Bible Discussion — Exodus 12-14

June 27, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, David, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next three chapters of the Bible, Exodus 12-14.

Previously in Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11

The book of Genesis:
1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18-2 | 19-22 | 23-26 | 27-29
30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50

This week, please welcome our guest pastor, Rev. Bob Mackmer of the Belfast (NY) Free Methodist Church!

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
The Passover is established, giving the Jews the signal celebration of their faith and a foreshadowing of the redemption to come in Christ.

Rev. Bob:
God’s decisive blow against Egypt (Passover) and a faith-stretching encounter with the Red Sea.

Steve:
This section boasts arguably the two most incredible miracles of the Exodus account — the death of every firstborn in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. Yet probably the hardest thing to understand is why the nation who had just witnessed the first was so surprised by the second.

Chloe:
One of the most powerful sections of the Old Testament, an illustration both of God’s faithfulness and greatness, and exactly why we should fear Him.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Josh:
The Israelites might be a bunch of complainers, but give them points for sarcasm — “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?”

Rev. Bob:
On leaving Egypt, God led them in an unusual path. He did not lead them on the shortest route. How many times do we look for the shortcut, while God leads us in a round-about way: God-inspired detours.

Chloe:
God got all the firstborn, whether by death or by consecration.

David:
Someone had kept good enough records that they knew it was exactly 430 years of enslavement (to the day) that was ending!

Steve:
The great anguish of Egypt was communicated so simply, even callously. Pharaoh and every other Egyptian “rose in the night,” and there was a “great cry” — for no house had been spared. From the peasant to the king, death leveled and obliterated the entire nation. What an understated verse.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Josh, Rev. Bob: Carry My Bones
Steve: No More Forever
David: Token, Morning Watch
Chloe: Vigil, Baked Cakes

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Chloe:
God commands the Israelites to not take more than they could eat during the Passover. That sounds a lot like Pentecost, when everyone shared what they had, and no one went hungry.

Josh:
My mom has always been a stickler for table manners. One of her big rules was that eating should be done sitting at the table. If we stood while eating, her remark was always, “We’re not eating the Passover!

David:
The Matrix.

Rev. Bob:
Hmmm. Danger + hero = deliverance (happy ending). Sounds like every disaster movie I’ve ever seen.

Steve:
I know someone who was at death’s door. Miraculously and divinely healed, she nonetheless fled from God at top speed upon recovery. I see this as similar to the Hebrew lack of faith right after such an obvious display of God’s power, and wonder how it could ever happen — but then, it’s happened to some extent in all of us.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Chloe:
11:9 says, “The Lord had said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you — so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.'”

I don’t like trials. I don’t like struggles. I don’t like it when God teaches me a lesson that involves me spilling blood or tears. I would much rather that God bring glory to Himself through blessing me. I have often wondered that if God is all-powerful, why can’t He be just as glorified by our successes as by our trials? But stories like this show how much more powerful perseverance through the trials can be. Can you imagine what Egypt must have looked like after just the first few plagues? And the Israelites, no doubt, were the one blamed and beaten for the Egyptians’ loss. Nevertheless, they continued on, and we can all see the end result — a remarkable Jewish celebration, a powerful story, and a nation founded by God.

David:
God redeems his people, but not with fairy tale endings where they live happily ever after. He takes them from one trial to another, testing and proving them, to see what is in their heart and whether they will serve him.

Chloe:
Even though the Israelites could see the representation of God before them in the cloud and the fire, they still doubted His presence and protection. This is the story of the Israelites’ history, but it is ours, as well. How many times have we cried out to God, asking where He was and demanding an explanation for our sticky situation? And how many times has God answered, “Why are you crying out to me? I will fight for you, you need only to be still.”

The hardest thing is accepting that God gains the greatest glory though the most frightening circumstances, and remembering He will part the waters.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Josh:
Is it really plundering if you ask for the stuff and they give it to you?

Rev. Bob:
I wonder if God still predisposes people to be generous towards God’s people.

Steve:
I don’t understand why every modern depiction of the flight from Egypt on a map suggests the Israelites crossed a river or swamp, rather than the actual open sea. We don’t know for sure where the places referred to were located, so why assume they were miles from the actual sea? Is it more likely that the entire account is fabricated and exaggerated, or that we’re wrong about the location of some place called Etham?

David:
I love the way the Jewish humor (sarcasm) comes across in the Scriptures. “What, there weren’t enough graves in Egypt, so you had to bring us out in the wilderness to kill us?”

Chloe:
God told the Israelites not to work on the seven days before the Passover. Even before they left Egypt, God already fulfilled His promise and released them from slavery.

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
Steve, Chloe:
In the Passover lamb, shedding its blood that others may live — another type of Christ.

Rev. Bob:
Passover is a prefiguring of Jesus as our Passover sacrifice. And of course Jesus used the occasion and imagery of Passover to give us the Christian sacrament of Communion — a remembrance of the shedding of blood for salvation.

Josh:
The blood that protects from death.

David:
The Passover lamb, the blood on the doorposts and lintel telling the destroyer to pass over.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Steve, David:
14:13 — “And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.'”

Chloe:
13:21-22 — “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 and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.”

Rev. Bob:
14:31 — “And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” For about a week! I’ve read ahead!

Josh:
12:13 — “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Rev. Bob
12:40-41. God let the people spend 430 years in Egypt. Not all that time was as slaves, but 430 years!!! Genesis 15:16 tells us why, but 430 years!!!

I need to get a better handle on God’s sense of timing.

Steve:
How much of a literalist was God when it came to the Passover? What if someone had somehow missed one of the doorposts, or forgotten the hyssop in the haste? The account doesn’t talk about any Israelite casualties; was this the case?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Josh:
God took his people the long way to save them from facing certain trials. God always sees the road ahead better than we do, and we must trust His leading even when we think we’ve got a brilliant shortcut.

David:
God leads us according to his plans. When those plans seem to lead us to a dead end, all we can do is move forward. I love the way God tells Moses, “Why are you crying to me? Move forward!”

Rev. Bob:
On our journey to the promised land, sometimes God directs us toward obstacles (faith-building opportunities) in order to demonstrate his glory.

Chloe:
Don’t ask questions. Obey.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
Josh:
One of my first thoughts was that it was somewhat ironic that the Lord would decree a remembrance of a weeklong celebration to mark an event that had originally been so rushed. But the Lord knew His people would need it, that they would be quick to forget, just as they forgot His providence the moment they saw the Egyptians pursuing.

“If they face war, they may change their minds:”

Never forget, “the Lord will fight for you.”

David:
32% of readers experienced some discomfort, while a significant number reported heightened levels of seratonin, accompanied by anxiety.

Rev. Bob:
Can you fathom the magnitude of the dead in Egypt, with a firstborn from every household, livestock and much of the Egyptian army? Makes some of the disasters that have struck our nation pale in comparison.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
A life with God in the wilderness, not knowing where your next meal is coming from, beats the security of slavery any day.


Comments

Leave a comment!





Comment spam protected by SpamBam