The story of Israel’s captivity and subjection to a harsh taskmaster takes me back to the self-inflicted hell that I walked through over two decades ago. Thrown into an isolated jail cell and forced to relinquish basic freedoms sunk me to the depths of despair. I became painfully aware of my need to be delivered. This setback proved to be a point of transformation in my spiritual journey. I will always remember how God acted on my behalf to move me beyond the chains of oppression toward the liberation of freedom.
- Recall a time of powerlessness when you experienced a profound desire to be delivered. What was your view of God at that moment? How do you remember God’s goodness to provide liberation in that moment?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 12:33-42 (ESV)
33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people to 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, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. 36 And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
37 And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.
40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What was the Egyptians’ attitude toward the command of Pharaoh to leave? Why did they feel a sense of urgency about the Israelites leaving quickly?
- Why did the Egyptians think and act favorably toward the Israelites?
- God had instituted the Passover as a lasting ordinance for Israel to celebrate God’s keeping watch over them. Leaven is used in Scripture as a symbol of sin. What was the significance of the Israelites baking loaves of unleavened bread to take with them on their journey (vs. 39)?
- Reread verses 40-42. How does remembering God’s intervention to provide care and freedom enhance your worship?
RESPOND TO GOD
After 430 years, the exodus for the nation of Israel was underway and it called for a solemn observance to the Lord. God had mercifully intervened to lead his people from slavery to redemption. There is nothing better than being completely free. Deep down in the heart of humankind is the gnawing, clawing, unceasing hunger to be FREE AT LAST! God is able to deliver and will do so in his unique way.
- Ask God to remind you of the freedom he has provided through the liberating gift of Jesus.
- If you are stuck in the oppression of sin, give him total authority to deliver you in a way that radically transforms your life and is a testimony to his great power.