Morning Bible Study
It’s finally going to happen. It’s
been something like a year. Seven times
Moses uttered those famous words to Pharaoh, “Let my people go”.
We’ve seen the Nile turn to blood. We’ve
seen frogs, lice, flies, and all “hail” breaking loose. The final plague has
come and all the firstborn in Egypt have been killed except the ones whose
houses had lamb’s blood on the doorposts.
We’ve tried to show how similar this process of Israel’s deliverance is to
things in our own lives.
Sometimes God has to allow tragedy or disaster into our lives to wipe out
those other “gods” that we trust in, things we find comfort in.
We lose a job. We get into an auto accident. We lose our health.
We lose a marriage. We end up in jail.
Sometimes it’s these kinds of things that make us realize that we need God
and stop trusting in the other false “gods” which for us might not be a frog
goddess, but it might be an addiction – drugs, alcohol, pornography. Sometimes we find ourselves trusting in our
money, our family, our job.
:31-42 The Exodus
:31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise, go
out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve
the LORD as you have said.
:32 "Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be
gone; and bless me also."
:33 And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of
the land in haste. For they said, "We shall all be dead."
:34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their
kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.
The idea is that when the permission came to leave, it happened so quickly
that some things weren’t quite ready.
But they left anyway.
When it’s time to go, go.
Don’t drag your feet.
time has finally come to leave. And the
people got up and left. They didn’t wait
for another couple of hours until it was more convenient. They got up and left.
This is an important principle in our relationship with God. Don’t drag your feet!
(1 Cor 10:13 NKJV) No
temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is
faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but
with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to
God promises a way out, but we have to take it.
1Sam. 23 – Saul was chasing David and his men. Saul was closing in, about to capture David
and have him put to death. But at the
last moment Saul got a call from the home base saying that the Philistines were
attacking, and so Saul left the chase in order to attack the Philistines. When David found out that Saul had left, he
took his men and left the area as well.
He wasn’t waiting around for Saul to come back. He called that place the “Rock of Escape”
God promises to make a “way of escape” for us, but we need to be ready to
take that way out. God always promises
to provide an emergency “exit”, but we need to get up and get out of the
Today God offers you salvation through Jesus Christ. Today God offers to pay for your sins. Will you take the way out that God offers to
:35 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
:36 And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians,
so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the
Moses had told the people prior to the tenth plague to ask for donations
from their Egyptian neighbors. (Ex. 11:2-3)
This was part of the prophecy that God had given to Abraham 600 years
(Gen 15:14 NKJV) "And
also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out
with great possessions.
These “donations” are in essence a small part of what the Israelites had
coming to them after four hundred years of slavery.
:37 Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about
six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.
to Succoth – they are heading east, about twenty miles. Rameses was the main city the Israelites
lived in (Gen. 47:11). “Succoth” means
six hundred thousand men on foot – We’ll see in the book of Numbers
that this number consisted of men between the age of twenty and above, men who
will form the armies of Israel.
When you include women and children, the total number of Israelites leaving
has to be something around two million
Some people have a problem with this number. They say that it was too many people to be
able to cross the Red Sea. They say that
the desert wilderness would have been unable to support this many people for
Exactly. The Bible doesn’t dispute
these concerns. The Bible simply reminds
you that there is a powerful, mighty God at work. Haven’t you already noticed this fact through
:38 A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds; a great
deal of livestock.
mixed multitude – the
Jews weren’t the only ones to leave. It
is possible that the Israelites weren’t the only slaves in Egypt. Others wanted to get out of Egypt as
well. It might even be possible that
there are some Egyptians along. It could
be that some of the Israelites had intermarried with Egyptians or other
This “mixed multitude” is going to one day cause a lot of trouble (Num.
They are like the people who don’t mind hanging around Christians, they may
even come to church, they may at times even pretend to be Christians, but they
haven’t made that commitment to God yet.
And these people are going to have a hard time wanting to live life the
way that God desires.
:39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out
of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and
could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.
:40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four
hundred and thirty years.
:41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years; on
that very same day; it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out
from the land of Egypt.
:42 It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of
the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all
the children of Israel throughout their generations.
:43-51 Passover Rules
While the people have spent their first day away from their Egyptian homes,
while they’re in Succoth, God gives some instructions…
:43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of
the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it.
Remember that the “mixed multitude” is along for the ride. They may be sympathetic to the Israelites at
time, but they are not Israelites themselves.
They are not circumcised. They want the “blessings” of Yahweh, but
without the commitment of circumcision.
God does not want them celebrating the Passover. Being a part of the blessed people requires a
:44-51 "But every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have
circumcised him, then he may eat it.
As God explains through verse 51, The blessing comes with the commitment of
:1-2 Firstborn Consecrated
:1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
:2 "Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among
the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine."
At the Passover, God spared the lives of all the firstborn of Israel
because they were under the protection of the blood of the lamb.
God says that since He spared their lives, they now have a special
relationship with Him. They belong to
:3-10 Unleavened Bread
:3 And Moses said to the people: "Remember this day in which you went out
of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought
you out of this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.
Tied to this deliverance from slavery in Egypt is this Feast of Unleavened
It speaks of haste – the people didn’t have time to allow all the bread
dough to rise so the bread was “unleavened”.
It speaks of dealing with sin.
Leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible.
With the celebration of Passover, there was to be a stepping away from sin.
As Christians, Jesus set us free from the judgment of God when He died on
the cross in our place. But He doesn’t
just want to forgive us, He wants us to move away from sin.
When Jesus talked to the woman caught in adultery, He forgave her, but He
also told her to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11)
:4 "On this day you are going out, in the month Abib.
:5 "And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the
Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Hivites and the Jebusites,
which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey,
that you shall keep this service in this month.
:6 "Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day
there shall be a feast to the LORD.
:7 "Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread
shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your
:8 "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.'
Do your kids know your testimony?
Can they tell people about how you came to know the Lord? Are you passing on the legacy to them, the legacy
of knowing Jesus?
:9 "It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial
between your eyes, that the Lord's law may be in your mouth; for with a strong
hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.
:10 "You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year
9 becomes the basis for the practice among some Jews of wearing “phylacteries”.
These are little leather pouches or boxes which contain short fragments of
scripture, and are worn on the forehead and on the left arm above the elbow.
(see also Deut. 6:8; 11:18)
Here’s a fellow wearing phylacteries on his head and left arm at the
Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Perhaps God intended for the Israelites to literally bind pieces of scripture
to their hands and forehead.
It seems to me that it is more likely that these things were meant to be a
sign, something as obvious as if something were stuck on your forehead or your
was tied to my hand, like my wristwatch, I see it all the time.
The idea might be that every time I celebrated these feasts, I remembered
what God had done for me.
was tied to my forehead, I’m not sure I’m going to see it all the time, but
everyone else is sure going to see it.
(Mat 5:16 NKJV) "Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify
your Father in heaven.
Can you see what I believe?
For the Jews, the “keeping” of the feasts were to remind them of what they
believed, of what God had done for them.
For us, the things we choose to “keep”, the things we choose to obey
demonstrate what we really believe.
If we’ll pay attention, we’ll find out what kind of things we really
believe by what we “see” in our lives.
Hopefully others will be able to see by our actions what we really believe.
Can people “see” what you believe by how you live your life?
I woke up early on Saturday, like I’ve been waking up early most days the
last couple of weeks. I was worried
about my dad. We’ve been having to make
difficult decisions about his care.
We’ve been wrestling with things like having him be in a nursing
home. We’ve wrestled with which one to
put him in. We’ve wondered if we’ve made
the right decisions.
Saturday morning I woke up and realized that my anxiety
and lack of peace was making it pretty clear that I hadn’t been trusting these
things into the Lord’s hands. Just
realizing this and putting it once again in God’s hands brought relief. For a few minutes.
Just what do you believe?
Do you believe that Jesus died to pay for your sins? Can you tell that you are forgiven? Can others tell that you’ve been forgiven?
Do you believe that God is all powerful?
Do you believe that God is good?
Do you believe that God really loves you?
Those are the kinds of things that ought to get you
through the difficult times. Are
they? Can others see it?
Do you believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive? Do you believe that you love your neighbor as
yourself? Can other people see that you
are more concerned about others than you are for yourself? How obvious is it?
Are you able to tell from your own life what you truly believe?
Can others tell from your life what you truly believe?
:11-16 Law of Firstborn
:11 "And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the
Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you,
:12 "that you shall set apart to the LORD all that open the womb, that
is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall
be the Lord's.
set apart to the LORD – every firstborn male animal is to be “set
apart” to Yahweh. That means that you
will be giving it to Yahweh. That means
sacrificing it to Yahweh.
:13 "But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and
if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn
of man among your sons you shall redeem.
redeem with a lamb – the concept is that of buying something back
from God. If God now “owns” all the
firstborn, and you don’t want to give a firstborn to God, then you must buy it
back by offering a lamb to take it’s place.
donkey – considered an “unclean” animal (Lev. 11), not an animal you
could eat and not one acceptable for sacrifice to God. So a firstborn donkey was either bought back
with a lamb or else you were to kill it.
firstborn of man – you don’t sacrifice your son. You will want to redeem your son.
We’ve been redeemed from the power of sin by the blood of the Lamb.
:14 "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.
:15 'And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go,
that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn
of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males
that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.'
all males – since only firstborn males were redeemed, could it be
that only firstborn males died in Egypt during the Passover?
:16 "It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your
eyes, for by strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt."
frontlets – towphaphah –
this is the technical word for phylacteries
:17-22 Into the Wilderness
:17 Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did
not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near;
for God said, "Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see
war, and return to Egypt."
land of the Philistines was on the coastal plain in the land of Canaan. There would be heavy Egyptian fortifications
to get by along the way. If God took the
people the short route to Canaan, they might have to fight and could become
discouraged and head back to Egypt.
The route to the Philistines, from Ramses to Gaza, would take maybe two
weeks, covering about 175 miles. But
these people weren’t ready to start fighting battles. They’re just slave builders, not warriors.
:18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.
And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.
Delays might have purpose
Some of us can get quite impatient.
If I’m on a tight time schedule, and I’m driving in a 35 mph zone, I don’t
want to get stuck behind a car poking along at 25 mph. I get mad.
I get frustrated. I want one of
those secret agent cars where I press a button and a canon comes up out of the
engine compartment and blows up the car in front of me. Well, sort of…
What if God is trying to slow you down because you aren’t ready for what’s
The Israelites weren’t ready for war yet.
What if God is trying to slow you down because He has something for you to
do right in front of you?
Before the people are ready to take on the land of Canaan, they need to
spend time with God in the wilderness.
They have an appointment to keep with God at Mount Sinai (Ex. 3:12)
Have you ever been delayed or sidetracked, only to find one of those
“divine appointments” waiting for you?
:19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the
children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, "God will surely visit you,
and you shall carry up my bones from here with you."
(Heb 11:22 NKJV) By faith
Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of
Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
Joseph demonstrated “faith” with this request. He had faith that there was going to be more
for his people than the land of Egypt.
He had faith that there was something more.
:20 So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge
of the wilderness.
:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the
way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day
:22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire
by night from before the people.
There was one cloud, not two.
In the daytime, the cloud would bring shade from the desert.
At night, the cloud gave light.
Did you notice that it was the LORD leading them IN the pillar of cloud?
The pillar was a reminder of God’s presence with the people.
Led by His presence
pillar of cloud was going to be one of the main ways that the Israelites were
going to be guided through the wilderness.
All the people had to do in order to know where to go, was to follow the
pillar of cloud.
If the cloud moved, they moved.
If the cloud stayed, they stayed.
All they had to do to know where God was leading them, was to follow His
This isn't always easy for us, since we don't have a huge pillar of cloud
to see with our eyes.
(John 3:8 NKJV) "The
wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where
it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the
compared the moving of the Spirit to the wind.
In a way, we’re kind of like a hot-air balloon. Not just because we’re filled with hot air,
but because the balloon is moved by the wind.
Sometimes the wind is pretty strong and it’s not hard to see which way it’s
Sometimes the Spirit moves more like a gentle breeze. But God is still ready to guide you.
Sometimes the wind isn’t blowing.
Sometimes you need to stay put.
Where is the Spirit moving today?
Are we going to be in "tune" enough with His movement that we'll
It takes some sensitivity to keep up with the blowing of a gentle breeze.