Sunday, August 15, 2010

Exodus 10, 11, 12 The First Passover Feast

The Israelites Eat the Passover (illustration ...Image via Wikipedia

The Exodus of the Jewish people out of Egypt is such an amazing and fascinating account.  In Exodus 12:17 it states that about six hundred thousand men plus women and children left Egypt on foot.  This population was accompanied by their flocks and herds.  The departure was made possible because the Egyptians wanted them to leave as much as  the Israelites were anxious to leave.  Without both elements being in place, such a mass exodus would probably not have occurred.

Joseph’s brothers, when they settled in the land of Goshen, were celebrities of a sort – they were relatives to the man second to Pharaoh.  If they remained so well liked and so comfortable, they might never have wanted to return to the land of Canaan.  But, God, in His sovereign wisdom, allowed the Israelites to become slaves and over time, to become extremely uncomfortable in Egypt.  Because the Egyptians started to fear them, they ordered that all Hebrew newborn males be murdered.  As the tensions increased, the Hebrew slaves were forced to work harder.  When Moses and Aaron began to demand that Pharaoh release the Hebrew slaves, tensions reached a peak.  Israelites who were willing to comply with Pharaoh soon understood just how untenable their position was.  As God revealed Himself to be the powerful God of Israel, more powerful than any Egyptian deity, the people of Israel began to worship God. 

In Exodus 12:27, after Moses explained to Israel what God was about to do, the people of Israel bowed down and worshipped.  It is interesting to note, that this is the second time that the people of Israel bowed their heads and worshipped.  The first time was when Moses, in Exodus 4:21, stood before the people of Israel and told them that God saw their misery and was ready to deliver them out of it.

When Moses began to talk to Pharaoh and the lot of the slaves became more difficult, the Israelites were angry with Moses and considered him to be the source of their problems.  As the plagues continued, Israel learned who their God was and eventually stood behind Moses. 

The second time they worshipped, all of Israel was united in their desire to flee Egypt; they understood that the angel of death was to go throughout the entire land and that only the houses with the blood of the lamb on the top and sides of the doorframe would be spared, would be passed over.  On that fateful night, all of Israel ate in a hurry, poised to leave and ready to ask the Egyptians for articles of gold and silver and clothing.  They all knew what they had to do and fully trusted God to bring about this mass exodus.

Through this process, God created a people who experienced God and who identified themselves as His special people, separate from all others on the earth.  A prophecy given to their father Abraham in Genesis 15:16 was fulfilled before their eyes.  And, with the exodus, they could begin to look to the fulfillment of the entry into the land of promise, Canaan.

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