Shofar Communications, Inc.. Powered by Blogger.
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Leviticus 1:1

And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation.

For further reading - Leviticus 1:1-17

You may be confused as you read our devotional passage for today. You might even be thinking, "why read about the system given to the children of Israel for preparing sacrifices?" I will get to that answer in a moment, but first, let me tell you that the book of Leviticus is the first book studied by all children of religious Jewish families.

In fact, if the family is of the Tribe of Levi, the priestly family, the young boys of that family would study this book for 28 years, until their 30th birthday, to prepare to do the priestly duties in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

Now to your question of why read about the sacrificial system that God gave the Jewish people, since Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. That is a valid question.

The book of Leviticus not only gives us the “system of sacrifice” for the Jewish people in the first seven chapters, it gives us a “standard for priests” who are to perform these sacrifices in Leviticus 8-10. The last part of the book, chapters 11-27 reveals a “system of worship” in a Tabernacle or a Temple.

The technical interpretation of Leviticus is for the Jewish people, those in Biblical times and those in the Kingdom to come. The sacrificial system, or at least a portion of it, will be reinstated in Messiah's Temple, located in Jerusalem, in His 1000 year Kingdom, Ezekiel 45. These future sacrifices will be done in “memorial” as the Jews look back to what Jesus did for them as the sacrificial Lamb.

The sacrificial system set up in Leviticus was for the purpose of having the Jews to look forward to what Jesus would do through His death, burial and resurrection. But I haven't answered your question of why read Leviticus?

I mentioned that the technical interpretation of Leviticus is for the Jewish people past and prophetic, future. However, the spiritual application for reading Leviticus is precious. The word "holiness" is used 87 times in Leviticus.

If you want to understand the “holiness of God”, you can do so by reading this third book of the Torah, the books of the law for the Jewish people. Read the entire book sometime. It will be a real blessing to you.

One final thought. I mentioned that the boys of a religious Jewish family would start to read the book of Leviticus at two years of age and do so for 28 years until they qualify as priests on their 30th birthday.

Today in Jerusalem there are thousands of Jewish young men and even some not so young who are studying the priestly responsibilities from Leviticus as they prepare themselves to serve in a coming temple in Jerusalem.

All preparations have been made for the next temple in Jerusalem. It is not there now, but it is greatly anticipated by hundreds and thousands of Jewish people today. The preparation being made to build the next Temple, the Third Temple, in Jerusalem is one of the great evidences of the Lord's soon coming.

Keep looking up!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to understand the holiness of God.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Exodus 40:34

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  
For further study –Exodus 40:1-38

As we consider all that the Lord taught Moses and the children of Israel about the “tabernacle”, the implements used in this “transportable worship center”, and the priest that would perform all the duties associated with the tabernacle we can learn of the “holiness of God” and how He will lead in His Kingdom to come.

Exodus 32 to 39 is a record of the above teaching that I would suggest you may want to study at your leisure, and I know it will be a blessing to you. Those who are preparing for the next Temple in Jerusalem do spend much time in the study of these scriptures to make certain of their learning process for their future duties.

Now, as we once again come to our devotional reading for today we will look at the final instructions for Moses as it relates to the Tabernacle. The Lord at that time assured Moses of His constant presence as the children of Israel would make their way towards the “promised land”.

Our key verse for today is the account of the “glory of the Lord” filling the Tabernacle and then showing Moses how He would lead the way for the Jews. There would be a “cloud” during the day and “fire” at night.

The “glory of the Lord” is the presence of the “God-head”, often in the person of the Son, Jesus Christ. A study of the phrase “glory of the Lord” indicates that most of the appearances of the “glory” is describing the work of Jesus Christ.

One such example is Psalm 19, which says that the “heavens declare the glory of the Lord”. It also says that His “handy work in creation” is evidence of the “glory of the Lord”. Thus the Creator, Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:16, is the “glory of the Lord”.

This passage describing the “glory of the Lord” filling the Tabernacle and the Lord’s presence in the form of a “cloud” in the day and the “fire” in the night is God’s way of directing the Jewish people on their way to the land that He promised them.

The Jewish people, you must remember, were established as a “theocracy”, a nation under God on the Earth. Everything we have read in Exodus, all forty chapters, were written so that we could see how God unfolded His plan to be played out in the Jewish people.

What is so interesting to me is that His plan for the Jewish people was not only unfolding 3,500 years ago at the time of the Exodus, but it is being played out today as well, among the Jewish people.

The end of times scenario happening on Earth today was foretold by the ancient Jewish prophets and each and every day another of the prophecies for the last days is closer to fulfillment.

By the way, the next thing on God’s calendar of events in the end times is the Rapture, when Jesus calls we that are Christians into the heavenlies. That event, the Rapture, could happen at any moment, maybe even today. 

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, thank you for your presence with us today, as it was in the days of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Please guide each of us as you did the children of Israel, toward the “promised land”. 
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Exodus 31:17

It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever.

For further study – Exodus 31:12-18

As we come to our devotional reading today you will notice that I have jumped over several chapters in Exodus to the selected passage for this devotion. Before I discuss the scripture for today, a word about chapters 26 through 31.

Exodus 26 is discussing the “tabernacle” and its structure, as is the case in chapter 27. Exodus 28 and 29 look at the items needed for the “high priest”. Chapter 30 is instruction on “worship in a tabernacle”. This is information that is presently being studied very carefully in Jerusalem at the Temple Institute.

I remind you that the people at the Temple Institute are the ones that have made the Temple furniture for the next Temple as well as have done the training of many of those that will be serving in the next Temple. Exodus and Leviticus both contain the source of information needed to prepare for the next Temple.

Now let’s look at our selected passage for today, Exodus 31:12-18. The theme in this passage is the “Sabbath” and the “sign” it is for the Jewish people. The Lord instructs Moses to teach the Jewish people that “obedience” is key to all “religious duties”.

Moses is told that the “Sabbath” is a “sign between me and you throughout your generations”, verse 13. The Lord wants the Jewish people to “keep the Sabbath”, observe a day of “rest” because He had set the example on the seventh day of Creation, Genesis 2:1-3.

The Sabbath was a “sign” of the covenant that made Israel a “theocracy”. The Sabbath, then and today, marked Israel out as God’s people. Observing the Sabbath showed that the Israelites were set apart to God. This is still true today.

The Jews are “marked” as God’s people and they are “set apart” to serve God. Though we as Christians are not told to observe the Sabbath we are also a “marked” people and “set apart” to God for His purposes, what ever they may be for each of us.

God is not finished with the Jews today, as evidenced with the present-day observance of the Sabbath by the Jews. This day is set aside by those who observe the “day of rest” as the “sign”, the sign between God and His people, the covenant people, the Jewish people.

God will work among the Jews with intensity after the Rapture of the Christians and the seven years of Tribulation starts here on earth. One of the main purposes for this time of “judgment on the earth and earth-dwellers” is to turn the Jews to the true Messiah, Jesus Christ.

But do remember, before this work among the Jews begins the Rapture happens. And also remember, it could happen today, so keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, help me to live in light of the "any moment" Rapture of the Church, which includes me. Also, thank you for your great work among the Jewish people today. 
Monday, October 28, 2019

Exodus 25:8-9

And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

For further study - Exodus 25:1-40

For our extended reading today we have selected more verses than usual. However, I think you will benefit by reading all forty verses of Exodus 25.

This chapter is God's instruction to Moses and the Jewish people on how to build a "dwelling place" so that he could "dwell among His people."

Exodus 26 actually gives details on the "tabernacle" itself. Chapter 25 gives the details of three pieces of furniture that will be in the Tabernacle, a "transportable worship center," and later in the "permanent worship center," the Temple.

These implements are the "ark," the "table of shewbread" and the "menorah," the golden candlestick. I hasten to remind you that each implement in the Tabernacle and/or the Temple, the sacrificial system performed at the Temple and all the activities of the Temple were all prophecies of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Let me take these three implements found here in Exodus 25 and explain that indeed they did look forward to the coming Messiah.

First, the "table of shewbread", this implement was to hold the twelve loaves of bread, a special type of bread, that would be made every sabbath and then this new bread would replace the week-old bread.

By the way the priests on duty that day were allowed to eat the older bread, that week-old bread, which they said was still fresh. This "table of shewbread" is a picture of Jesus who said in John 6:35 that He was the "bread of life".

The second item, the "menorah", the golden candlestick, would stand in the "Holy Place" in the Temple and give light for the priestly activities inside the "Holy Place".

This “seven-branched candelabra” was fueled by "virgin olive oil" which the priest would use to refuel the "menorah" each day. Remember Jesus said in John 8:129:5, and 11:9 that He was the "Light of the world".

The third implement is the most sacred of these three implements, the "ark of the covenant". It was a rectangular box made out of "shittim wood" and covered with pure gold.

It had four rings, one at each corner by which the priest would transport the "ark". Inside the "ark" would be the "tablets of the Ten Commandments," a "container of manna" and the "budding almond rod." The "ark of the covenant" was indeed the "mercy seat" where on Yom Kippur the High Priest, once a year, would pour the “sacrificial blood”.

The "ark" represented the person of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work, the shedding of His blood. It was a model of Him to come. By the way, when you have the "real thing" you no longer need the "model."

The Temple that Jesus Christ will build at His Second Coming, Zechariah 6:12, will no longer need any of these implements, because He is the Messiah, the one these implements foreshadowed.

The Temple that will stand on the Temple Mount during the coming Tribulation Period (Daniel 9:27Matthew 24:15II Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1) will have all three of these implements in it because it is a "false temple" for a "false messiah", Antichrist.

That Tribulation Temple is ready to be built, all preparations have been made for that Temple. The only thing that must happen before the Tribulation Temple is erected is the Rapture of the Church, which could happen at any moment.

Thus in light of the "any moment" Rapture of the Church, which includes me and you, if your saved, let me say, let's keep looking up........... It could happen today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, help me to live in light of the "any moment" Rapture of the Church, which includes me.
Sunday, October 27, 2019

Exodus 23:17

Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the LORD God.

For further study - Exodus 23:10-19

This is a very interesting section in the book of Exodus and it may give you insight into the reasons behind some Jewish activities today. In this section of Exodus, especially chapter 23 but also chapter 21, 22 and 24, the Lord is instructing Moses so that he can tell the Jewish people how the Lord wants them to live.

In the Torah, in the book of Leviticus, the Lord explains how not only the Jews are to observe the Sabbath, Saturday, the seventh day of the work week, but the Lord wants the land that He has given to the Jewish people to be rested every seventh year as well, Leviticus 25:8-24.

As Moses wrote in Exodus 23:10-11 we see a preview of the Law that God gives Moses to pass along to the Jewish people. The Lord tells the Jews that they can sow and reap a harvest from the land for six years, and then the land must be rested. No crops, thus no harvest, the land must be untouched.

This is the principle of the Sabbath that the Lord set in motion during the week of creation. The Lord worked for six days to create the heavens, the earth and all that in them is, and on the seventh day the Lord rested, Genesis 2:1-3.

It was at that time the Lord introduced the principle of "Sabbath rest". That is what Moses is discussing in this second book of the Torah, the five books of Moses. In our devotional reading, Moses writes to the Jews about the "Sabbath rest" for the land as well.

Though we don't observe the Sabbath as Christians, setting aside a day of rest makes good sense on our journey through life. Someone has said, "come apart to rest, or you will come apart."

Notice at the end of our reading, in fact the last verse, Moses records the Lord's directive that the “kid”, a baby goat, can not be cooked in it's mother's milk.

This is the verse that the Orthodox Jews today use to justify their "kosher eating habits". Religious Jews will not mix "meat and dairy" items in their meals. The Orthodox, observant Jews, don't mix the two, meat products with dairy products, at any meal.

Again, this practice of eating "kosher" is not something we should do to conform to a Jewish life style, but it does help our overall well being to follow the dietary laws of the Bible, especially those in the Old Testament. God made our bodies and He surely knows how to take care of them, so that we can better serve Him.

I skipped over several very interesting verses, verses 14-17, which actually are the instructions from God, setting in place the three Jewish feast days that the Jews are to appear before the Lord, early on at the Tabernacle, and then at the Temple in Jerusalem.

These three days are called the "Pilgrim Feast Days". The male Jews must make a pilgrimage to the Temple three times a year to observe three of the Jewish Feasts, Passover and Unleavened Bread, which is one, verse 15 and Pentecost and Tabernacles, verse 16.

Even today, Jewish men from around the world, and usually with their families, make their way to Jerusalem for these three Feast Days. Two of these three Feast Days will require a pilgrimage by all the Jews, during the Kingdom to come here on Earth.

These Feast Days, Passover, Ezekiel 45:21, and Tabernacles, Ezekiel 45:25 will be at least two of the Pilgrim Feast Days that the Jews must celebrate at the Temple in Jerusalem during the time of the Kingdom and into eternity future.

The Jews do celebrate these Pilgrim Feast Days, annually, a foretaste of what will happen in the future during the Kingdom Period when the Lord Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning from the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You Lord for Your Word that informs me of the activities in the future that will bring honor and glory to You as we serve You throughout the millennial Kingdom and into eternity future.
Saturday, October 26, 2019

Exodus 20:11

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.

For further study -Exodus 20:1-26

The passage of Scripture for our reading today is the account of the giving of the “law” to the Jewish people. The “torah”, Hebrew for “law”, does include the “ten commands” that God gave to Moses at Mount Sinai, but it also includes the additional commands found in the rest of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah.

The Ten Commands are the standard that God has set in place for all of humankind to match their life with as they take their journey through their short period here on Earth. The truth be known, there is not one person that has lived, or will live on this Earth that can keep even the ten, much less all the other commandments found in God’s Word.

This standard helps each of us to realize that we have “fallen short” of God’s standard and we must come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. The “law” is a “mirror” that shows each of us who we really are, a needy people that needs a Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I also want you to notice the statement made by God to Moses in the giving of the Law, verses 10-11. This is the commandment to the Jews that they must honor the seventh day, the “Sabbath”, as a day of rest. The Lord told the Jews that He created the “heavens and the earth” in six days and then rested the seventh.

God wants the Jews to work six days and then rest the seventh. By the way, He was not asking the Jews to rest for thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of years. The Lord wanted the Jews to rest the seventh, 24-hour day, of the seven-day week. All the days are 24-hour days.

My point is that when the Lord spoke of days He was talking about 24-hour days. Therefore, the Lord, by His own statement said He “created the heavens and earth” in six twenty-four hour days. We must take the account of the “Creation” in Genesis 1 as literal in our interpretation of the scriptures.

The truth in God’s prophetic Word is to be taken “literal” as we interpret the end of times scenario that God has set forth to be fulfilled, seemingly in the near future. If we do not approach these passages of scripture literally then there can be too many opinions as to how everything will end.

We must not be “subjective” in our interpretation of the text, but “objective” so that we understand exactly what the Lord is telling us about the last days. Our understanding of the times is key to our daily living before the Lord.

An “objective, literal” understanding of the scriptures will reveal that the next thing to happen on God’s calendar of activities is the Rapture, when Jesus calls us to join Him in the heavens, forever. That Rapture could happen at any moment, are you ready?

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the promise that you are coming and please help me to live daily so as to be ready for that “any moment” event. 
Friday, October 25, 2019

Exodus 19:19-20

And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

For further study - Exodus 19:1-20

The passage of Scripture for our reading today is an illustration of the next main event in God's calendar of activities for the last days. I will get back to that but first let's learn from that which God was revealing to Moses and the Jewish people some 3,500 years ago.

The scene is at the foot of Mt. Sinai with all of Israel encamped awaiting word from the Lord. It is three months since the Exodus out of Egypt and the bondage that the Jews had been under for more than 400 years. It is just before the Lord would meet with Moses and give him the Ten Commandments. It was a significant time in the total history of the Jewish people.

Before the Lord gave His law to the Jews, He met with Moses to explain what He had planned for the Israelites, among the peoples of the world. In verse 5, God reminds Moses that “obedience” is essential for a right relationship with Him. If the Jews will obey Him then He will make them “a peculiar treasure, a people above all people, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”.

When Moses returned to the Jewish people, he told them of his conversation with the Lord and they responded with, "all that the Lord hath spoken, we will do." The rest of the Old Testament and the Gospels will record the history of the Jewish people and reveal that the Jews spoke too quickly at Sinai. 

The truth is that they did not keep their commitment to the Lord. The Jewish people, as a whole, have not been obedient.

However, there has been a remnant, those who have been faithful and obedient. God has a plan for the Jewish people that included giving them the Scripture to preserve and transmit to the world, Romans 3:1-2. And of course, the Messiah was born of a young Jewish woman, Mary. God will use the Jews in the future, because He still has a plan for them.

Now, back to that thought I left you with at the beginning of this devotional. The next event on God's calendar of events for the end times is the “Rapture”. That is when Jesus will descend from the Third Heaven where He is seated on the right of God the Father.

Somewhere, "in the air, " He will shout, the archangel will shout and the trump of God will sound to call all Christians on earth to be with the Lord for evermore, I Thessalonians 4:13-17.

In our reading for today, the Rapture is depicted in how the Lord meets with Moses, verses 16-20. This event in the life of Moses is a foretaste of things to come. Remember, the Rapture could happen today, so keep looking up...Until!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you for making me a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nations, a peculiar people (I Peter 2:9) so that I can show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Exodus 17:14

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

For further study - Exodus 17:8-16

This passage of scripture that I’ve selected for our devotional today is the record of a battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites that took place around 3,500 years ago as Moses was leading the Jewish people towards the “promised land”.

This is a story that many of us would have studied in Sunday school about when God would give the Israelites the victory as long as Moses held the “rod of God” above his head. Moses was able to get the victory with the help of Aaron and Hur as they helped Moses with the “rod”.

This battle in Rephidim was to be recorded by Moses, to be written down in a book for the Israelites to be able to read at a later date. This is the very first time that someone was told to record an event. The story would be brought to the attention of the Jews in I Samuel 15.

This attack on the Israelites, as they traveled towards the land of Israel, was done by the people known as the Amalekites, a people that the Lord said He would have “war with from generation to generation”, verse 16. The Amalekites are the people “fathered” by Amalek.

Amalek was a grandson of Esau, Genesis 36:12. The lineage of Esau through Amalek would ultimately lead to the Palestinians of today, (for more insight, see my study "Esau and the Palestinians"). The conflict between the Jews and the Palestinians of today actually dates back to this incident.

For more than 4,000 years, the Lord has watched over His people - the Jewish people - and fought along side the Jews against the descendants of Esau and his grandson Amalek. This war will continue throughout all generations until the Lord's Return, Obadiah 17-18.

God's protection of the Jews over 4,000 years is evidence of the reality of an “All-Powerful God”. But it is also evidence that His promises to us for daily watch-care and eternal salvation, will be kept as well. It is also evidence that Jesus will come again one day, maybe a day real soon, perhaps today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for Your protection and at the same time the alert to the times of the end that seemingly are approaching very quickly. 
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Exodus 13:3

And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out of Egypt.

For further study – Exodus 13 to 16

As we consider the passages that I will cover in this devotional I am also reminded that our Lord was crucified on Passover and buried on Unleavened Bread, the first two of the seven Jewish Feast Days. This devotional will give us insight into the death and burial of Jesus Christ.

Remember, the lamb that was to be slaughtered on Passover was to be pure, perfect without spot. This is also the case with our “Passover”, Jesus Christ, I Corinthians 5:7.

The fact that the Jews must shed the “blood” of the lamb and paint their “doorpost” with this blood, Exodus 12:7, is symbolic of the “blood” that Jesus shed for us to take away our sin and give us eternal life. The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin”, Hebrews 9:22.

As we scan the chapters of Exodus that we will cover today in this devotional, Exodus 13 to 16, I will bring to your attention some key points. Before we leave Exodus 12 please notice the total number of Jews who would exit the Egyptian bondage with Moses, the number was six hundred thousand men on foot, plus the women and the children, Exodus 12:37.

When Jacob brought his family into Egypt they were a total of seventy people. After almost 400 years the family had grown to almost two million. All of these people would have participated in the Passover, saving their first-born from each family from dying, those who believed God.

The last contest Moses had with the Pharaoh was the killing of the ”first born” if there was no blood on the doorpost of the house, the Egyptian homes and the Jewish homes. The night of the Passover God killed all the first born in the land of Egypt, Exodus 13:15.

Verse 19 of the same chapter Moses takes the bones of Joseph with him on his way to the “promised land”, there to be buried. The Lord lead the Jewish people by a “pillar of cloud” in the daytime, and at night, a “pillar of fire”, verse 21.

In chapter 14 we have the account of the “crossing of the Red Sea, and the death of the Egyptians soldiers trying to overtake the Jews. The Egyptians would meet their end in the midst of the Red Sea, verse 27.

Exodus 15 and 16 record the journey of the children of Israel in the first year after the Exodus, and how God provided for them on the journey. I love the story of the “manna” that God supplied for the Jews, a provision not necessarily appreciated by the Jews.

This record of God’s “provision” and “protection” for His chosen people is one more evidence of how the Lord “preserves” His people for the “plan” He has for them. He has done that for some 4,000 years and will do so until He has fulfilled the “promises” He made to them.

God is not finished with the Jews, and the way we can recognize where we are in God’s timeline is to focus on the Jews, today. What happened yesterday to the Jews only assures us that His plan for tomorrow will be fulfilled, as it was in the past.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for your protection, provision and plan for my life, as it has been for your chosen people over the years. Your faithfulness to them assures me that you will be faithful to me also in the fulfillment of promises made to me.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Exodus 12:14

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.

For further study - Exodus 12:1-24

As we come to the devotional for today from Exodus 12 we will read of the very first Passover, the last of the contest that Moses had with the Pharaoh in order to get the Egyptian leader to "let the Jewish people go".

The seven chapters of Exodus since our last devotional in Exodus 4 reveal to the reader the confrontation between Moses and the Pharaoh. They started in Exodus 5:1 where Moses told the Pharaoh to "let his people go", and the Pharaoh refused to let the Jews go, verse 2.

It is an interesting read to study the way the Lord used Moses, a reluctant "prophet" to stand up to the Pharaoh and allow the Lord to use him in the contest that would finally make the Egyptian leader decide to let the Jewish people go to their "promised land". We have the account of this challenge for Moses in the seven chapters of Exodus 5-11.

In Exodus 12 we see that God told Moses how He would take the children of Israel out of the Egyptian bondage and into the Promised Land. The Israelites were to slaughter a lamb and paint their doorpost with the blood of the lamb, verses 1-7, so that the "destroyer", verse 23, would not take the life of the firstborn of the family, but would instead "pass over" their house.

The death of the firstborn of the families in Egypt was the final judgment on Egypt before the children of Israel would make their Exodus. Our key verse today is the command from God to the Jewish people to yearly rehearse the story of the Exodus at a Passover Seder, a special “feast” to observe as a “memorial” of the Passover.

From that day, until today, the Jews on a special night yearly gather as a family for the Seder. The father will tell the story once again to all in attendance. On this night the Jewish people around the world stop to remember what the Lord God did for them 3500 years ago.

What a joyous occasion it is at these Passover Seders. I have had the privilege to be in a Jewish home in Jerusalem for this holy Jewish feast day. Even the children are excited about the events of the evening.

Our church in Jerusalem hosts Jews from our area for a “Passover Seder” and in the course of the evening will present “Jesus” as the “Passover Lamb”, I Corinthians 5:7. It is a great way to give testimony to Jewish friends. However, as I write this devotional, I am reminded that there is an exception to observing the Passover.

The ancient Jewish prophet Jeremiah wrote of a day when the Jewish people would no longer only talk about the Exodus out of Egypt, Jeremiah 16:14. Notice the context of Jeremiah 16:13-15Verse 13 says the Jews will be cast out of their land to lands they do not know.

This dispersion of the Jewish people, a fulfillment of Deuteronomy 28, happened in 70 AD when General Titus and the Roman Army dispersed the Jewish people to the four corners of the Earth.

Verse 14 speaks of a time when the Jews will speak of something in addition to the Exodus out of Egypt. Verse 15 reveals that the Jews will talk about the Lord bringing Jews out of "the north and the lands whither He had driven them." That prophecy is being at least partially fulfilled today.

In the last 100 years, Jews have come back to Israel out of the nations of the world. Since the early 1990's, over 1.3 million Jews have come out of Russia, "the land of the north." The return of the Jewish people to the land of their forefathers is evidence that the prophecies for the Last Days are in the process of being fulfilled. These are prophetic passages that point to when the Messiah Jesus Christ will return.

Every Passover Seder I have attended during the time I have lived in Jerusalem has seen a larger number of Russian Jews in attendance. Each time we speak of this prophecy in Jeremiah as we observe the Passover as the Lord commanded the Jewish people thousands of years ago.

At Passover, stop to read this passage in Exodus and the one in Jeremiah again as you reflect on how close we are to the return of Jesus to Earth.

But remember, seven years before His Second Coming, the Rapture takes place and that could be today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: There is so much evidence present today to let us know how close we are to the Rapture. Help me to live in light of the truth that the Rapture could happen today.