Brief Notes

Bargaining with
Pharaoh (7):
“A Three Days’
Journey”

31 January 2024

Only when we take a firm stand
as those who have been
crucified and raised again
with Christ will we be
fully separated from the world

When God demanded, through Moses, that Pharaoh let His people go, Pharaoh offered compromises to keep the Children of Israel under his authority, whether in the land of Egypt (Exo. 8:25) or nearby (Exo. 8:28; see Bargaining with Pharaoh (5): “Go, Sacrifice in the Land!” and Bargaining with Pharaoh (6): “You Shall Not Go Very Far Away!”).

Moses, however, would not accept these offers. Instead, he told Pharaoh, in a very firm way,

“We will go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He will command us.”
— Exodus 8:27

This is the journey the Israelites needed to take to be fully separated from the land of Egypt; and today, spiritually speaking, we believers also need to take a “three days’ journey” to be clear from the authority of Satan and his world-system.

The Lord said,

As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
— Matthew 12:40

So, the “three days’ journey” Moses spoke of signifies the journey of death and resurrection we must take today with Christ, in order to follow Him and leave the world behind us. Thus the Israelites, when they left Egypt, were “baptized” in the cloud and in the sea (1 Cor. 10:1-2); only then were they truly delivered from their bondage to Pharaoh.

In his Notes on the Pentateuch, Mackintosh states, of Exodus 8:27,

Here is true separation from Egypt—“three days’ journey.” Nothing less than this could satisfy faith. The Israel of God must be separated from the land of death and darkness, in the power of resurrection. The waters of the Red Sea must roll between God’s redeemed and Egypt ere they can properly sacrifice to Jehovah….
The cross of Christ has not only put away the believer’s sins, but also dissolved forever his connection with the world; and, on the ground of this, he is privileged to regard the world as a crucified thing, and to be regarded by it as a crucified one.

The apostle Paul was surely one who took such a journey; that is, he was one who was separated from the world forever by the death and resurrection of Christ. That is why the Lord could use him as He did. Paul wrote,

God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
— Galatians 6:14

May the Lord grant us such a profound revelation of our death and resurrection with Him! And may we see how it has completely changed our relationship to the world. For it is only by taking such a firm and definite stand—as those who have been crucified and resurrected with Christ—that we can avoid any compromises with the world. Then we will be fully separated from it, so that we may live freely unto the Lord and His purpose.

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— 31 January 2024 —