Numbers 8 -- 9
The Israelites gained their freedom from Egypt as they observed the Passover. The blood was placed on the doorpost, but, equally important, they were commanded to eat the lamb, as well as to be prepared to march out of Egypt when God gave the command.
Freedom from Egypt did not mean that they were free to do as they pleased. In Egypt they were under the heartless slavery of Pharaoh; now they were free to follow the leadership of the One True God, who loved them and would soon make it possible for them to enter the Promised Land.
One year after leaving Egypt the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai . . . Let the children of Israel keep the Passover. . . . In the fourteenth day of this month . . . keep it . . . according to all the rites of it (Numbers 9:1-3).
The Passover was a reminder of how the Israelites gained their freedom. Not only were they to partake of the Passover feast, but they were also required to bring the offering of the Lord: The man . . . that forbears (fails) to keep the Passover . . . shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the Lord . . . that man shall bear his sin (9:13).
The Passover was not only a remembrance of how they were delivered, but it was also a witness to the spiritual unity of the tribes. It was not an individual matter to be done at ones convenience, but a community participation.
Following the Passover, they would be prepared for their journey.
What a breathtaking sight it must have been to see the cloud of God's presence cover the Tabernacle on the day it was completed and raised up. At evening there was upon the Tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. So it was alway; the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night (9:15-16) -- to lead His people throughout all their journeys (Exodus 40:34-38). And so it was. . . . whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the Tabernacle. . . . At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed (Numbers 9:21-23).
Christ our Passover is slain for us (I Corinthians 5:7). Our observance of the Lords Supper is a reminder that, because of His atoning death, we were made free from sin, became a child of God, and are prepared for the wilderness journeys through life. What the Passover was to the Israelites, the atoning death of Jesus is for all believers. It was Jesus who said: As often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show forth the Lords death till He come (I Corinthians 11:26). It is said of the early church that, upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them (Acts 20:7).
Just as the Lord determined the journey of the Israelite tribes, He has a plan for you as you journey through life. Our supreme aim should be to accomplish His purpose for creating us. When God is our guide, what is there to fear? He has provided a reliable threefold Guide for direction -- His perfect Word, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the power of prayer: It is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
The Passover serves as a beautiful illustration of the redemption Christ accomplished at Calvary as the Lamb of God (Numbers 9:2; compare John 1:29; I Cor. 5:7).
8:2 over against means in front of; 8:11 execute means perform; 8:14 Mine means for God's special purpose; 8:18 for means instead of; 8:26 keep the charge means assisted in the duties and assignments; 9:13 forbeareth means neglects.
BPM Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Pray for The Bible League · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Jack and Barbara Michael · Country: Uganda (23 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: English and Luganda · Religious freedom · 51% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 10% animist; 7% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Praise God in prayer and with singing for His Word is pure and His works are done in truth (Psalms 33:2-4).
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