Three Day's Journey

God has a plan for His people and it's perfect. His will will be done. Satan, on the other hand, has plans for God's people, too, but he's willing to accept a compromise if he can't have his way entirely. I want to tell you a little story from the O.T. about a situation like that.

Remember, the O.T. was written for us to learn from. Romans 15:4 says, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning."

Genesis 15:13-14. "And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14: And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance..

Now the scene changes to over 400 years later.

Exodus 3:1. "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

Moses spent 40 years in Egypt and knew the Egyptian mind and culture. Then he spent 40 years in the wilderness as a shepherd for his father in law, Jethro. Now, God was going to get his attention and give him a job.

Horeb is another name for Mt. Sinai where the Law was given. Moses knew this area well because he herded cattle there and would lead the children of Israel there for 40 years after they left Egypt.

Exodus 3:2-9. "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3: And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4: And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5: And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
6: Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
7: And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
8: And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
9: Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them."

This tells us about the promise of deliverance God had for the Hebrews.

Exodus 3:10. "Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt." Now, Moses is commissioned by God to deliver them from the Egyptians. Five times Moses tried to get out of doing it, but God said otherwise.

Verse 11. "And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" The people will listen to Moses at first, and then go to Pharaoh and present their request.

Verse 18. "And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God." God demanded complete separation for His People.

In chapter four of Exodus, Moses argues with God that he can't do it. Did you ever argue with God? I have. Well, God let Moses take his brother Aaron along to do the talking for him. He claimed he couldn't speak well. After 40 years training in Pharaoh's court, I think this was a pretty lame excuse.

Exodus 5:1-3. "And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
2: And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
3: And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword."

John Chancellor said, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, who is holding them in bondage. Pharaoh represents Satan and he's the one that holds us in bondage before we are saved. Pharaoh says it's foolish to believe in God, and Satan says the same. He doesn't want the sinner to even desire to serve God, and won't let you go. Satan never gives up, but at this state the sinner's plight, just like the Hebrews, gets worse. The people have been awakened in their conscience and now really feel the bondage of Satan.

Verses 15-18. "Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants?
16: There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people.
17: But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the LORD.
18: Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks."

God's demand is pressed on Pharaoh, and he still refuses to let them go. Following this incident there were plagues of water turned to blood, frogs in everything, lice on everything, and flies in everything. God emphasizes Who He is in Exodus chapter six. Seven times over God says "I will" and four times He says, "I am the Lord."

Satan changes his tactics when he starts to lose the fight. Here Pharaoh starts to be more subtle.

Exodus 8:25. "And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land." This looks like a breakthrough, and it was a concession by Pharaoh, but it's just a veiled attempt to destroy the very objective of God and the people's dedication to God. Satan does this to us. Moses answered with this; Vs. 27. "We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us."

Satan uses these same tricks on the unsaved today. Three days speak of complete separation from sin to redemption through the death and resurrection of Christ for our sins. That is the length of time Christ was in the grave. The distance out of Egypt was measured by God Himself to obtain complete separation from Egyptian influence. It wasn't negotiable. In the same way, salvation isn't negotiable. We are only saved by coming to Christ in complete faith that He died for our sins. We can't go part way or substitute works or money. It has to be all out faith that He died for us individually.

Remember that Christ was separated from His Father for three days for our sakes. Satan has no objections to you sacrificing in the land. You can adopt any religion you want that keeps you a decent church going upright person. He'll even encourage you to do so. The world will speak well of you and you'll look just like a Christian along with millions of others. He just doesn't want us to accept Christ fully.

Worldly religion tastes great and is less filling, just like the commercial goes. It embraces everything and condemns nothing except wholehearted faith in God. It's conducted "in the land" on the principles of the world's ideas of how it should be done, and not on how God ordained it. Man loves things like a big church, stained glass windows, robes, everybody's life style accepted as O.K. Make a big contribution and get your name on a plaque.

Satan and the world love these things, but God insisted on a three day journey into the wilderness. It pictured the death on the cross, the burial, and the resurrection three days later to lead the sinner to Christ.

Satan will move heaven and hell to hinder that. Satan hates out and out separation to God. When you totally commit to God, Satan loses your service from his land forever and he hates that.

You can't have a true testimony for God or worship Him in truth and at the same time live a life of fellowship with worldly people and worldly pleasures or religions. I've had people argue that they just wanted to see what other groups teach or believe. This is very dangerous, it's used by Satan to tempt both non-Christians and Christians. God said very plainly to "come out from among them and be ye separate."

Exodus 8:28 "And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me."

Pharaoh wants them to "keep near enough that I can draw you back." That will destroy your testimony as a separate people. Borderline Christianity is a great tool for Satan. A person who is neither out and out for God and yet not really worldly is a stumbling block to all. The world laughs when a Christian acts like the world does. Those that go to church one day and take God's name in vain the next. Young people who want to act and dress like the world and still be Christians. Adults who profess to be Christians and in spite of Romans 13 , cheat on taxes. People know what you claim to stand for, even when you're not standing for it.

People can gauge the depth of your profession easily. A hypocrite isn't respected even by worldly people. Lot was a prime example of the association of believers with unbelievers. Look what it taught his daughters.

Young believers especially need to be careful. Satan will try any strategy he can on you. "No need to be so straight laced." "Everybody is doing it." "How are you going to have any fun if you don't cut loose once in a while." "It's the new millenniums and things are different." This is the devil's style and it works. People don't want to seem different. This is Satan's reasoning, and with it he blunts our testimony for God in this world.

We say we would never go down like Lot did. Lot undoubtedly said the same and he was a preacher. But, he didn't want to be different. We're told we're different.
1 Peter 2:9 says "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people:" Notice it says "you are" not "should be." We are saints of God and we are to resist Satan and be steadfast in faith. Keep our three days journey on all our ways. The cross and the resurrection is our separation from the world. That's God's formula for Christianity.

Exodus 10:9-11. " And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.
10: And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you.
11: Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence."
This is another trick of the enemy.

Pharaoh is in real trouble with his people now after eight plagues. Now he says he will let the men only go three days journey, but leave the little ones behind. He knew the parents wouldn't leave their little ones but would come back to them. They wouldn't stay long without their kids. While the parents were in the wilderness, Pharaoh's baby sitters would take care of them. They'd be at the baby sitters learning the ways of the Egyptians. What an awful testimony to God that would be.

Do we, as parents or grandparents, go to worship and leave the children at home? Do we teach them at the earliest age to go to church with us? In later life, do we set an example in reading our Bible daily?

Do we attend all the meetings faithfully? Do we let the kids stay home from prayer meeting because it's a school night? What will they learn in school that is more important than the prayer meeting?

Schofield says, "This third compromise proposed by Pharaoh is perhaps, as applied to believers, the subtlest and most successful of them all. The most Godly parents desire worldly prosperity and position for their children."

The testimony of many Christian parents has been darkened by leaving the little ones in Egypt. I know that some kids rebel at the teaching of God's Word, but it's still ours to teach and obey as an example to the young ones. If you obviously enjoy the things of the Lord that's the best way for them to see it.

My dad used to just set there in his chair reading his Bible while all seven of us kids were all over the house. He could set there with a smile on his face enjoying the Bible in spite of the holablue. Made me curious what was in there.

Lot and Eli were examples of what can happen. Lot indulged his family and they all died in Sodom or committed incest later. Eli was a priest and he indulged his two sons, and they became gluttons like him. They died in battle and when the word came to him, he fell over backwards off his seat and he was so fat he broke his neck. His daughter in law gave birth to a child and died and they named the boy Ichabod which means " The glory is departed from Israel." The priesthood at that time was utterly corrupt.

Pharaoh tried one more attempt to hold the people and it's a feeble attempt, but he's trying desperately to keep them in slavery to him.

Exodus 10:24. "And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you."

Pharaoh has been through nine plagues. Water turned to blood. Frogs. Lice. Flies. The animals died. Boils on man and beast. Hail and fire. Locusts. Total darkness. Now Pharaoh thought it would be better for them if he kept their flocks for them while they went to worship. (These flocks represent our material wealth.) After all, Egyptians worshipped cattle and they hated sheep so they were safe. God said everything and everybody would go, and neither Moses nor Pharaoh could change that.

Exodus 10:26. "Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither." There couldn't be a compromise because God's word is final. They needed the flocks and herds for sacrifices to God, and God would tell them which ones to choose in the wilderness.

God brought a tenth plague on the Egyptians. The firstborn, both man and beast, were killed by God's destroying angel on one night, the night of the Passover. This persuaded Pharaoh to let the people of God go free.

Exodus 12:31-32. "And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
32: Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also."


Exodus 12:41. "And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt."

Exodus 12:41 was the fulfillment of the prophesy of Genesis 15:13-14:

Genesis 15:13-14. "And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14: And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance..

The Hebrews were allowed to leave the land for good and start for the Promised Land. No one can resist God forever. Never mind what others do, just be obedient to God. Moses couldn't lower God's standards.

Daniel went into the den of lions rather than disobey God. Shadrac, Meshac, and Abednigo went into the fiery furnace rather than disobey God. They wouldn't worship anything but God. God has said in 1 Samuel 2:30 "Them that honor Me, I will honor."

Entire separation to God is what God wants from the believer. He wants our trust in Him, our worship, our children, our business and our love. We have to go the full three days journey, so to speak, to show the resurrection life He gives us, separation to God.

I'll summarize these passages like this: first we see those who sacrifice in the land. People who look and act like Christians but are unsaved. Many are churchgoers but not believers. Next we see Christians who don't go too far. The ones who don't want to be different. The weak Christian who is saved but acts like the world. Commitment to church going and even giving aren't important enough for these to be practiced regularly. It's easier to stay home from church.

After that, we see the ones who are Christians but don't set an example for their children. The ones who go now, but leave their little ones.

Then there are Christians who are committed to God in much of their lives, but when it comes to giving of time or money, they want to leave their flocks home. These are the ones who usually say, "Why doesn't somebody do this or do that in the church?"

Finally, we see the totally committed Christian in the ones who go the full three days journey of the cross and serve God with everything He has given them. There are many truly dedicated Christians. If it weren't so, our churches would be sadly lacking and eventually disappear.

This three days journey is a picture of Jesus who spent three days in the grave and was raised from the dead as the sacrifice accepted by God for our sins. All we need do is trust Him as our Savior. God wants all mankind to be saved by faith in the finished work of His Son on the cross.


h in the finished work of His Son on the cross.