Sunday, September 15, 2013

Exodus 12:30-51

Today's reading in our daily plan is Exodus 12:30-51. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • After Pharaoh realizes that God has kept his word, he calls for Moses and Aaron and tells them to leave Egypt with all of God's people.  
  • As promised by God in the previous chapter (Exodus 11:2-3), when God's people left, the Egyptians were favorably disposed to them and gave God's people whatever they asked for.  So, on the day they left, instead of leaving like runaway slaves, they left as conquerors.  
  • The bible tells us there were about 600,000 males making this journey.  Even a conservative estimate of the women and children would easily put this number above 1 million total people who left.
  • At the end of the chapter God gives Moses and Aaron more instructions on how to properly observe this event in future years.  Included in this is the requirement that anyone who wants to celebrate this and be included must be circumcised (assuming they are male), and all males in their household must be circumcised.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God is a God who keeps his word.  He warned Pharaoh that he would pursue his people until he let them go.  He warned Pharaoh this even was coming.  God is not merciless.  He gave Pharaoh many opportunities to let his people go.
  • While the requirements to celebrate this holiday in the future seem rather... shall we say, harsh, it certainly provided a very clear dividing line (no pun intended...okay, maybe it was).  This was an event that God took very seriously and something he asked his people to take very seriously.  Someone would have to very sure they wanted to be included among God's people before making that decision. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Again and again, God has kept his word.  God has proven himself to be faithful.  God has made promises to us as well that we know he will keep.  One of the greatest promises is that if we will confess our sin, he will forgive us (I John 1:9).  This is one of the greatest promises he has ever made to us.  What other promises has God made to us?  
  • While (thankfully) circumcision is no longer a requirement to belong to God, the principle is still the same.  Jesus once said that before anyone decides to follow him, they should really think about it and "count the cost" before signing up (See Luke 14:25-35).  Jesus wants all of us.