Certain incidents in the Bible often foreshadow other events yet to come. This idea comprises the concept of typology. Typology is a symbolic representation, usually showing something in the Old Testament in one manner to portray what will happen in the New Testament.
An familiar example of typology may be the Exodus of the Hebrew people from the fiery furnace of slavery in Egypt. That foreshadows how Christians believers will be delivered from the fires of hell through salvation in Jesus Christ.
In the account of Moses, typology comes into play as a foreshadowing of the pre-Tribulation Rapture. Throughout Scripture, there is abundant evidence of this eschatological (i.e. having to do with end-times) position, which is the Blessed Hope of the church (Titus 2:3).
The Hebrews multiplied greatly under the slavery they were forced into in Egypt following the death of Joseph when another Pharaoh came into power who saw them only as a threat. The description of this phenomenon is captured in Exodus 1:12:
“But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.”
This verse itself contains a typological foreshadowing of the future church. Under oppression and persecution, the church, usually in an underground capacity, typically thrives and grows immensely. We have only to understand what has happened in China for the last half century under Communist persecution to see this. There are believed to be more than 100 million believers in China because of the crackdown on Christianity by the atheist state. The truth about this is attributed to Turtullian in the saying: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
Pharaoh decreed that all male Hebrew children should die. The midwives, fearing Yahweh more than man, lied (with God’s approval!), and the babies lived. The next decree instructed that all male children should be drowned in the Nile. Opposing Pharaoh’s will, one Israelite woman saved her child. Exodus 2:3 says:
“When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.”
That child was Moses, and the salvation given to him is similar to that of Noah’s. Noah built an ark that he covered “inside and out with pitch” (Genesis 6:14). When God sent the flood to destroy mankind for the wickedness that had come upon the entire earth, the ark became the means of Noah’s deliverance. He was kept safe from the wrath of God. In the same manner, Moses in his little ark basket was delivered safely from the hand of Pharaoh.
Moses was named for this incident,as Exodus 2:10 tells us:
“When the child grew older, she [the child’s mother] brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.””
His name sounds like the Hebrew word for “draw out.” In being drawn out of the waters to safety, Moses was spared from death, just as Noah was. In fact, water in the Bible is typically symbolic of chaos and death.
How does this foreshadow the pre-Tribulation Rapture? The Bible clearly shows that in the latter days lawlessness, deception, and darkness will overtake the earth. It will essentially become an anti-God wilderness; wilderness itself representing a chaotic place lacking God and haunted by demons. (Think Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by Satan in Matthew 4.)
Prior to the 7-year Tribulation, in which God pours out His wrath upon this unbelieving world, He will save His children. Great chaos is coming with death and destruction. God’s purpose in the Tribulation is to punish all who have chosen to reject Him, while also making a way for the final salvation of men whose hearts can still be turned toward Him.
There is no place in this horrific event for believers who previously chose to give their allegiance to Jesus Christ. We are the Bride of Christ. Would a loving Bridegroom allow His Bride to experience God’s wrath? Of course not!. In fact, as Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10:
“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
The key to our deliverance from this wrath is that we have repented from worshiping pagan gods and their idols. Our believing loyalty has turned to God alone. For that reason He mercifully grants us safety when Jesus comes in the clouds for us. He is the ark that keeps us from the waters of the deep and from the anarchy of the wilderness that will consume the world.
The Old Testament has much to teach us. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He shows us what has been and what is to come. His Word informs us and brings us comfort. He pours out His mercy toward those who honor and revere Him.
What a loving and mighty God He is! Thank you, Lord, for this great salvation.