Mighty God, I thank You that You are in control of all things, including my life. Help me to trust in Your loving care and gracious will no matter what life brings.
Read Exodus 12:37-51
37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.
40 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt[a] was 430 years. 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt. 42 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.
43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover meal:
“No foreigner may eat it. 44 Any slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised him, 45 but a temporary resident or a hired worker may not eat it.
46 “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. 47 The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.
48 “A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat it. 49 The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you.”
50 All the Israelites did just what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.
- Exodus 12:40 Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint Egypt and Canaan
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectTake time to be still. Sit in a chair or kneel on the floor. Ask God to speak to you through his Word. May he open your eyes by the Holy Spirit.
As a child in Sunday school, Bible stories like this one were illustrated with ‘fuzzy felts’. Then, my image of the Israelites escaping from Egypt was a crowd of a few hundred people. But Exodus 12 tells us there were over 600,000 people ready to depart. This is the number of people living in a city like Edinburgh, Scotland. God had been faithfully watching over his suffering people and, on this night, he fulfills his promise of rescue given to Abraham centuries before (vs 40–42; see Genesis 15:13,14).
Before the Israelites leave, they are given further instructions on eating the Passover meal (vs 43–49). No foreign or native-born person is to eat the meal unless all the males have been circumcised. The community of God’s people is to be as one, set apart for God.
As Christians, we are set apart, too. We are united in Christ through ‘circumcision of the heart’ (Romans 2:29; Colossians 2:9–12). We are called to live for Jesus and to follow him. This is not about earning God’s favor by obeying rules. It is about being identified with him by being in union with Christ.
Reflect on how the Law doesn’t save us. Now give thanks that Jesus fulfilled the Law and that he is with you, keeping ‘vigil’ over you, today.
Thank You Lord that You fulfilled the requirements of the Law and died in my place so that I might live. I am forever grateful to You.
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