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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

June 28, 2017

Exodus  13:1-22

  1. Verses 1-16. The first part of the chapter is devoted to the explanation of why the ancient Hebrews would commemorate the Passover year after year. The explanation is clear, “Don’t forget what God has done.” Forgetting what the Lord has done is the quickest way to stray from God’s will for your life. Constant reminders of what the Lord has done can keep God in our focus. Year after year, the Hebrews would perform this ceremony as a reminder of God’s deliverance. The Lord specifically admonishes Moses to tell the people to never forget to celebrate this and constantly be prepared to share the significance of this to the children. Beloved it is tremendously important to constantly remind our children of how the Lord has helped us.

    1. Each year, at the beginning of the festival, all first born sons would be consecrated or set aside and all the first born animals would be sacrificed. The celebration was marked by the reminder of the saving of the firstborn in Egypt and a sacrifice of the firstborn animals and harvest. We will learn later that the firstborn sons were set aside to work in the service of God. This annual reminder of God’s deliverance from Egypt would be a precursor or foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus Christ, the real Passover lamb. The Passover was a reminder that the Hebrews did not deliver themselves, but they were delivered by the mighty hand of God. The response to this deliverance was regular celebration, sacrifice, and consecration for service. In the same way, our response to God’s deliverance should be celebration, sacrifice and consecration for service. The institution of the Lord’s Table (“communion”) serves the same purposes. The observance of the Lord’s Table reminds the Christian of the salvation which our Lord accomplished by His death, burial, and resurrection (cf. Lu. 22:14-22; 1 Cor. 11:l7-34). Unfortunately, Christians have come to take the remembrance of our Lord lightly, and do it infrequently, often as a kind of footnote to some other service. Let us learn to value and to practice those times of remembrance and anticipation which God has established and commanded us to do. Just as the Passover celebrations (including the redemption of the firstborn and the Feast of Unleavened Bread) provided an opportunity to instruct the children concerning God’s work in the past and its bearing on the present, so the Lord’s Table and baptism provide us with teaching opportunities which we dare not neglect.

    2. Another mark of this celebration was a weeklong dining of bread with no yeast/unleavened bread. We have already discussed how leaven/yeast was a symbol of sin. So another response to our deliverance is to live lives of purity. In the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, we read, “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:6-8). The principle on which Paul based his instruction was that of the relationship between the sacrifice of the Passover lamb and the observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb set in motion the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Since Christ is our Passover lamb, and He has already been sacrificed, the Corinthians should begin the Feast of Unleavened Bread, looking for any sign of leaven (a symbol of sin) and putting it far away from them (5:7-8). Thus the fact that Christ is our Passover lamb necessitates maintaining purity in our lives, and in the church as well.

  2. Verses 17-18. In the last half of the chapter we are exposed to several ways the Lord leads us. In verse l7, we see that the Lord leads us around things that we are not ready to handle. God has Moses lead the people along a longer route so the people would not see the Philistines. The Philistines were not too big for God but they were too big for the faith of the people. Notice how the text says “if they face war” not actual fighting, but in the face of the possibility of a fight, the people would turn tail and run back to their oppressors. Beloved sometimes God has led you along a path longer than you wanted to travel for the simple reason the shorter path was too difficult for your faith. God took you along a longer path to keep you from going back to your bondage. This is especially true when we are just learning how to trust God. The people have just started walking with God and they are not ready to go to battle where they will have to fully trust God for the victory. Notice the text says that they came out of Egypt armed for battle. Armed for battle doesn’t mean they were ready for battle. They had weapons, but they did not know how to use them yet. This is kind of how it is when you are young in the faith. You are free, but you are not battle ready. This is why we should be careful to put younger believers in hard ministry task dealing with difficult people. Not only does God lead them along a longer path to avoid the Philistines, but God takes them along this path to allow the Egyptians time to catch up to them at the Red Sea.

  3. Verse 19. We are reminded that Moses fulfills the wish of his ancestor Joseph, by carrying his remains out of Egypt. Joseph never considered Egypt his home. This was also supposed to be a sign that God has always intended for the Hebrews to leave Egypt and not stay there forever.

  4. Verses 20-22. We see a few more ways God led the people. God always got in front of the people. This is a simple reminder that we don’t get out in front of God, we let God lead the way. If God doesn’t lead that way then don’t go that way. We must constantly position ourselves to follow the Lord. We also see that God gave them a way to follow Him in the day or night. If it was day, He was in the form of a cloud. If it was at night He was in the form of a pillar of fire. At no time were the people without guidance from the Lord. In the same way God is always providing guidance. We will see later in Numbers 9, that when the cloud or fire moved the people moved, but when the cloud or fire stood still the people stood still and camped right there until the fire or cloud moved again. We must also take in to consideration that the people had no idea what God was doing. They were totally oblivious to what God was leading them around and leading them to and through. There will be times, where you and I will be totally clueless to what God is doing. We won’t know things are going the way they are going or why we are where we are. We must trust that God has a plan and to follow him closely.

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