Departure from Egypt

Exodus 12:31-39; 13:17-22

Describe the exodus.

Closely connected with the people’s salvation from the destroying angel’s sword, was their separation and departure from the land of Egypt.

The same night on which the blood of the lamb was sprinkled on their lintels and doorposts, they turned their backs on Egypt, its people, its gods, and forsook its idolatry and slavery forever.

Every link with Egypt was broken, and they went out free to serve the living and only true God.

They left at midnight, amid the shrieks of the Egyptians bewailing the death of their firstborn.

“The Egyptians were glad to see them leave.” Psalm 105:38

He who led them out could never lead them back again.


The believer’s separation from the world is closely linked with his salvation.

Galatians 1:3-4 “Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”

A believer should not attempt “to make the best of both worlds.” It is not the will of God our Father that His children should be mixed up in unhallowed alliance with the world.

God has spoken with clarity in James 4:4.

“Whosoever will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God.” 1 John 2:15, 17. “If any man love the world,” etc. “He that doeth the will of the Father abideth forever.”

Separation from the evil world is expected by God and is essential for spiritual health and progress.

1) The mixed multitude—Exodus 12:38

There were the friends of Jewish families, it seems also that they had intermarried. Leviticus 24:10.

This friendship of the flesh became weakness, a snare, and a curse to them.

1. It was the mixed multitude who cried for flesh.

2. Loathed the manna.

3. They led Israel to do the same, Numbers 11:14; 21:5.

Read Chapter 12:35-36. Explain “borrowed” and “lent.”

2) The Pillar of Cloud and Fire—Exodus 13:21-22

As sinners we need a Savior.

As captives we need a Deliverer

As pilgrims we need a Guide.

God, who saw us in our lost estate, sent a Savior and Deliverer.

He also has given us His Holy Spirit and His Word to be our guide.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all engaged in our salvation.

They are also engaged in leading us home to heaven.

1) Note v. 17-18

Point out the direct route to Canaan.

Note where that would lead them, through the land of the Philistines.

Lest they should be afraid of their enemies, He led them by way of the Red Sea.

The Lord is always choosing our pathway, oh that we had faith to believe it. 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Abraham left home, gave up the fertile plains, refused to become rich, was asked to give his son.

Paul desired to preach at Rome, first was put in jail, then went to Rome.

v. 20 finds them encamped in Etham.

They were on the edge of the “great and terrible wilderness” fraught with dangers, serpents, scorpions. Moreover they didn’t know one step of the way.

How it must have gladdened their hearts to see the cloud descend.

They didn’t ask for it, it was unexpected, but God came down in the cloudy pillar to be their guide, to walk with them, to defend them, and to be their companion during this wilderness journey.

In the daytime the cloud screened them from the heat.

When evening fell the pillar of cloud became a pillar of fire, to give their light. Psalm 105: 39.

The Lord’s guiding hand as the shepherd of Israel is described in Deuteronomy 32:10-12.

He found him, led him, instructed him, kept him as the apple of His eye.

He bore them on His wings as an eagle bears her young.

Jehovah’s attitude never changed despite the failures, short-comings, and murmurings of Israel.

The cloud accompanied them the forty years of their pilgrimage.

Notice the threefold positions of the cloud.

1. It was for them.

At the Red Sea it stood between them and their foes. Exodus 14:19.

2. It went with them.

As they walked through the desert, it went before them to seek out a resting place. Numbers 9:17.

3. It was in them.

In the tabernacle it rested in their midst. Exodus 40:34.

When the cloud moved, they followed; when it rested, so did they.

Jehovah was their leader and king. Deut. 32:12, “The Lord alone was their leader.”

He was the shepherd, they were the sheep.

He who led Israel through the desert by the pillar of cloud and fire, has not left us unprovided for.

He has given us His Spirit and His Word.

These are to be our pillar of cloud and fire, till the desert days are done.

As we follow them, we will walk with God. See page 3.

Of the Word it is written, Psalm 119:105,

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Of the Spirit it is written, “He shall guide you into all truth, and show you things to come.” John 16:13

How blessed it would be for God’s people, if they knew no other counselor, and sought no other guide.

Commended for study “The Person and work of the Holy Spirit”

2) The Authority and Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures.

When a sinner comes to Christ for salvation he is “sealed by the Holy Spirit” Ephesians 1:13.

He becomes our Teacher. John 16:14

He also becomes our Leader

The Holy Scriptures are not only to be read, but to be obeyed.