Old Testament: Exodus 12:14-13:16
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Exodus 12:14-13:16 200,000 Served
For Jews the Passover is like Heaven.
They have a feast with bread that has no leaven.
The ‘Gyptians are plagued for the very last time.
The Jews plunder them almost taking their last dime.
A new feast was established for the nation of Israel called the Feast of Unleavened Bread (vv. 14-22). It would last a week and basically coincide with the Passover (vv. 6, 8). For a week (15th to the 21st of the month of Nisan during our months of March-April) they were not to eat any bread with leavening (v. 16). Leavening was symbolic of sin (cf. Lev. 2:11, 1 Cor. 5:8). The week began and ended with a convocation (v. 16, cf. Lev. 23:6-8). This was to be an annual event (v. 14b, “throughout all your generations”).
The Israelites were also to slay a lamb and put the blood on their doorposts (vv. 21-22). This was also to be an annual event (v. 24, 13:5-8, 10). The blood of the animal on the doorpost was exchanged for the life of the firstborn (Exod. 13:1, 11-16).
Pharaoh got up in the middle of the night to summon M and A (vv. 30-32). There was not a household that had not been touched by death (v. 30b). He ordered all the Israelites to abscond (v. 32).
The Israelites had already collected the gold and silver from the ‘Gyptians and bread that was baked without waiting for it to rise (it had no leavening because they had to get out quickly! v. 35-36). There were 600,000 men (possibly 2 million with women and children cf. Bible Knowledge Commentary) and a huge number of livestock (v. 37). They had been in Egypt exactly 430 years (vv. 40 – 41, 400 years as captives, Gen. 15:13, 16; Acts 7:6). The gold and silver taken from the ‘Gyptians were later reformed into utensils for worship. It was also compensation for their years of forced labor under ‘Gyptian taskmasters.
The Feast of Passover was to be observed every year as a reminder to the Israelites that they had been rescued from death (v. 42). (You do realize that Jesus was the Lamb who rescued us from death at Passover time, right? cf. 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 18-19).
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was established and coincided with the Passover feast. It commemorated the lambs slaughtered in exchange for the lives of their firstborn before they absconded from Egypt. It also prefigures the death of Christ, as the Lamb of God, on our behalf.
The final plague was the last straw for Pharaoh and he let the Israelites leave.
The Jews plundered the ‘Gyptians, gaining valuables to use for worship in the future. 6K men and possibly 200K altogether absconded.
The feast of Passover was also to be an annual event to commemorate how God protected the firstborn of Israel from the plague of death that encompassed the ‘Gyptians.
New Testament: Matthew 20:29-21:22
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Two blind men see.
The disciples find a filly.
The Temple gets sanitized.
A fig tree gets sterilized.
Matthew 20:29-21:22 Spring Cleaning
Two blind men cried to Jesus, calling Him “Messiah,” as He was leaving Jericho (v. 30). Jesus asked what they wanted (v. 32). (Can you guess?) He healed their sight (v. 34). Everyone who sees Jesus as Messiah has their “sight” restored.
Jesus sent out two disciples to get him a small riding vehicle (vv. 1 -2). He quoted a Scripture, “I’ll always be . . . your Beast of Burden (v. 5d, cf. NASB).” A king usually rode a horse but a colt was a sign of peace (unless playing the NE Patriots). Jews were coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and threw their coats and palm branches (v. 8). John 12: 13) on the ground as Jesus rode in. Everyone was shouting, “Hosanna” which means “Praise God” like they were quoting Ps. 118: 25, 26 (v. 9). Some didn’t know Who He was so they were told that Jesus was a prophet from Nazareth in Galilee (vv. 10 -11).
Turns out the Temple was dirty and it was time for some Spring Cleaning (v. 12). Jesus dumped over all the tables of the merchants making money off people coming in to worship in the temple (v. 12). He was particularly upset that they were set up in the area for non-Jewish visitors to pray (v. 13, quoting parts of Is. 56:7 and Jer. 7:11). The religious leaders were upset because the children were calling Jesus the Messiah (v. 15 – 16a). But Jesus quoted Ps. 8:2 back to them (v. 16b).
Jesus was out walking the next morning and saw a fig tree and rather capriciously cursed it (vv. 18 -19). Or maybe not so capriciously. The tree shrunk up on the spot (v. 19c). The disciples were amazed (v. 20). Jesus said that’s nothing, if the disciples had faith they’d even be able to move mountains into the sea (vv. 21 – 22). Some see the cursing of this tree as an example of the curse brought upon Israel for not exercising faith in Jesus. (This makes sense to me.)
Jesus healed two blind men figurative of being saved when “blind” men can finally see spiritually.
Jesus sends out a couple disciples for a colt and He rides into town on Palm Sunday to a great reception.
Jesus cleanses the Temple of the men making money off Temple worshippers and crowding Gentiles out of the area designated for them.
Jesus curses a fig tree, figurative of the curse on Israel for rejecting their Messiah.
Psalm 25:16-22 A Lament Psalm by David
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Psalm 25:16-22 Private Instruction, Part 2
Today we finish David’s lament in Psalm 25.
In this part of the psalm, David implores God to show His grace to him (v. 16). He says the “troubles of [his] heart” have “enlarged” (v. 17) Have you ever had your troubles enlarged? I think that’s the point in time we really implore God to help us. We might send up some nice prayers when the heat is increasing in our lives. When it gets really hot, then we implore Him! I think Romans 5:1-5 indicates that we grow when we are suffering. I believe we probably don’t hardly grow unless we suffer a lot.
An old Greek proverb says, “He who suffers much will know much.” A.W. Tozer said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” That hurts even to write. It is a shame, I guess, but I don’t think we make much progress spiritually without pain and suffering. Look at all these lament psalms we have from David!
David was “lonely and afflicted” (v. 16). He asks God to forgive his sins (v. 18b). Funny how we ask for forgiveness when we’re down and out? Not that funny, I guess.
David had “affliction” and “trouble” (v. 18a) because he had enemies all around him and they hated him . . . a lot ( hatred “with violent hatred,” v. 19b). If you are going to represent Christ, you will have people who pretty much hate you (John 15:18-21). Some will be other Christians! Some Christians act worldly.
So David asks for protection as he trusts Yahweh (v. 20-21). He’s “waiting” on God again (v. 21b)! You should, too.
David asks that God help him maintain his honesty (v. 21a). It is not honest to use worldly tactics to get your way. Those type of Christians hate those who are “waiting” on God.
David makes his request as an Israelite since God has promised to guard the descendants of Abraham (cf. Gen. 12:2) He fully expects Yahweh to save him from “out of all his troubles” (v. 22). Some day God will rescue the church out of the world in the Rapture (cf. 1 Thess. 4:16-18).
Proverbs 6:12-15 Stung
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Have you seen the movie the Sting? You can see a lot of guys winking, signaling with their feet, and pointing in that movie (v. 13). That’s because they were all crooks.
It was rated PG so you didn’t hear so much of their perverse mouths but you can trust that they were “potty-mouths” (v. 12).
They were cute, of course, because it was a Hollywood movie, glorifying gambling and crookedhood. (I made up that word. Don’t look it up.)
If I’m right and we’re in the end times of the end times, there will be more and more people with “perversity” in their hearts devising evil and spreading strife (v. 14). I always tell my wife, everyone has a scam but us. We give away free teaching with free breakfast every Sunday. But scams seem to abound. It doesn’t seem like you can trust any deal offered you these days. There’s always some hidden catch down the road, it seems. The devil is alive and well in the world today and has more influence than ever (cf. John 12:31; 2 Cor. 4;4). When would the nation have tolerated a TV show whose central character was Lucifer before now? And I could give numerous other illustrations but you already have your own, I’m sure.
Calamity will come in a flash to these people (v. 15). But they will receive their punishment, either now or later (cf. Phil. 2:10-11). They will reap what they sow (cf. Gal. 6:7).
Psalm 73 is an entire psalm about these kinds of people. Verses 18-19 say of these “worthless” (v. 12a) ones, “Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!” When God is done with them, He disposes of them. They don’t ultimately get away with anything. Hitler? Mussolini? Wile E. Coyote? I don’t know why evil people don’t give up and turn to God. They never see that evil people never get away with things. Someone like the Roadrunner always gets them. They always get stung.
Choose Life: Scripture: Exodus 13:15a NASB “A Principal Principle”
“‘It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast” Exodus 13:15a
Warren Wiersbe points out how God causes individuals to reap what they sow (cf. Gal. 6:7). Just as Jacob’s sons lied to him after he lied to his father (Gen. 27:15-17), two of David’s sons were murdered and his daughter raped (2 Sam. 11) after David committed adultery and murdered (2 Sam. 13:18). Haman built a gallows for Mordecai but was hung on it himself (Esther 7:7-10), Pharaoh’s son died after he murdered all the Israelite male infants (Exod. 14:26-31; 15:4-5).
That’s almost kind of eerie isn’t it? Can you think of examples in your own life where you have reaped what you have sown? It’s probably a good thing to remember this principle as we go through life.
The good thing about this principle is that we also reap good things as we sow good things. Paul, later in Galatians in chapter 6, verse 9, says “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Keep sowing and some day you will reap.
Solomon in Ecclesiastes 11:1 tells us to, “Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.” Now I would have thought you’d end up with soggy bread but I think the thought is more that as you do good to others, they’ll end up taking care of you when you need help. Ever seen It’s a Wonderful Life?
What good can you do for someone else today? Trust God in your sowing and reaping.
And if you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
What is an area in which you should be sowing some good? Giving to your church? Giving to the poor?
You may think you have a crumby job and some days you may not want to give it your all, but God knows if you are being diligent. Your hard work may not show up on your paper or online resume but it shows up on God’s ledger. He knows what you are doing (cf. Col. 3:23-24).
Sow something today . . . expect to reap it tomorrow . . . or the next day . . . or the next day.
You’ll be blessed if you do!
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Spring Cleaning