Rough-riding against the gods of Egypt

 

Passover is here. Soulful melodies combine with delicious foods to shape the Jewish people’s premier family holiday. A national celebration, it has been commemorated by Israel for over 3,000 years. Its traditions have been gathered over the millennia. Its framework is the Book of Exodus – God’s revolutionary exploits in delivering His chosen people from the pagan anti-Semitism of Egyptian slavery.

Passover (or Pesach, as it is known in Hebrew) has the raw stuff of great drama. It has everything a good movie needs: violent abuse, supernatural curses, bloody murder, high stakes political confrontation, signs and wonders… You name it, Passover’s got it!

But let’s not get lost between the matzah ball soup and the coconut macaroons. There is a Passover Secret hiding behind the horseradish and the lamb bone, and it has HUGE relevance for us in our day. The secret of Pesach is YHVH the Warrior, His burning social justice, and His politically incorrect judgment of the false gods and demons of Egypt.

This present darkness

Belfast bard Van Morrison sings of the time “when that rough God goes riding…riding on in” (“Rough God Goes Riding”; words and music Van Morrison, © BMG Rights Management, 1997). The God of Jacob uses similar language to describe His bringing the Ten Plagues to a climax: “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments – I am YHVH” (Exodus 12:13).

The plagues are not only great footage for Cecil B. DeMille in his cinematographic epic “The Ten Commandments.” They reveal YHVH’s deep engagement in spiritual warfare “against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Each plague targeted a different Egyptian demon.

* Hapi was the god of the Nile, Egypt’s source of life (Nile turned to blood)

* Heket was the frog goddess of fertility and birth (frogs became a curse)

* Horus, the hawk-headed god of war, was the first-born son of Osiris (even Pharaoh’s first-born was touched)

* Apis was the god of agriculture (cattle disease, locusts, hail and fire touched all agriculture)

* Ra was the god of the sun (the sun was turned to darkness)

  • The freeing of millions of Jewish captives was accomplished by YHVH’s direct power encounters with the demonic forces behind the Egyptian superpower.
  • Passover is not just about freeing the slaves. It is about the behind the scenes spiritual powers that enslave the children of Isaac (and of Adam). It is about the God of Jacob’s determination to wrest power away from all dark forces of ungodliness in order to free the Jewish people and bring them into their prophesied destiny.

 

Red Sea Rap music

In Exodus 15:1-18 we hear the Song of Moses, his Redemption Song shout at the Reed Sea. The God of Jacob is described in military terms, “YHVH is a warrior. YHVH is His name.”

God is the One who has taken sides on the battlefield and dealt a death-blow to the forces of Pharaoh: “I will sing to YHVH, for He is highly exalted. The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.”

Moses does not mince words. God has a powerful one-two punch and He is not afraid of using it on Israel’s enemies: “Your right hand, O YHVH, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O YHVH, shatters the enemy. And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You. You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff.”

The enemy of the Jewish people boasts coming destruction on Israel, “The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My desire shall be gratified against them. I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.’”

YHVH’s response is to the point: “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. Who is like You among the gods, O YHVH? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders? You stretched out Your right hand. The earth swallowed them.”

The Middle Eastern neighbors beheld how the greatest regional superpower was broken, and they drew political and military conclusions, “The peoples have heard, they tremble. Anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed. The leaders of Moab, trembling grips them. All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them. By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone – until Your people pass over, O YHVH, until the people pass over whom You have purchased.”

  • The Passover attack on Egypt’s finest has a goal – the bringing of the Jewish people back into their Promised Land, their homeland. There will all of YHVH’s good promises come to fruition: “You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, he place, O YHVH, which You have made for Your dwelling, the sanctuary, O YHVH, which Your hands have established. YHVH shall reign forever and ever.”

The lessons of Passover

Each of these Exodus principles is alive, active and sharper than any two-edged missile. These principles stand guard over the Jewish people as we are confronted with Middle Eastern enemies (both physical and spiritual). As you celebrate the victory of Passover and Messiah Yeshua’s victory through the atoning cross, let’s remember that God is getting ready to lead with His strong fist and stretch out His powerful arm (Jeremiah 32:21) to break the power of Israel’s enemies (Zechariah 12:1-9; 14:3).

The God of the Jewish people has a burning passion to purify His people (Zechariah 13:9) and to bring them close to His own heart once again (Jeremiah 31:33-34). Some of that purification process will be painful for Israel. The God of Jacob even uses Exodus language to describe the intensity of some of those moments (Ezekiel 20:33-34). “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11).

How should we then pray?

  • Pray for God’s heart and revelation to come upon the Jewish people as we celebrate Passover this Friday evening
  • Pray for a revelation of YHVH the warrior to come upon Israel’s enemies at this season
  • Pray for God’s purification and gift of repentance to come to the entire Jewish people
  • Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth

Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

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