Reading For Friday Exodus 12:1-42
Exodus twelve is so important that God institutes a new calendar beginning with the observation of Israel’s redemption. This is important because of the inauguration of the Festival of Passover. This is when God led his people out of their slavery in Egypt. There are important themes and issues in this chapter, the two most important being Blood redemption and the Passover. God’s people avoided the judgment which came upon the land of Egypt through the death of a substitute– a lamb slain with its blood sprinkled on the door of their home.
Death came to every home and it was either the death of the firstborn, or the death of the lamb. Not just any lamb could be used for the purpose of redemption. The lamb must be without blemish and every household had to take refuge under the blood of the lamb or perish. The blood of the Passover lamb was not only a sign for Israel, but for God who would pass over when he saw the blood. God’s justice would be satisfied and his honor vindicated through the death of the lamb.
The plague of death to the firstborn struck in the middle of the night. Every home experienced loss as God struck down the firstborn males of Egypt. Even the firstborn of the livestock were affected. The Egyptians were devastated as they expressed their grief. Weeping could be heard throughout the land of Egypt. Pharaoh broke his own word that he would never see Moses again and he summoned him during the night. There was no compromise. Pharaoh totally capitulated. The Israelites were to worship their God as they had requested. Before their departure however, Pharaoh requested that they pronounce a blessing on him. Hearing of this edict from Pharaoh, the Egyptians urged the Israelites to leave quickly because they feared for their own lives if the slaves remained much longer.
The God of Israel proves himself greater than all the gods of Egypt. It seems almost too good to be true as the descendants of Jacob make their way out of Egypt to the land which God has promised to give them as an inheritance. The Egyptians were so eager to see Israel leave that they paid them with silver, gold, and clothing. The Israelites “plundered” their captors before leaving. There were no battles or fights. The people simply followed Moses’ instructions and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold. Because of the events in recent months, the Lord had made it clear to the Egyptians that the Israelites were a special people. Therefore, the Egyptians were inclined to give the Israelites whatever they wanted.
Thing To Consider:
- Why is redemption such an important theme in the scripture?
- Why do you think that the lamb had to be without blemish?
- What does the blood picture?
- How is this a picture of the work accomplished by Jesus?
- Why do you think Pharaoh asked for a blessing?