Pharaoh would not let the people go worship the Lord so the Lord sent 9 plagues so far against Egypt. The plagues were against the Egyptians gods to show God's power and that only He is the 1 true God. Now He is sending the final plague, the plague of the firstborn. This terrible judgment was poured out on the Egyptians and at the same time the Israelites were observing the Passover. God would keep His promise to Moses and the Israelites. After 430 years of slavery they would be freed.
Exodus 11 - 13:16 - God Glorified by the Passover
God told Moses that about midnight He would go throughout Egypt and kill the firstborn of the Egyptians. There would be crying and weeping everywhere, worse than there has ever been or will be again. Moses was to tell the Israelite people to get prepared to leave. The Lord would make the Egyptians favorably toward them and they were to ask them for clothing and silver and gold.
How has God provided for your material needs?How has He protected you?
So Moses went to Pharaoh and told him that every firstborn will die then he will know that the Lord will make a distinction between Egypt and Israel. "All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, 'Go, you and all the people who follow you!' After that I will leave. Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh. The Lord said to Moses, 'Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you - so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.' Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country." - Ex. 11:8-10.
God gave Moses and Aaron instructions to the Israelites for the Passover. They were to tell the people that on the 10th day of the 1st month each house will select an unblemished 1 year old sheep or goat. On the 14th day they were to slaughter it at twilight, take its blood and smear it on the doorposts of their houses. They were to eat the meat that was fire roasted in the evening with unleavened bread and herbs. The meat must not be boiled and if any was left over, they were to burn it. They were to eat it in a hurry and be dressed for travel. When the Lord comes at midnight to kill the firstborns, He will see the blood on the doorposts of the Israelites and Passover their houses sparing them. The Israelites were also guilty before God. They would have lost their firstborn, too if they had not obeyed God by putting blood on their doorposts.
Salvation requires that blood be shed. Jesus is our true Passover Lamb. He was our sacrificial lamb. He was a male without blemish or defect (without sin). He was slaughtered on the cross and delivered us by His blood. "it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" - Heb. 10:4. "For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed". - 1 Cor. 5:7. "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" - John 1:29. This is the theme throughout the Bible. The blood of Jesus alone atones for sin. There is no salvation apart from Him.
Principle: Jesus' blood covers the sins of all who trust Him.
Have you accepted Jesus as your Passover Lamb?Do you know Jesus as your Savior?
Do you believe and trust in Him?
The Passover was celebrated then and is celebrated today by those Israelites who trust God. It's a time that they remember what He did for them. He passed over the houses of those who had blood on their doorpost sparing their lives. Christians today celebrate Communion or Lord's Supper. It is for those who trust in God for deliverance. Jesus told us to remember Him by celebrating the Lord's Supper until He comes again.
At midnight God struck every firstborn in the land as He had said He would do. There wasn't a house in which someone wasn't dead. Pharaoh got up that night and there was much wailing in Egypt! He called in Moses and Aaron and told them to get out and go worship God and to not come back!
The death of all the firstborn would greatly affect any nation. Of course, there would be horror, sadness, shock, much weeping. It would affect its future leaders. It not only would affect families who lost loved ones, but it would affect governments, churches, just to name a few. Just think firstborns are not just children, but it could be fathers and grandfathers if they were the firstborn in their family. The devastation would be everywhere and touch everyone.
The Israelites spent 430 years as slaves in Egypt. They left by the Lord's divisions. "At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord's divisions left Egypt. Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come." - Ex. 12:41-42.
There were about 600,000 men who left Egypt along with their wives and children and many others. (Ex. 12:37-38). This may have been as many as 2 million people. There were non-Jews who believed and trusted the Lord that also left Egypt. The Lord gave Moses specific restrictions regarding the Passover for those who were not Israelites. They were not to eat the Passover meal unless they were circumcised. The meat was to be eaten outside the house and none of the bones could be broken. Any alien who wants to celebrate the Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised. They did just as the Lord commanded and they were all brought out of Egypt by their divisions. (Ex. 12:43-51).
The Lord told Moses to consecrate every firstborn male whether man or animal. Since the firstborn of Israel had been spared, He wanted them consecrated or set apart for God. They were to explain to their firstborn what this means and 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 every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal. 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." - Ex. 13:14-16.
God spared the firstborn of Israel so it appropriate that their firstborn to be set apart for God. This means they are to be raised to know God and to seek those things which are above. To be set apart means to be made holy. They are to have a special role in life to serve Him.
Exodus 13:17-14:31 - God Glorified by the Exodus
When Pharaoh let the people go, the Lord took them in a round-about way through the desert and not through the country of the Philistines. They were surrounded by desert, mountains, and water. Pharaoh thought they were confused and used this opportunity to pursue them, but he soon discovered, "The Lord is (was) fighting against them." - Ex. 14:25. When they reached the Red Sea, the Lord told Moses to stretch out his hand to part the sea. While the sea was parted, the people went across on dry land. Then after they had crossed at daybreak, Moses stretched out his hand again over the sea and the waters flowed back over the Egyptians. The Egyptians were swept into the sea. The Lord saved the Israelites and they saw the great power of the Lord. They were in awe of the Lord and their trust in Him and in His servant Moses.
Principle: The crossing of the Red Sea demonstrates God's power to deliver His own.
Exodus 15:1-21 - God Glorified With Praise
The Israelites were now a free people. Then Moses and the Israelites sang a song in praise and worship to the Lord. This song glorifies God. This is the first song in the Bible and could be called the great "Hallelujah Chorus" of Israel. Through this song we see many attributes of God; exalted, my salvation, warrior, greatness of His majesty, holiness, awesome in glory, works wonders, unfailing love, redeemer, power, our sanctuary, He will reign forever and ever.
How do the words in the Israelites' song remind you of what God has done for you?How do you praise God when He has delivered you?
Will you thank Him for His past help?
Principle: Praising God for His past help gives hope for the future.
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