GETTING STARTED (115 words)
While they were enslaved in Egypt, the nation of Israel had hoped in the Lord for deliverance for over 400 years. What comes to pass in the verses below, then, is extraordinary! As the Lord instituted a new chapter in the lives of the Israelites, he was firm, concise, and meticulous in his instructions. The Passover was of the Lord, from the Lord, and for Israel. But included in his rescue of Israel, and in the ceremonious commemoration of the rescue, was a benevolent provision for anyone who would “come near and keep” the Passover of the Lord.
- When have you experienced an unexpected, benevolent provision?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 12:43-51 (ESV)
43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. 45 No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. 46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
50 All the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Verses 43-49 specifically address various groups of people: foreigners (non-Israelites), household slaves of the Israelites, hired workers among the Israelites, and non-Israelites who lived among the Israelites as natives. What was the Lord’s one stipulation for a non-Israelite to participate in the Passover meal (vss. 44, 48-49)?
- Circumcision was a sign of faith in the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. Why would it have been important for men to establish their faith in Israel’s God before partaking of the Passover meal?
- Who was required to keep the Passover, and what restrictions did the Lord place on the meal (vss. 46-47)? How does verse 46 foreshadow the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God (see John 19:36)?
- Was the nation of Israel faithful to the Lord’s commands regarding the Passover (vs. 50)? Why was the obedience of the entire nation (and those non-Israelites who dwelt in faith among them) essential? What happened “on that very day” the people of Israel celebrated the Passover? Why is this significant?
- How do you see grace, faith, and obedience at work in these verses? How do you see these in your life today?
RESPOND TO GOD (115 words)
As the Lord instituted Passover—the commemoration of the redemption of his people—it was necessary to regulate participation. Only those people who espoused a covenant faith in the God of Israel would be allowed to partake of the sacrificial lamb. Don’t miss the enormity of the Lord’s provision for those non-Israelites who would join in. This, along with the requirement that no bone of the sacrificial lamb be broken, pointed toward a time when Jesus, the Lamb of God, would sacrifice himself for the redemption of all people.
- Thank the Lord for being a gracious provider and for being faithful to redeem.
- Express your faith in him and obedience to him.