September 17, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.’ And Moses said to the people: ‘Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. On this day you are going out, in the month Abib. And it shall be, when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, “This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I came up from Egypt.” It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.’”—Exodus 13:1–10 (NKJV)
Sometimes, just after God helps us get out of a difficult situation, we then enter another one and can almost immediately forget about God’s faithfulness in the times before. Our Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. Therefore, He sets up ways for us to remember who He is, His goodness, and His faithfulness—and He lays them out for His people through His Word.
In Exodus 12, we read about Passover and how the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt after living there as slaves for 430 years. In chapter 13, we read how He asked them to consecrate, or give/dedicate, the firstborn of both humans and animals to Him.
This was for several reasons, one being that Israel was God’s firstborn (Exodus 4:22) and doing this would serve as a reminder to all generations of when God redeemed His firstborn Israel from Egypt.
Then, He also commanded them to observe what we now call “the feast of unleavened bread,” which is also very meaningful for several reasons. One of them being that when the Israelites were freed from captivity in Egypt, they had no time to spare to make bread with yeast which is a long process. They hastily had to take flat, unleavened bread for their journey (Exodus 12:39). So, this would be a very clear reminder of that time in their history.
Also, leaven, or yeast, in some contexts in the Bible represents sin or corruption and this adds to the symbolism of celebrating this feast after Passover. One theologian points out that “this illustrates the principle that we can only walk in purity before the Lord after the blood-deliverance at the cross.” And in verse 6 of today’s passage, we see that this time ends with a celebration to the Lord, as a walk of purity (no sin or corruption) is a joy-filled walk with the Lord! At the end of this passage, Moses also emphasizes the importance of passing this celebration of remembrance on to the next generation and the importance of God’s law and instruction to be spoken and shared, which brings glory to the Lord in highlighting who He is and what He does for His people.
Our God is faithful, but we can forget this so easily if we don’t ever talk about Him or acknowledge Him in our daily lives. He never forgets about us, even if we sometimes feel that He does. He has given us His Word as a “guard rail” to guide us to the right path and protect us from the evil that seeks to assail us. We are strengthened individually as we glorify Him by reading His truth for ourselves and in community as we share it with others!
Pause: How often do I speak about God to others in my daily life?
Practice: Make it a goal to bring up at least one thing God has done for you or in your life to someone. It can be something small or big (God is in all the details!). Pray and ask God for boldness to do this if you tend to hesitate.
Pray: Dear Lord, I want to remember You and Your goodness. Please forgive me for how quickly I can sometimes forget. Help me have You on my mind constantly, that I may grow in my relationship with You and see Your hand in all things. Amen.
Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.