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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

May 31, 2017

Exodus  11:1-10-12:1-14

  1. As we think of Moses, what are some of the lessons that we have learned so far‘? What is the lesson that has meant the most to you? In what ways are we like Moses? How do we see Pharaoh-type systems today? Verses l-3. In chapter 11, verses l-3 and 9-10 are explanations to the text. The statements which are quoted have been made previous to the event, but are placed here to explain why things are happening as described. Moses didn’t leave Pharaoh’s presence at the end of chapter 10 and returned again to make his statement in verses 4-8 of chapter 11. Instead verses 4-8 are Moses’ final retort to Pharaoh, made immediately after his demand for Moses to leave. Verses 1-3 are cited before the announcement of Moses to Pharaoh that the firstborn of Egypt will be slain. This explains how Moses knew that this was the final plague, and why Pharaoh will nonetheless reject the warning. It also informs us that Moses had nothing to say to Pharaoh, but that which God had commanded him to speak. Verses 9 and 10 are also a parenthetical explanation of why Pharaoh stubbornly refused to heed the warning of the plagues. Moses was told by God that after this plague the Egyptians would beg them to leave and would not resist giving them payment to leave. Pharaoh might not have wanted them gone, but the rest of the nation wanted them gone badly. So much so that they were more than willing to give the Hebrews gold and silver as they left. God is letting Moses know that this is the time to move. Prior to this God never gave Moses a timeframe to move, but now God says it is time to get ready to move. Sometimes we will not get notice to move on a certain situation until the last moment, but in those moments don’t hesitate.

  2. Verses 4-8. Pharaoh had just demanded that Moses leave his presence, and warned that to return would mean death (10:28). Verses 1-3 of chapter 11 inform us of a revelation/message God had given Moses sometime before, in which the details of the final plague had been outlined. In verses 4-8, Moses declared the essence of this revelation to Pharaoh, as it related to him. At midnight, God would go throughout Egypt, slaying the firstborn, from Pharaoh’s own son, to the firstborn son of the lowest slave. No grief will have ever been greater for the Egyptians, and yet no harm would fall upon the Israelites. The distinction of wrath on the Egyptians and mercy on the Hebrews would be the final straw for the mighty Egyptians. After this blow, Pharaoh’s own officials (who must have been standing there in Pharaoh’s court during this confrontation) would come to Moses, begging him to leave, with the Israelites. Of course Pharaoh probably mocked Moses as he dismissed him in anger. Hot with anger, Moses then left the presence of Pharaoh.

  3. Verses 9-10. These verses are just an explanation of all that has transpired and why what happened occurred. Pharaoh’s resistance essentially brings about his own destruction. His refusal to listen to any reason brought the judgment on God in such a way that it strengthened the faith of the Hebrews in the process. Basically God allowed the enemy to resist over and over again, so that God could demonstrate God’s power over and over again. This repeated and intentional demonstration of power increased the faith of the Hebrews.

  4. Chapter 12. God is about to start a new season in the life of the Israelites. Their last season was marked by slavery, this new season will be marked by liberty. Notice how the season ends with death and life. Something has to die, and something has to be spared. This is a picture of our salvation. We must die to sin and be born again through the grace and mercy of God. The first thing we see is something very interesting. God changed their calendar! Israel’s religious calendar starts with the month of Nisan (March-April) and goes through to the month of Adar (February-March). Why did God do this? Well, simply, because He knows that everything begins with the Passover. Jesus’ death on the cross is the beginning of the New Covenant of grace; it is the beginning of the New Creation, and it is, once a person places their faith in Jesus, the beginning of real life as God had intended it to be.

  5. Verses 3-4. The next point we see is that God made the whole thing very personal. He could.have.just had one lamb killed for the entire nation if He had so wished. But He didn’t! He wanted every household in Israel to identify itself with the lamb. They each had to take a lamb, they each had to inspect the lamb, and they each had to kill the lamb. Talk about getting your hands dirty! It reminds us of course of how personal the cross is. Just as each Israelite household had to kill their lamb, so our own personal sin was responsible for Jesus going to the cross.

  6. Verses 5-6. Notice how the lambs were supposed to be near perfect. This is all a picture of the Last Lamb that would be slain for our lives. Jesus faced all of the temptations that we do, but in all of them he was found to be blameless and perfect. They were to take the lamb on the 10th of the month and keep it until the fourteenth of that same month, where it was to be slain at twilight. Twilight is between the suns decline and sunset (3-5pm). Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matt 21:1-l l) was in fact the 10th of Nisan--the very day when the spotless lamb was to be chosen! In fulfillment of the Old Testament type, for the next 4 days Jesus presented Himself to the people in Jerusalem, showing Himself to be the spotless lamb without defect. On the fourteenth of that month, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon (twilight, Matt 27:46) while all throughout Israel different households were starting to kill their lambs, Jesus died on a cross. And they didn’t even understand!

  7. Verses 7-10. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and unleavened bread. Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire--head, legs and inner parts. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. God didn’t want it boiled, but He is obviously keen on roast lamb! There is a reason for this - Fire, in this sense, speaks of God’s judgement (Mal 3:1-5, 4:1-3, Matt 3:12). Just as the spotless lamb had to be cooked by fire and anything that they didn’t eat was burnt up, so Jesus was fully judged for our sin while on the cross. Other cooking instructions included always adding bitter herbs and unleavened bread. The bitter herbs were to be a reminder of the bitterness that accompanied their life down in Egypt. And in like manner it is good for us, when thinking of the cross, to remember the bitterness and bondage that God has rescued us from. Leaven in the Bible speaks of sin (l Cor 5:7-8) and this reminds us that in view of the cross, and through God’s strength, we are called to live a righteous life.

  8. Verse 11. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. Having completed the recipe and cooking instructions, God now turns His attention to their attire. When they eat, it is to be with their sandals on and their staff in their hand. The reason for this of course is that the Passover was going to be the means of Israel’s deliverance from the Egyptian empire; so they had to be ready, for the journey was about to begin! Like everything else in this passage, this has instruction for us. Believing in the death of Jesus Christ on your behalf is the beginning of an entire new journey, and an entire new walk. It’s the starting line, not the finishing line! It is the start of a new life that can be wonderful, yet difficult at the same time. God has a journey for each of us and He wants us to be ready to walk where He calls.

  9. Verses 12-13. Judgment was to come upon Egypt. The only hope for Israel was to be under the blood. Let me ask a question--Why were the Israelites saved--did it come down to their own personal worthiness? No, not at all... it didn’t come down to whether they were worthy of salvation. It simply came down to whether they were sheltering under the blood of the lamb!

  10. Verse 14. Finally we see that God instructed the Israelites to make the Passover a lasting ordinance - for it is a day worthy to be celebrated! Of course it is a celebration for God had redeemed them from the land of Egypt. Our communions should be more of a celebration for we have even more to celebrate because of Jesus death for us, than Israel did with the Passover! He has redeemed us from the world, and from the penalty of sin. The blood is over our lives and we have been declared righteous because of it!

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