Just Looking for a Home, Part 11 (The Covenant & the Cross #92)

This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is Deuteronomy 29:1-6 which reads: “These are the words of the covenant, which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb. And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the Lord your God.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from John Flavel. He said: “The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 10)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. It is available on our website for just $20.


Earlier we observed that the relationship between the nation of Israel and God was that of a covenant, specifically a treaty between a suzerain and His vassal. This relationship is evident in the terminology used throughout Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It is also evident within their literary structure, although that feature is most apparent in the case of the book of Deuteronomy.

Just Looking for a Home, Part 8 (The Covenant & the Cross #89)

Numbers 21:6-9 which reads: “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Michael Horton. He said: “Once we truly grasp the message of the New Testament, it is impossible to read the Old Testament again without seeing Christ on every page, in every story, foreshadowed or anticipated in every event and narrative. The Bible must be read as a whole, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation, letting promise and fulfillment guide or expectations for what we will find there.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 8)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

— The Bronze Serpent

Leaving Mount Hor, the people had to travel south along the coast of Yam Suph (the section known today as the Gulf of Aqaba) to circle Edom. As they continued down through the desert, the people began to grumble again. This time, God sent fiery (poisonous) serpents among them. Many were bitten and a number died. The people realized their failure and asked Moses to intercede with God on their behalf. At God’s direction, Moses made a bronze replica of the serpents, which was to be put up on a pole. When the people looked to the bronze serpent, they lived. This bronze serpent would later become a stumbling block for the people as they began to offer incense to it. Consequently, Hezekiah destroyed it approximately seven hundred years later. Interestingly, this incident in the wilderness was used by Jesus to illustrate how His death on the cross would provide life for all humankind: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Making a Nation Out of a Mob, Part 9 (The Covenant & the Cross #80)

Today’s passage of Scripture is Leviticus 23:1-6: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Billy Graham. He said: “I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.”

Our topic for today is titled “Making a Nation Out of a Mob (Part 9)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.


Our tendency, as we study this material, is to be overwhelmed by all of the negatives. However, there are some exciting positives. One of the most exciting is the holidays. God set forth seven national holidays, then directed the nation to gather for three of them. These three mandatory festivals were to be times when the people stopped their work and gathered together for sacrifice that involved a communal meal. Thus, it was a time of national celebration. There were other festivals throughout the year as well as a mandatory day of rest each week—the Sabbath. Each was to remind the original audience of specific things God had done for them. By extension, then, they were to remind future generations of the acts God had done in the past.

— The Sabbath

The Sabbath, or seventh day, was to be a day of rest, which within this context meant that work did not go on as usual. Some necessary activity was allowed. But the Sabbath was to be a day when everyone in the nation got a break. After the Exile, the religious leaders began trying to quantify what should be regarded as work, but that issue will concern us later. The purpose of the Sabbath was to remind the people that God was their Creator (a direct reference to the creation account in Genesis) and that they were but human.

The Passover Event (The Covenant & the Cross #66) #VA4

Today’s passage of Scripture is Exodus 12:5-7 which reads: “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Michael Horton. He said: “To preach the Bible as ‘the handbook for life,’ or as the answer to every question, rather than as the revelation of Christ, is to turn the Bible into an entirely different book. This is how the Pharisees approached Scripture, as we can see clearly from the questions they asked Jesus. For the Pharisees, the Scriptures were a source of trivia for life’s dilemmas.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Passover Event” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The last “plague” is given special attention because it was so much more than just a plague. Rather, it was the foundation for a ritual that would become the religious foundation of Israel to this day. God told Moses that after this event, Pharaoh would let the people go. In preparation of this freedom, the people were to perform a ritual, which was then to be repeated annually as a reminder of God’s work on behalf of His people.

The first Passover event began with the selection of a lamb. It was to be chosen on the tenth of the month of Nisan, the lunar month that begins the religious year for Israel. This lamb was to have no defects and might be either a sheep or a goat.

Each family was to select a lamb unless the family was too small, in which case several neighbors were to share one. The reason is that there were to be no leftovers after it was cooked. The lamb was to be kept until the fourteenth day of the month of Nisan (the night of the full moon). At twilight the head of the family was to kill the lamb and save its blood. Some of the blood was to be painted on the door posts and lintel of the house. The lamb was then to be roasted whole (insuring that no bones were broken). With the lamb, the people were to eat bitter herbs. As God laid out this ritual, He made clear that it was to be performed annually to remind the people of their deliverance from Egypt. Each member of the family was to be fully dressed and prepared for a journey as he or she ate. Previously, the Israelites had been told to request gold, silver, and jewelry from the Egyptians. Through God’s intervention, the Egyptians acceded to the request. While we are not told specifically, we can safely assume that the Israelites were also all packed and ready for a rapid flight from Egypt.

The Date of the Exodus, Part 3 (The Covenant & the Cross #71)

Exodus 15:1-4 which reads: “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Jacquelyn K. Heasley. She said: “The Word of God is a Person. When you read it, do you see words or do you see Him?”

Our topic for today is titled “The Date of the Exodus (Part 3)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Today, we are going to look at the third and fourth studies regarding the issue of the date of the Exodus.


Two factors affect the dating of Old Testament events. Israel, which used a different calendar than we do, had both a religious new year in the spring (marked by the Passover) and a civil new year in the fall (marked by Rosh Hashanah). In addition, the way the kings counted the time between their coronation and the next new year varied. Sometimes the coronation counted as the first year; at other times, the first full year counted as the first year.

Putting these three items together and working through the biblical chronologies, we have a solid chain back to the division of the nation of Israel into the northern and southern kingdoms in 931 BCE. This means that Solomon took the throne in 971 BCE. When we turn to 1 Kings 6:1, we find that Solomon began to build the temple in the fourth year of his reign — 480 years after the Exodus. The fourth year of Solomon’s reign would be 967 or 966 BCE, probably the latter. If the temple was begun in 966, then the Exodus took place in 1446 BCE.

The Date of the Exodus, Part 2 (The Covenant & the Cross #70)

Exodus 14:29-31 which reads: “the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Phillips Brooks. He said: “Christ is the Word of God. It is not in certain texts written in the New Testament, valuable as they are; it is not in certain words which Jesus spoke, vast as is their preciousness; it is in the Word, which Jesus is, that the great manifestation of God is made.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Date of the Exodus (Part 2)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Today, we are going to look at the second study regarding the issue of the date of the Exodus.


The conclusion regarding the date of the Exodus that has been reached from deciphering languages has created problems. One of the most serious difficulties was the discovery of an inscription called the Merneptah stele. On this stone document, Mer-nep-tah (the son of Rameses) claims a victory over Israel in the land of Canaan, showing that during his reign Israel was already in the land of Canaan: “Israel is laid waste, his seed is not.” Thus, Merneptah could not have been the pharaoh of the Exodus, for that identification does not leave room for the Exodus, the forty years in the desert, and the five to ten years of conquest during his reign. For this reason, many scholars have suggested that the pharaoh Moses met on his return to Egypt was Rameses, the same one from whom he had fled about forty years earlier.

The Date of the Exodus, Part 1 (The Covenant & the Cross #69)

Today’s passage of Scripture is Exodus 13:21-22 which reads: “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.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from T. Austin-Sparks. He said: “The whole meaning of spiritual understanding is that we see what the Spirit has always meant. It is one of our laws of interpretation that the whole Bible is focused in Christ, and that the work of the Holy Spirit in every dispensation relates to Christ.”

Our topic for today is titled “The Date of the Exodus (Part 1)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Even for those who affirm that there was a historical Exodus event, there is still debate regarding when it occurred. Various dates have been suggested by researchers, but only two have been widely accepted: an early date in the middle of the fifteenth century BCE (the year 1446 is frequently offered) and a late date in the thirteenth century BCE (c. 1260). Perhaps the best way to understand these different views is to trace how the two proposed dates were derived. Traditionally scholars understood the Exodus event to have occurred during the fifteenth century, based on the Old Testament genealogies and the lengths of kings’ reigns. For example, Bishop James Ussher developed a chronology that put the Exodus at 1491 BCE. For these scholars, however, there was very little information linking the Old Testament data to secular history.

Two events changed that. A French scholar named Jean Francois Champollion deciphered the Rosetta Stone in 1822, allowing us to read Egyptian hieroglyphics. Then in 1835 the British scholar Henry Gres-wich Rawlinson set out to decipher the Be-his-tun Inscription, leading eventually to a knowledge of Akkadian, and thus the ability to read the clay tablets that appeared through the excavations of Nineveh by Austin Layard beginning in 1847. With these two languages—hieroglyphics and Akkadian—scholars were able to develop historical ties with both Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations (and later with other civilizations through them).