|Learning From Their Journey
|You Are Different
By Bishop Randy Barnett
I would have a really good treasure chest if I had a dollar for every time someone has made a statement like this: “Why should I
study the Old Testament, it does not apply to me?” The ordinances and commandments in the Law of Moses given to the nation of
Israel 3500 years ago do seem irrelevant to us here in the 21st Century especially in light of the New Covenant in which we stand.
Even though there is now no need for us to sacrifice animals to God, actually there is much to be learned from the study of this
ancient people of God. Much of what Israel encountered and did is not all that different than us today. This is why Paul
admonishes us to learn from what is written in the Bible about ancient times because, as it says in our text verse above, “….they
were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” We do well to understand the examples set before
us in Scripture.
Read Exodus 11 and focus on verse 7. It says, “But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man
of beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” God wanted His people to
understand a very important truth: they were not like anyone else on the earth. (see also Exodus 19:4-6) We rejoice that God
favored Israel as He did, but what does that have to do with you and me right now?
You and I are tied directly to the nation of Israel by virtue of the Abrahamic covenant in which we stand. (Galatians 3) Anyone born
again by the Spirit of God has been ‘grafted into the vine’ of Jesus. (see John 15:1-8) Remember that God said Israel was
“different” than Egypt, (the world) so that means you are too. Jesus says of His disciples (you and me): “…they are not of this
world…” (John 17:16) Take a look at what God thinks about us: I Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, His own special people… you once were not a people but are now the people of God…”
At midnight the death angel swept through Egypt killing the firstborn of man and beast (Exodus 11) but interestingly enough this
horrible occurrence did not affect the people of Israel. Why? Because God warned them in advance and instructed them on how
to protect themselves with the blood on their doorposts. Can you see that God did indeed demonstrate favor toward one group
and not to the other? He again demonstrated His divine favor to them as they approached the Red Sea. A pillar of cloud was
placed between the Egyptians and the Israelites; on the side of the Egyptians there was darkness but on Israel’s side was light –
from the same cloud! The waters of the Red Sea opened to allow the people of God to walk across on dry land yet the Egyptians
drowned when they tried it. Why? Because God was making it very clear that He favors His people. King David explains this
phenomena in Psalm 5:12 “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Perhaps
one of the most dramatic illustrations of how different the people of God are is found in Psalm 91:7-8 “A thousand shall fall at your
side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you, only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of
The point in this word of instruction is that you are different than anyone around you who does not know Jesus as Lord and
Savior. They cannot possibly know what you know, nor can they cannot understand the things of the Spirit as you are able. They
cannot experience the favor of God nor do they enjoy His peace as you do; a peace that even surpasses human understanding.
You have direct access to the throne of God; they do not. They do not know the rich fellowship you have with the Holy Spirit who
abides in you and they do not have His help and guidance. You stand in covenant with Him; they have no covenant. That is why all
of the promises made by God in Holy Scripture are yours; yet they have none. And when this earth-age is done, you will enjoy
eternal bliss in the presence of the Lord; they will burn in torment forever and ever. Indeed, you are different!
"But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast that
you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel."
"And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no
swarm of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land.
I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be."