The LORD implements the first Passover and commands that the children of Israel celebrate it every year on the 14th day of the 1st month – the month of Abib (this would eventually be called the month of Nisan).
As we read this section, God repeats His command that there be no leaven found for the 7 days leading up to the Passover. The Jews would involve the entire family as they searched the house, every cupboard, every nook and cranny to make sure there was not leaven anywhere in the home, after all, we read in:
Exodus 12:15b (NKJV) “…For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.”
Leaven would lead to death.
Leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible. (1 Corinthians 5:6-8; Galatians 5:9) We are to search our own hearts, our own homes; we are to repent of all known sin. We are to be holy. But we are also to be grateful for Jesus who is our Passover Lamb without sin, who takes away the sin of the world. Paul had this in his heart when he wrote to the Corinthians in:
1 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV) “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
I was blessed to read two times in this section of Israel’s obedience:
Exodus 12:28 (NKJV) “Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.”
Exodus 12:35 (NKJV) “Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing.”
In response to God’s word they kept the Passover, avoiding death. In response to God’s word they asked from the Egyptians, articles of silver, articles of gold, articles of clothing and in that sense they plundered the Egyptians and would have all that would be necessary to build the Tabernacle.
If only we would simply obey God like this and “do” according to the Word! This is true worship (Exodus 12:27-28).
I was also blessed to see the emphasis and the reasoning for implementing the yearly Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread…so that our children would know.
Exodus 13:8 (NKJV) “And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came up from Egypt.”
Exodus 13:14 (NKJV) “So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
Every generation is responsible to pass the message of God’s love and redemption to the next generation, especially parents to their children (Deuteronomy 6:7-9; 11:18-21).
God set the children of Israel free after 430 years of bondage in Egypt (Exodus 12:40) by the blood of the Lamb and the death of the Firstborn in every Egyptian household. These are shadows of the substance.
Another reminder throughout the ages of what God had done would be His requirement/ownership of all the firstborn of the children of Israel (even their livestock). They would either be given to God or redeemed, that they would never, ever forget the strong hand of the salvation of the Lord when God struck the firstborn in Egypt.
One last thing. I noticed the word “armies” applied 3 times to the children of Israel (Exodus 12:17, 41, 51). We all know that the only army they had (or us for that matter) is the arm and army of the Lord (Exodus 7:4). He fights for us as we’ll see in Exodus 14:14.
Don’t you love the way the blind men prayed louder, even though the people told them not to?
Keep praying even though the flesh, the world, and the enemy fights it tooth and nail. God will grant you your needs and even the desires of you heart, after all, He’s the one who puts them there.
Can you picture Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, so lowly, so humble, coming in peace? This would be the day they were to choose their Passover Lamb. If only they would have truly chosen Him.
This day fulfills the prophecies of Psalm 118:24-25 and Zechariah 9:9 and:
Daniel 9:25a (NKJV) “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks…”
On March 14, 445 BC Artaxerses issued the command to restore and build Jerusalem. If you count 69 “weeks” (literally sevens) 69-7-year periods adds up to 483 years, or 173,880 days, which brings you to April 6, 32 AD the very day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey!
The chart below explains this, along with the final week (the Tribulation Period)
Jesus cleaned house in His Father’s temple because the religious leaders were getting rich by ripping off the people. His house is to be called a House of Prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:7) but they had made it a den of thieves. So sweet…gentle, loving Jesus singlehandedly drove out the merchandising and moneychanging going on in the Court of the Gentiles. I wonder how He feels about the many church people who continue to fleece the flock today, fancy clothes, luxury cars, mansions, jets at the donations of little old ladies and others mesmerized by their false teaching. Beware of the health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine, it awakens the anger of the Lord.
In Jesus cursing the fig tree we learn a couple of lessons. The fig tree was symbolic of Israel; because they bore no fruit and had rejected the Messiah, they would be judged. Jesus also takes this time to teach the Apostles and us, the power of prayer. It doesn’t mean we get whatever we want (see 1 John 5:14) but it does mean God honors faith.
Beautiful prayers when the troubles of our heart have enlarged (Psalm 25:17). It can be when we’re going through something personally, or even when we’re going through hard times nationally (Psalm 25:22).
May God Himself turn to us, look on us, forgive us and bring us out of distress.
It’s hard to imagine a time when I’m 100% blameless, we all fail in one way or another, so I found it interesting to read:
Psalm 25:18 (NKJV) “Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins.”
It’s not just the enemy, sometimes it’s me, my failures. I don’t just need God to fight for me, I need Him to forgive me. How about you?
Let’s pray as David prayed, may God consider our enemies, for there are many demons who hate us with cruel hatred.
O Lord, we trust You, believe in You, pray to You, and wait on You.
Proverbs 6:12-15 (NKJV) “A worthless person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth; 13 He winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers; 14 Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord. 15 Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; suddenly he shall be broken without remedy.“
We need wisdom over all forms of wickedness – the wicked man, the wicked woman
The NIV calls this person a troublemaker and a villain. It seems like every member of his body is dedicated to wickedness.
You can pretty much see it in his walk, he has a certain shuffle about him. You can hear the perversity in his words, see it in his eyes, his wink – even his fingers (in a cool or accusative way)
All those members of the body – on the outside – reveal what’s going on on the inside (his heart – v. 14).
The NLT translates v. 14, “Their perverted hearts plot evil, and they constantly stir up trouble.”
Disaster will come suddenly, instantly – the (NLT) says beyond all hope of healing – broken…and that without remedy. There’s only one place without remedy, only hell has no hope.
May God give us wisdom not to keep company with the worthless, wicked man and to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are not that worthless, wicked person.
You can usually spot them as they strut with all their self confidence, they might even say they’re for you…but perversity is in their hearts and they’re sowing seeds of division.
God will deal with them, suddenly and severely.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.