Highlights In Today's Reading:
Death of the firstborn; Passover instructions; departure from Egypt; firstborn to be set apart; pillar of cloud and pillar of fire; journey begins to the promised land.
Verse for Today:
He shall surely thrust (expel) you out hence altogether (Ex. 11:1).With each miraculous plague, God proved that Egypt's gods were false deities and that he is the Only True God. The final plague of judgment was death. God spoke to Moses: About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn . . . shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh . . . even unto the firstborn of the maid (11:4-5).
The suffering of the Israelites was needed to cause them to cry out to God in prayer for deliverance from Egypt . . . the house of bondage (13:14). Their hearts had to be severed from Egypt's satisfactions before they would look toward the Holy Land which the Lord had promised through His servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moreover, the suffering of the Israelites before their departure helped prepare them for the difficult days of their wilderness journey. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts . . . And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread. . . . eat it, with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand (12:7-11). The Israelites are now given instructions on how to prepare for their release from the authority of Pharaoh to live in obedience to God.
We may never understand why troubles and sorrows come, but it is certain that we will never experience spiritual growth without them. Trials provide opportunities for a renewed spiritual awakening. The psalmist said: Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept Thy Word (Ps. 119:67).
Suffering is often the way God awakens within us a desire to separate ourselves from worldly things and have a longing to do His will. Just as precious metals such as gold and silver must go through a refining furnace to burn the impurities out of the metal, so God's people must be purified by going through the fires of testing. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried (Zech. 13:9).
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him (James 1:12).
Thought for Today:
All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II Tim. 3:12).
By the blood applied to the door posts. Jesus is not "a door," but The Door to heaven. There is no other way to heaven except through Him (Ex. 12:7,12-13,21-23; John 10:9;14:6; Acts 4:10-12).
11:7 move his tongue =bark, growl; 12:9 purtenance =internal organs; 12:11 with your loins girded =dressed ready for travel; 12:22 hyssop =common plant of the mint family; lintel =crosspiece above the door; 12:36 spoiled =took all the valuables of; 13:2 Sanctify =Dedicate; 13:3 leavened bread =bread with yeast — symbolic of corruption and evil; 13:12 matrix =womb; 13:16 token =reminder that we belong to God; frontlets =small leather box containing Scripture; 13:17 repent =change their minds; 13:18 harnessed =in military order.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Joan Burby • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Officials: Sec. Gary Locke (Dept. of Commerce) and Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. (Dept. of Justice) • Country: St. Lucia (154,000) in the eastern Caribbean • Major languages: English and French patois • Religious freedom • 83% Roman Catholic; 13% Protestant; 2% spirit worship • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice over and pray for those who share the Good News (Nah. 1:15).
Optional Reading: Matthew 21
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23:5