to obey His voice. Why is hearing His voice so important? It is the means by which His life and nature are transferred to us. Listen, do you know what it means to obey the voice of the Lord? He is not saying, for example, that we are to keep the Ten Commandments. You can do that without obeying His voice. The young rich ruler found that out (Matthew 19:16-22). He came to the Lord and said, “Good master, what must I do to have eternal life?” and Jesus responded, “Keep the commandments.” And the young man said, “From my youth up I have kept the commandments. What am I still lacking?” Then Jesus told him to follow Him. The young man was aware that merely keeping the commandments was not the answer. Jesus, on the other hand, had one focus – obeying the voice of God. Had the young man followed Him, he would have learned how to obey the voice of God, too.
Listen, reading the Scriptures and trying to do what you think they are saying is not obeying the voice of the Lord. Obeying the voice of the Lord is to receive of His life and nature that is in the Word. It is not hearing an audible voice; it is receiving the presence of His divine nature in the Word.
Jeremiah 7:25-26 Since the
day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have
even sent unto you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and
26 Yet they hearkened not unto Me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
He sent His prophets, but they didn’t hearken unto Him. Did you hear that? He was speaking through His prophets. Consequently, they were rejecting God. What God said to them through the prophets probably didn’t agree with their theology. Christians do that quite regularly. The Lord will speak something and they will reject it because it doesn’t agree with the way they interpret the Scriptures. It doesn’t seem to come to their mind that they may not be interpreting the Scriptures correctly. Folks, we need to learn how to discern the voice of the Lord; that is, learn how to discern His presence. How often do you think that what the Lord says will agree with your way of thinking? Probably not very often. One characteristic of a religious person (I use the term religious in the sense of a Pharisee) is that they assume to be lord over the Scriptures. They are not teachable, which is exactly what God said to Israel through Jeremiah. They hearkened not unto Me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck (verse 26).
Jeremiah 35:15 I have sent also unto you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and you shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but you have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto Me.
God is not saying this to the Canaanites; He is talking to His people. He is saying the same thing to Christians and it could be that we are the Christians He is talking to. Is your ear inclined to His voice? Are you hearkening unto Him? If you are not obeying His voice, then you are serving other gods, the gods of your adamic flesh-nature. To lean upon your own understanding is to serve another god (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem (church), Jerusalem (church), you that kills the prophets, and stones them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!
Now, if Jesus is only speaking this to literal Jerusalem, it doesn’t need to be in the Bible. Much of Christianity has become a Jerusalem. Many churches today have killed the prophets of the Lord. “Oh,” you say, ”we don’t believe in prophets for today, but neither have we killed any.” When a church rejects the ministry of prophets, every individual under their covering that God would have made a channel for His voice is slain – a would-be prophet was aborted. The Lord would have gathered their children together under His Lordship but they would not!
Matthew 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Obeying the voice of the Lord is the channel through which His presence comes. When you do not incline your ear to His voice, His divine presence is missing and your house is left desolate.
Matthew 23:39 For I say unto you, You shall not see Me henceforth, till you shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
The revelation you have of the Lord - your awareness of Him - is directly proportional to your acceptance of His channels.
Matthew 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to show Him the buildings of the temple.
The presence of the Lord has vacated many temples. However, it is outside the religious circles that are not obeying His voice that His disciples will begin coming to Him. Why does He want us to obey His voice? He wants us to become a peculiar treasure unto Him above all people. He wants us to become a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation. He wants us to obey His voice that we might become a channel for His voice. Obey and become!
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose