· The Passover was meant to be a reminder of God’s “passing over” Israel in the judgment of the firstborn at the Exodus from Egypt.
o Each believing family was to take the blood of the innocent sacrifice and apply it to the doorposts and lintel of each home; when the Death Angel went throughout the land of Egypt on that fateful night, he would see the blood covering the home, and would “pass over” and not visit judgment on those inside.
o As we’d discussed when we studies Exodus 12, the Passover points forward to Jesus, our ultimate innocent sacrifice, Whose blood causes the judgment against our own sin to “pass over us” because He took the full penalty for us on the cross
§ And just like Israel was then blessed to be able to go free from the house of slavery and bondage, we are too in Jesus because of His finished work for us and on our behalf.
· And Israel was to commemorate the Passover every year as a memorial – so they wouldn’t forget the mighty works that God had done for them, and continues to do for them
o Just like we as New Testament Christians celebrate the Lord’s victory for us:
§ Every day, when we meet Him in personal devotion
§ Every week, when we meet with God’s kids, fulfilling the command of Hebrews to “not forsake the gathering of yourselves together…”
§ Every time we celebrate Communion
So it was always
· [Guzik] Though Israel had been organized and ordered by God; though they had been cleansed, and set apart, and blessed, and giving, and walking in their priesthood, they still had to be guided by God each step of the way to make it to the Promised Land. God had not done all those previous things to make them able to start towards the Promised Land on their own, but to make every step in constant dependence on Him.
o Colossians 3 tells us to let the peace of God rule in our hearts – literally, to act as an umpire
o We learn to walk in His peace when we learn to walk in His Word
§ I can’t have legitimate peace if I’m not walking in the light of His Word
§ I will have legitimate peace if I am walking in the light of His Word.
Also, in the day of your gladness…
· Both to sound the call to worship and during worship, and
· at least prefiguring for us as NT Christians the greatest day of gladness for us:
o [1 Cor 15:52] for in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
And the children of Israel set out from the Wilderness of Sinai on their journeys
· As the cloud began to move, one might imagine the huge sense of excitement that flowed through the people - now they were on their way to the Promised Land! Previously, their journey had been from Egypt and slavery; now it was to Canaan and liberty.
So they started out for the first time according to the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses
· This was the first time Israel marched out as an organized, prepared nation. They were not the rag-tag fugitive fleet that escaped from Egypt as little more than a gigantic mob.
o Our God is a God of order.
o He loves spontaneity, but spontaneity in the context of general order.
§ That’s why He in His Word sets up His order in our lives in our different contexts
· Order in the home
· Order in the family
· Order in the church
· Order in the nation
· [Guzik] One would be tempted to think that after such extensive preparation - a virtual transformation from slave people to Promised Land people - the actual entering into the Promised Land would be easy. This was not the case. The preparation was exactly that - preparation. Ahead of them are the greatest challenges, challenges that can only be met by faith. A soldier might think boot camp finishes something - but it doesn’t. It only prepares for a greater challenge: The actual battle itself.
Come with us, and we will treat you well
· Don’t Read – Paraphrase: Moses was a wise enough leader to know his limitations, and to know that he needed help. Instead of just saying, “well, God got us this far and He’ll see us through without Reuel” he knew God’s help often comes through men like Reuel.
o Though Israel was guided by God, there was still help needed by man - men like Reuel. God plans it this way, often arranging it so His help comes to us partially through people He has ordained to help us.
And the cloud of the Lord was above them by day when they went out from the camp
· Don’t Read – Paraphrase: As they begin the journey to the Promised Land, they were guided by God’s presence - and not by themselves. They followed the cloud no matter where God led them. If they were to camp in a rough place, they did it. If they were told to go on from a comfortable place, they did it. They allowed themselves to be guided by God, not by their own desire for comfort and ease.