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6. The Exodus Begins with Great Significance

June 26, 2009

Text:   Exodus 12:37-13:22

Key Verses:   Exodus 13:14-16

Outline:          I. Israel Leaves Egypt      Ex. 12:37-41

                          II. Israel Is to be Known as God’s People      Ex. 12:42-13:16

                          III. Israel Is Led by God      Ex. 13:17-22

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     The big question in this passage is “Why are these specific instructions about remembering the Passover and specific instructions regarding the consecration of the firstborn interjected while telling of Israel’s Exodus?” These instructions are important but did they really take place as they left Egypt? Perhaps they did. Nevertheless, what is said is very important. It seems that the Lord through Moses is trying to tell Israel just how important it is for them to remember the Passover, how important it is for them to be separate [sanctified] through circumcision, and how important it is for them to dedicate and consecrate their firstborn to the Lord God, the One responsible for their redemption from Egypt.

     Israel leaves Egypt walking via Ramses and Succoth. They number ~600,000 men which can easily equate to over 2 million people total. Evidently not all were Israelites. Perhaps some of the Israelites had slaves themselves and perhaps some were Egyptians who realized that Israel’s God was the true God and decided to leave too, and perhaps some of the “foreigners” went because they were married to an Israelite. Whatever the reason, not all who left were true Israelites. But God was willing to accept them as true Israelites if they would be circumcised. This was God’s method of identifying and separating His people from others. Only the circumcised families may celebrate the Passover, that is only true Israelites, God’s chosen people. Therefore, God wants them to dedicate/consecrate their firstborn sons to Him for special service and responsibility. This same decree is made for the animals too because the Passover protected the firstborn sons and animals of Israel. That too was to serve as a reminder of God’s powerful hand in delivering them out of Egypt, their redemption as God’s people, a reminder of God’s faithfulness in keeping His Promises.

     God is leading the Israelites into the desert to worship Him. The way of the Philistines would have been faster but God wanted them at Mt. Sinai [Horeb], His Holy Place where He met with Moses originally and later with Moses and Aaron. Moses’ message to Pharaoh was to release Israel to go worship God and that is what they are going to do. God leads them by His cloud during the day and by fire during the night. Thus, they can travel day and night. Evidently the work they did making bricks for Egypt gave them strong bodies capable of long hours for traveling. All they had to eat at the beginning of their journey was unleavened bread. [Note that Abib is another name for Nisan, the first month in the Jewish calendar at the Exodus]

Lessons/Applications:

     1. Salvation comes through faith in the shed blood [Passover] of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.

     2. A child of God, after proclaiming faith in God, commits to being set apart in loving service to God. We who are “born again” are in the world but not of the world. By the power of God through circumcision [baptism] we are His. We celebrate the Passover [The Lord’s Supper] and we dedicate our firstborn sons and animals [ourselves and our offerings] in holy worship and loving service in His Name. [See Romans 2:28-29]

     3. A child of God is known by their faith in God and their obedience to God. We are saved by faith to live in obedience to His Glory.

     4. God will lead us through the wilderness of life with His Holy Spirit [pillars of cloud and fire] and His Word [Law]. We just have to look to the Lord and listen. God is near so follow Him to your glorious home in heaven.

 

God is calling us, as He did Israel;

Out of darkness [Egypt] and

Into His Glorious Light [Promised Land].

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