Wednesday, November 21, 2012
1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”
3Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast. 4Today, in the month of Aviv, you are leaving. 5When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month: 6For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the Lord. 7Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders. 8On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. 10You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.
11“After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your ancestors, 12you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord. 13Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.
14“In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’ 16And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”
17When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.
19Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”
20After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way . . .” (NKJV Ex. 13:21).
We have witnessed God intercepting in the lives of the Israelites in these chapters. God has certain things he asked of the children of Israel to remember their deliverance. For example, to keep the feast of unleavened bread and to set apart the first born for him. It wasn’t much, after all because He had done everything for them. He also has certain things he has asked of us to remember today. To follow ten simple commandments, to keep the Sabbath etc. (We all will discuss this further very soon in Exodus 20!) However, the topic of obedience for it seems that even today, we try to say we are saved by these acts of obedience, or on the opposite side, we rationalize it away, implying that by being obedient, we are becoming legalist. In one of the books written by a well written author, she writes “”By obedience the people were to give evidence of their faith. So all who hope to be saved by the merits of the blood of Christ should realize that they themselves have something to do in securing their salvation. While it is Christ only that can redeem us from the penalty of transgression, we are to turn from sin to obedience. Man is to be saved by faith, not by works; yet his faith must be shown by his works.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 279). Faith must be shown in works. Works do not save us, but they give evidence of our faith! I have to ask, is our faith evident to the world around us today? If you find yourself uneasy to answer this question, ask Jesus to strengthen your faith and to guide you in this life.
It’s been 9 months since I consecrated my life to Jesus and the battle is not getting easier, but my faith and trust in Jesus is growing every day. Because consecrating one’s life to Jesus every morning is the way to fight the battles we face each day. As we have read through these past chapters realize that God wants us to remember Him and the things He has done already for us. Especially His own Son’s death and resurrection almost 2,000 years ago! Notice that he died and resurrected years before you and I were born, but he knew us before we knew of Him. If it weren’t for Jesus’ sacrifice, all of us would be lost souls without any type of hope. And even through all these tribulations we are told by God to be of good cheer because they test our Faith which produces patience and endurance! I keep a diary like book where I write all my thanksgiving to Jesus and I read over what I have written when I feel discouraged. I realize how real my God really is, how much He understands me, what a good listener He is, and that He loves me enough to pick me up from where I am to take me to somewhere better!! I encourage you to keep a similar notebook if you don’t so already because we tend to forget things (at least I have a hard time with my memory.) So a notebook would help us remember all the awesome things God has done for us already like He wanted the Israelites to remember.
Also we see that in verses 17 and 18, God lead the Israelites through the wilderness to the Red Sea instead of leading them the through the easy and fast way. The bible tells us that “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Prov 16:9). Therefore, we may plan our whole future, but God directs the way he must go and our lives will be fulfilled.
My prayers continue with my fellow readers. Have a blessed day.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.