January 29, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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. When 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.’ And 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.”—Exodus 13:14–16 (NIV)
Do you have any mementos in your home? Items connected to memories, people, or milestone events? In our new home, there are several pieces of Star Wars memorabilia that were left to us by the previous owner, herself a big fan and collector. They remind us of the journey we went on to buy our home. We also have several scrapbooks from when my wife and I met to our wedding, so we can reminisce and tell our kids all about how we met and fell in love!
Today, we get more context as to why the Lord instituted the laws of consecration and redemption for Israel upon entering Canaan. As we learned yesterday, there was a clear foreshadowing of the gospel woven into this practice. It’s clear to us today because 1) we have the Holy Spirit in us revealing these truths and 2) because we live on this side of the coming of Jesus. However, it obviously wouldn’t have been clear to them because they didn’t yet have the prophecies and Scriptures of the coming Messiah or even the Torah.
So, what did it do for the Israelites in their historical context? Well, as we saw yesterday, it showed them that their first and best belonged to God. It taught them to depend on Him and, as we see today, it reminded them of what God did for them in delivering them from Egypt. As Moses wrote in today’s passage, “It will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead.”
In the same way our kids would see a scrapbook, a movie, plane tickets, or preserved flower petals so they can learn about our first date or the trip where we got engaged, the Israelite parents would get to tell their kids about the exodus, about God’s faithfulness and power, and about the wonderful privilege of being His chosen people!
Today, we can apply these exact words to our lives: “It will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the Lord brought us out . . . with his mighty hand.” Except our rescue wasn’t simply from physical slavery and oppression at the hands of a foreign government. Instead, it was a physical and spiritual rescue from the clutches of sin, death, and hell and into the eternal kingdom of heaven through adoption into His family by the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
This gospel truth is now “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV). It’s important to remind ourselves of the gospel and the work God has done in us and others (Titus 3:4–8). And it’s important that our lives, as those consecrated unto Him, serve as mementos to others that “proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV).
Pause: What do mementos and milestones teach us? Why is it important to remember the works of the Lord in our lives and the lives of others?
Practice: Read and write out Titus 3:4–8! Display it somewhere to remind yourself about the gospel of your salvation and to be able to share this beautiful truth with someone!
Pray: Heavenly Father, I pray that by the power of the Spirit, You may keep the gospel at the forefront of my mind. I pray You would use me as a living monument, a walking epistle to those around me about Your love, grace, faithfulness, and power to save and restore. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.