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Thursday, January 26, 2023

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.