Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday - Exodus 13 - The Guiding Light

It was important that the events of the exodus not be forgotten. It was important to God that the generations to come know just exactly what He had done for their forefathers... and for them. And, obviously it was important to the exodus generation that their children know what had happened to them. But, perhaps most imperative thing was that the up and coming generations be instructed in their history so that they would be both confident in God's sufficiency and clear about their own place and purpose in His master plan.

In order for the wonder of Israel's miraculous deliverance to be preserved God required certain liturgical rites to be established. There were two foundational reminders which He instituted at that time.  First, He required the sanctification of a holiday in April and secondly, he commanded a continual consecration of all firstborn persons and animals.

The feast of unleavened bread was obviously an annual reminder of what God had done (Luke 22:1). It was intended to become a time of reflection, introspection and anticipation.  Reflection concerning what God had done for them, introspection concerning what God was doing in them and anticipation for what God was going to do in the future for them.

God's claim on all the firstborn creatures was then a frequent and constant reminder that God had taken all of the firstborn creatures in Egypt as the price
of their rebellion... and that He had spared all of the eldest in Israel that same night in merciful response to their faith (and fear) filled obedience.

A most shocking illustration of God's program of justice is in seen in Exodus 13:13 where we find written that God commanded the Israelites thusly, "Every firstling of an ass you shalt redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break his neck...” Don’t ever think anyone can weasel out from under His just demands. Either a lamb redeems us or we will be destroyed (Matthew 21:44). There is no "in between" or middle-ground-tie-game scenario in God's playbook. Redemption or death - those are the only options.

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