AMONG THE FLAGS
Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
Exodus 2:1 ¶ And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 5 ¶ And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children. 7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. 9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
There are at least four things that need to be seen if we are to have this portion of the scriptures opened up unto us. But first we must realize that the Hebrew word, “flags” is referring to reeds that grow up in the waters edge. Isaiah 19:6 refers to “reeds and flags.” Briefly the four things are:
1. It was a Place of Execution. Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
2. It was a Place of Preservation Exodus 2:3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.
3. It was a Place of Exaltation Exodus 2:5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
4. It was a Place of Restoration Exodus 15:4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.
Let us now begin to observe these matters. For our specific account of the matter of Moses, the change in the Pharaohs is essential. Exodus 1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. This new Pharaoh had no appreciation for either the effect of the great famine, nor the greatness of the man of God whom the Lord provided to alleviate the horrors thereof. In this he depicts the angel who became Satan. We have but a glimpse of him as the Lord God reveals the wicked apostasy of the king of Tyrus as recorded in Ezekiel 28:12 and following. Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
For the angels, as depicted by those on the mercy seat, were to be ministers to the humans who were the “heirs of salvation.” Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? But iniquity was found in him due to his assessment of his own glory! It was “by reason of thy brightness” that “iniquity was found in thee.” And we have another glimpse of the mind of this celestial being in the hatred of the citizens of the nobleman as recorded in Luke 19:14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. For as he was created without any second cause by the express command of the Creator, he was not about to humble himself to serve these human creatures made from the dust of the ground!
Therefore sin entered the created order of God in the heart of this angel! Jude 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
And as typified by the two thieves hanging beside our Lord on the cross, this master thief came to bring death upon all, for he could not stand anyone having what he had lost by his sinful pride. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: And Satan, like this Pharaoh, assumed that he had “the power of death,” over whomever he pleased. But he underestimated the little baby in the ark, floating upon the waters in which Pharaoh commanded him to drowned!
For our second point reveals that the Place of Execution became the Place of Preservation! For Moses’ mom actually launched her newborn son out upon the very waters in which Pharaoh determined to drown him. And she had a previous pattern for so doing, as another ark had been launched upon death-condemning waters in order to save another chosen man of God. For the worlds of the Infinitely powerful and Sovereign Creator had been securely founded upon the waters. Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Exodus 2:3, (listed above) reveals that she seemingly took God’s instructions to Noah as the “How To” book in constructing her ark. Genesis 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. For the waters meant for death were the waters of salvation to both Noah and Moses as they lifted the arks up above any danger.
But we must not fail to see one very important point in that which prompted the account of Moses ark. For Exodus 2:2 reveals to us that the reason she “hid him” was because she “saw him.” There is more than just the emotional feelings here of a mother’s admiration of her new born. First of all that word “goodly” is the word “precious” in Isaiah 39:2. And there it is referring to the “precious ointment” and other items dedicated to the worship of the Lord God!
Also we have the Holy Spirit confirming there was a special appearance in the face of this child. Acts 7:20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
Why was there no other Hebrew mother who made such provision for the safety of her child? Did not every mother have deep affection for their own son? Certainly they did. But this was a special revelation of the Spirit of God to provide deliverance for the nation! And so it still is with every born again believer. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And it is also how all believers shall attain glorification! 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And thirdly, it was the Place of Exaltation! For it was in these waters where Pharaoh’s daughter came to wash herself and in these waters discover this “goodly child!” Exodus 2:5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
The little Hebrew newborn became Pharaoh’s grandson, clothed in the royal robes of Egypt! Just as a little Son of God, wrapped in strips of cloth, (swaddling clothes), and laid in a trough from which the cattle fed, is now clothed in the glorious garb of the One who is equal with God Himself! Revelation 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Because of his willingness to empty himself of all former glory and suffer the death of the cross, the Father has “highly exalted” him! Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
And lastly, it was the Place of Restoration! Remember that little Hebrew word, “flags?” Well it is the exact same Hebrew word translated, “Red,” as in the Red sea! But how can that be? How can a reed, a weed, a ‘flag’ be the same as a color? Well, it may help you if you knew that some, in ancient times called it “the Reed Sea!” For all one has to do is drop one of the “e’s” in Reed and you have “Red.” Never-the-less, the words translated “flags” and “the Red” in our King James Bibles are the exact same Hebrew words!
Therefore we come now from the great river – the Nile – to the Red Sea by this same Hebrew word. And we find that God is true to his promise to Pharaoh to meet out to him that which he has ‘dished’ out to God’s people! Exodus 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.
Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Joshua 24:20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. 2 Samuel 22:26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. 27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury. 28 And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.
Here we are thousands of years later still reading of the account of Pharaoh’s fatal end. Exodus 14:26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. 27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. 29 But 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.
Pastor Gene Breed
May 6, 2020