Congregation in the Wilderness
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND APPRECIATION
The word “church” is sometimes wrongly referred to as a building or a religious organization. The Greek word used in the New Testament for church “ecclesia” signifies those who are called-out and respond to the Holy Spirit and who exercise "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). It is described as the “Church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). The Children of Israel is called the “Congregation in the wilderness” during the exodus from Egypt to Canaan (Acts 7:38).
For centuries Bible scholars have been puzzled as to where the real Mount Sinai is located. The traditional Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula has no archaeological evidence to support its claim. The only reason that a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula is called "Mount Sinai" is because Helena, the mother of Constantine who was the first Roman emperor converted to Christianity, guessed this to be its location. Tradition is the only evidence that exists. The map on the right shows the traditional route of the Exodus.
There is a biblical prophecy that in the End Time "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase" (Dan. 12:4). With the advent of modern transportation system, using space age technology in archaeology and advanced biblical scholarship we are much better equipped than the medieval Church in the discovery of biblical lands and works of God. The modern discovery of Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia is a much more plausible solution than the traditional location in the so-called Sinai Peninsula.
One of the reasons Moses was chosen by God to lead Israel out of bondage is because he was familiar with Egypt where he was a prince, and also the land where he had spent forty years during the time of his exile. After killing an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew slave Moses “dwelt in the land of Midian” (Ex. 2:15). Horeb, another name for Sinai, which is called the mountain of God, is in the land of Midian (Ex. 3:1).
“Midian’s descendants and the land they claimed, lying mostly east of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, then southward through the Arabah and (in the time of Moses) including the southern and eastern parts of the Sinai peninsula.” – New International Dictionary of the Bible. Arabah is the ancient name for Saudi Arabia.
God promised Moses that He would bring him back to the land of Midian which is in Arabia.
“So He said, ‘I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” (Ex. 3:12)
"This mountain” refers to Mount Sinai which is in Arabia (Gal. 4:25). The apostle Paul knew exactly what he was writing about because he had been to Arabia (Gal. 1:17).
The distance between Goshen in Egypt where the Children of Israel had lived, and the Promised Land Canaan, is about 120 miles (about 192 kilometers). At a steady pace it would take less than two weeks to walk that distance. God did not want them to go through the land of the Philistines, “for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people changed their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” (Ex. 13:17). The map below shows the possible route of the Exodus that is based on modern biblical scholarship.
“So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 13:18)
“So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people”. (Ex. 13:20-22)
“Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, “They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ (Ex. 14:1-3)
After going through a winding path in the canyon the Children of Israel
God had provided this large beach for the Children of Israel to camp.
God's Preparation for the
Crossing at the Time of Creation
“Your way was in the sea. Your path in the great waters, And Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Psm. 77:19-20)
With modern technology in oceanography scientists have been able to chart
19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.
20 So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.”
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided.
22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
--- to be continued ---