From Eternity to Egypt (I)
All things are for the glory of God. There is nothing that is not for His glory. God is the architect and builder of all things. He does all things well.
God is eternal, as is His counsel. He has determined, in the counsel of His will, to create the physical universe — a complement to the spiritual realm, which is also by His design.
With time being in eternity, God’s Word commences with, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The pinnacle of His creative work was man, male and female, made in His image (Gen 1:27). Having given man free will in the garden of Eden, man used his free will to choose disobedience against God. Man fell into sin and the creation fell with him (Gen 3).
There was a deadly separation from God, but not a full destruction of what God created. Man and woman reproduced themselves, but sin visited their offspring and evil became prevalent. Man’s nature was to sin against his creator, God.
The evil was so pervasive that God brought His judgment and just wrath against mankind. The great flood wiped out humanity, save for the eight people in Noah’s ark of salvation (Gen 6–9).
Once again man multiplied and began filling the earth, but sin continued, and man continued his rebellion to usurp the position of God. The tower of Babel represented the sinful aspirations of self-made security, prosperity, and fame. Instead of filling the earth, man gravitated into the great cities he had built (Gen 11).
God’s plan to be glorified has never been thwarted by the machinations of man. He would continue to work His predetermined plan to secure a people for His own possession, who would worship Him in Spirit and truth.
God chose a man at Ur of the Chaldees (modern day Iraq), to be the representative father of myriads of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9).
Abraham was granted grace to believe the promises of the eternal covenant God, revealed to him (Gen 12). Abraham believed the Word of God, unlike Adam and Eve, and it was counted to him as righteousness. The promise included a particular seed (Christ) who would bless the nations.
The unconditional covenant of grace came with a sign that would separate the children of Abraham from the rest of humanity. These would be covenant people of faith, who would hear and believe the Word of God. A separation in Abraham’s own offspring occurred as it did with Adam’s and Noah’s children. Ishmael represented the ongoing line of the unrighteous, while Isaac was included in the covenant and believed God’s promises. Isaac was born again of the Spirit (Gal 4:29).
The covenant was renewed with Isaac’s offspring, who also took on the covenant sign of circumcision. Jacob and Esau both received circumcision, but only one of them believed God’s covenant promises. Tension between believers and unbelievers became evident with Cain and Abel. This was true in Noah’s day, and also in the family of the patriarchs. It has been this way all through history.
The apostle Paul highlighted this in Romans 9. Whereas the children, even household slaves, were party to the covenant, receiving the sign of the covenant, they were not necessarily God’s elect (ie. Ishmael, Esau, Judas Iscariot, etc.).
The family of Abraham was led into Egypt by God’s providence in the 19th century B.C. There, they prospered and multiplied, until the Egyptians had forgotten Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob and second-in-charge in all Egypt.
God multiplied Israel in Egypt over the subsequent 430 years (from Genesis to Exodus). The Egyptians had enslaved God’s chosen people, and at the time of the birth of Moses, the family had grown into a nation. In part II, we will witness God’s deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt, and His conquest of Canaan, the land He promised to give them.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 20, 2021