Shall we turn now in our Bibles now to Exodus, chapter eleven? Up to this point Moses' life seems to be going from one bad experience to worse; sometimes we have that experience too. It looks like just, man, everything we do is wrong, nothing seems to be coming up right. Moses has been before the Pharaoh; he has made his demands. The Pharaoh's heart has been hardened. Egypt has been smitten by God with many plagues. Now the Pharaoh orders him out, orders him, "never to see my face again. The next time you see me, you're a dead man." So Moses leaves and says, "That's all right with me if I never see your face again."
So in chapter eleven,
The Lord said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; and afterwards he will let you go from here: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out from here altogether (Exd 11:1).
In other words, "He's not gonna just let you go, he's gonna kick you out of here" after this final plague. God's gonna smite Egypt once more. When He smites Egypt this time, the Pharaoh's not just gonna let them go, he's gonna throw them out of the land.
So speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow (Exd 11:2),
Now the word "borrow" here is an unfortunate kind of a translation because it looks like they sort of dishonestly ripped off the Egyptians. In other words, "Go in and borrow all of their silver plates and all of their jewels and earrings and bracelets, and so forth. Then when you leave tonight rip them off, you take it with you." That Moses is advocating actually this kind of a rip off of the Egyptians.
But not so. The word would better be translated "let them ask". And at this point, let me tell you something, the Egyptians were glad to give them anything. In a sense this is back wages. They had been serving the Egyptians as slaves now for many years, without pay. So this really is just sort of a compensation to them for all of the labor, the years of labor that they had given to the Egyptians.
But it wasn't really just saying, "Oh, can I borrow that beautiful necklace tonight?" and then not showing up, but taking off and running with it. It was asking for the necklace, "I would like to have that earring. I would like to have that bracelet, I'd like to have that necklace."
So, "Let them ask the Egyptians",
all of them their neighbours, and every woman of her neighbour, for the jewels of silver, and the jewels of gold. And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, and in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people (Exd 11:2-3).
At this point they really had begun-that is the Egyptians had really begun to look up to Moses. They had been through enough. The servants of Pharaoh were pleading with Pharaoh, "Hey, let this guy go before we're all dead. We're gonna be wiped out. We're not gonna have anything. Let them go." It was only the Pharaoh whose heart was hardened in resisting the letting of the people go. The people themselves were really at this point glad to see them go.
Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt (Exd 11:4):
So we talked about God passing through Egypt and the firstborn being slain. Moses tells us here that it was about midnight. I suppose that's why midnight is sort of looked upon as a scary hour.
And all of the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon the throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservants that is behind the mill; and all of the firstborn of the beasts. [In other words, the eradication of the firstborn was to be complete from the least to the greatest in the land, and even to include their own animals.] And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall it be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against the man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel (Exd 11:5-7).
Now it is true that God always puts a difference between those who are His people and those who are not His people. And God says, "I want you to know how that I put a difference between the Egyptians, and the Israelis." God makes a definite distinction always concerning His people.
And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. [So Moses was angry, the Pharaoh was angry. Moses left the presence of the Pharaoh.] And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the Lord hardened [or made stiff] Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land (Exd 11:9-10).
So chapter eleven is just sort of a brief summary of what has happened up until this point, and now we are going to continue on and carry on with the story, chapter twelve.
The Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you (Exd 12:1-2).
Now in a few weeks the Jews are gonna be celebrating New Year's, Rosh Hashana. How come they're celebrating New Year's now, if this month April was to be the first month of the year? Well, they have a religious calendar. Their religious year begins in April. Then they have just the regular year by which they count years, and that comes sometime here in the latter part of September as a general rule, the Jewish New Year.
So they have sort of a secular calendar and a religious calendar. The religious calendar, they do begin the religious year in April, that is the first of April, so that the month of October in the religious calendar is the seventh month. Because seven is such a symbolic number, and such a significant number in symbolism, the many feasts take place in the seventh month. Especially the feast of Succoth, or the feast of Tabernacles which takes place here in the tenth month, or seventh month of the Jewish calendar, tenth month in our calendar.
So we see that God is ordaining now that this is to be the beginning of months for you. You're to-this is, God is going to bring them into a new relationship with Himself, and they're gonna start counting their life from this point, this new relationship that God is bringing them into.
So I have-sometimes people come up who are fifty years old and they say, "I'm celebrating my second birthday this week." They're talking about their new birth, their new relationship with God. This is the new beginning for them, beginning in Christ. And their life seems to start all over and take on a new beginning when you really come into this relationship with the Lord. So coming into this new relationship with God, it's to be the beginning, start counting from here. Whatever happened in the past doesn't count anymore.
Paul talks about his past as refuse. All of the glory and all of the accomplishments that he had experienced in his ambitions and in his life, up to Christ, he counted that but loss. He counted it but refuse that he might know Christ. Life really begins with Jesus Christ. It's the beginning of life; it's the beginning of counting. Anything else before Christ really doesn't count. It's all wood, hay, and stubble of no count. Life really begins when you begin your life with Jesus Christ.
So God is saying, "Hey, this is the beginning, start counting from here because you're gonna come into a new relationship with God." Here's where things are going to start.
So speak unto the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house: And if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour that is next to his house and let them take it according to the number of souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. And your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it upon the two side posts and upon the upper door posts of the houses, wherein they shall eat it (Exd 12:3-7).
Notice the blood was to be stricken on the side posts and on the upper door posts, not on the threshold, because the blood of this lamb is actually symbolic of the blood of Jesus Christ, which is never to be trampled under foot. However, by some it is who are going to face the wrath of God. "Of how much sorer punishment", we are told in Hebrews, "suppose ye, shall he to be thought worthy, who hath counted the blood of his covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath trodden under foot the Son of God"(Hebrews 10:29-30).
So the blood of Christ is never to be trodden under foot, thus the blood was to be put upon the side posts, and the upper door posts of the house, but not on the threshold.
And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast it with fire, and with unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs shall they eat it. Don't eat it raw, nor boiled with water, but roast it with the fire, the head with the legs, and the pertinence thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until morning; and that which remains of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And ye shall eat it with your clothes on, fully dressed, your shoes on your feet, your staff in your hand; you'll eat it in haste: it is the Lord's passover (Exd 12:8-11).
Now they were to really sort of stuff themselves when they ate this lamb. "I mean eat the whole thing, eat until you can't eat anymore. It's gonna be awhile before you're gonna be eating meat again." They're gonna make their flight and they're going to need all of the reserve, and strength, and energy that they can store up. So they're really to eat the whole thing, "as much as you possibly can. If you can't eat it all, then burn the rest with the fire, don't let anything remain."
As they are to eat it, they are to eat it prepared to go. Now as a general rule their eating was just sort of a lounging. They didn't sit at the table like we sit at the table to eat, but they would just sort of lie around on pillows on the floor, very casual when they ate.
You so often, you know, you see the picture of Jesus at the Last Supper and the nice table and everything. No, they didn't eat like that. They were lying around on the floor on pillows and so forth. It was an extremely casual kind of eating habits that they had. The food out there, and they would just take the food and just sort of lie back and chew on the bones and enjoy. Good way to eat. We've become so formalized that we don't really know how to. We're oftentimes stiff and formal when we eat, rather than relaxed. When you relax like that, your food digests so much better. It's just a better way to go at it. But customs are customs, so I guess we're gonna have to be customized.
Now the lamb that was to be chosen had to be of the first year, had to be without blemish, it had to be separated from the flock for four days to make sure that it was without blemish. The lamb was to be slain on the evening of the fourteenth day, the blood applied to the door posts. This is going to be the Lord's Passover.
For [The Lord said] I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all of the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord (Exd 12:12).
Now here God is declaring that the purpose of these plagues has been that He might execute against all of the gods of Egypt, His judgment. They had worshiped the flies, they had worshiped the frogs, they had worshiped the Nile River, and God exercised His judgment against their gods. So, He is magnifying Himself. As the Pharaoh said, "Who is Jehovah? I don't know Him." He surely learned.
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: [The Lord declared,] when I see the blood, I will pass over you (Exd 12:13),
So the blood was to be a protection, it was to be a seal for that house. A token by which when God sees the blood there on the doorposts, He would pass over that house and the firstborn would not die. However, in whatever house there was not the blood there over the doorposts, and on the side posts of the house, the firstborn in that house would be slain. The only protection and the only salvation was through the blood; no other hope, no other way, no other salvation, except through the blood applied by faith, because it had to be a step of faith on the part of the people.
You can't really intellectualize on how blood on a doorpost can keep your firstborn child alive. It doesn't really make sense from an intellectual standpoint. Thus, it had to be a step of faith on their part. Moses said, "This is what God says to do", and they had to obey the word of God by faith. They weren't sure that it was going to work. They weren't even sure that the deaths would be visited, except that Moses said it would be upon the firstborn in the land. So there had to be that obedience of faith, putting the blood on the doorposts; but as Moses said, so it was. And the only hope of salvation was through the blood.
So today God has declared that the only hope of life, the only hope of salvation is through the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no other way. There is no other hope. You say, "Chuck that's too narrow. I cannot believe in a God that would be so narrow." That's too bad. Jesus said, "Strait is the gate, narrow is the way that leads to eternal life, and few there be that find it"(Matthew 7:14). You say, "But I can't understand it."
I didn't say I did; I believe it. I believe God's Word. I accept God's Word as truth. I don't argue with God nor with the Word of God, nor do I seek to strive with God. For who am I to contend with God? Who am I to argue with God over what's fair, or what's right, or what's wrong? Am I saying that my standards of fairness are, are above God's? Am I saying that I know better than God? Dare I challenge God?
Paul said, "Remember you're just like a bit of clay in the potter's hands, and what right has the clay to say to the potter, hey, why are you making me this kind of a pitcher?" (Romans 9:21). I don't want to be that. I wanted to have a different shape. Hey, you are what you are. We have no right to challenge God or the ways of God, or why's of God. But if we have good sense, we'll just submit to God, whether we understand it or not.
The obedience of faith is so important. God has declared, "There is salvation in no other"(Acts 4:12). When Peter was examined concerning the miracles done to the lame man and was standing before the counsel, "Men and brethren if I be examined this day because of the good deeds done unto this impudent man, be it known unto you that by the name of Jesus Christ that this man's standing before you whole. He was a stone that was set of not of you builders, neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved"(Acts 4:9-10).
The Bible says, "Woe unto him who strives with his Maker"(Isaiah 45:9). There are some people who are just foolish enough to fight with God, to try to challenge God or to resist God. One of the most ridiculous things you can ever do is fight with God. How could you ever win? Unfortunately some people do. Because, you see, God is seeking to draw you to life. God is seeking to draw you to Himself. God is seeking to draw you into the highest life, life on the spiritual plane. You're fighting God; to fight God is really to fight your own good. To resist God is to resist the good that God wants to do within your life. "Woe unto him who strives with his Maker."
So it is not mine to question or challenge. It's mine to simply trust and believe, because you can be sure that God will do what He said He is going to do. If you follow His instructions, you'll be saved. If you don't follow His instructions, you'll be lost.
Now the children of Israel could've argued with Moses. They could've challenged the thing that Moses was telling them. "Ah, I don't see any sense in doing that." You really can't see any sense in doing it, except God said to do it. When God says to do something, whether I understand it or not, the very wisest thing for me is to go ahead and do it, because I'll find out later on that what God said was right. If I have submitted to it, I'm in good shape. If I have resisted it and fought it, then I'm in trouble.
So Moses laid it out, and God declared, "When I see the blood I will pass over you." God is saying that to us tonight, as far as death is concerned and life is concerned. When He sees the blood of Jesus Christ applied to your heart, He passes over you. You've passed from death unto life. "He that liveth and believeth on Me", Jesus said, "will never die"(John 11:26). You've passed from death unto life.
You say, "Chuck again, it doesn't stand to reason because out here in the cemetery there are so many graves". If you look at the tombstones you'll read "Resting in Jesus", "Trusting in the Lord", and you read the statements of faith of that individual. They lived and believed in Jesus and are now dead. Oh no they're not. You're mistaken to think that they are. They're only dead as far as our relating to them is concerned, but they're very much alive, alive in the presence of the Lord.
Paul said, "I find myself with mixed emotions, I have a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better, nevertheless for your sakes it's important that I stick around awhile longer"(Philippians 1:23).
He said, "I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years, or a little over fourteen years ago, and whether in the body or out of the body I really don't know, but I know I was caught up to the third heaven, and there I heard things that it would be a crime if I tried to describe them in human language. Because words haven't been made that can describe the experiences that I had"(2 Corinthians 12:3-4). Now "whether in the body or out of the body" is in reality; whether dead or alive I really don't know.
Again Paul writes to the Corinthians, "We know that when this earthly tent is dissolved, this body that we then have a building of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. So then we who are in this body do often groan earnestly desiring to be free from the restrictions of this body, from the limitations of this body, from the pain and the suffering of this body. Not that I would be an unembodied spirit, but my desire is to be clothed upon with the body which is from heaven, for we know that as long as we're at home in this body, we are absent from the Lord. But we would choose rather to be absent from this body, and to be present with the Lord"(2 Corinthians 5:1-8).
For those who live and believe in Jesus, they do not die, they move out of the old tent that is worn out, into a beautiful new house, a building of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
I'm so anxious to see my new model; one that's probably designed for my personality. One that will be fully capable of expressing me completely and fully as I really am. It's gonna be so interesting to find out all of the capacity of that new body that God has built for me, that new model directly from God. He who lives and believes in Jesus Christ never dies. You do move. Thank God we move. I'd hate to stick around in this old body much longer. I hate the deterioration. I hate the catabolic forces. I hate the diminishing return. I look forward to being with the Lord, being in that new form, that new body, the body that pleases God.
Paul tells us that, "When you plant a seed into the ground, the seed doesn't come forth into new life until it first of all dies, and then the body that comes out of the ground isn't the body that you planted"(1 Corinthians 15:38). Now a lot of people that want it to be related to this old body, they want it to be somehow related to their new body. It is in a sense, just like a dead bulb is related to the new plant or dead seed is related to the new plant. There is a relationship, sure. A gladiola bulb remains a gladiola then it's a flower, but there's a vast difference between the bulb and the flower. There will be a vast difference between this old, ugly bulb and the blossomed flower in the kingdom of God. So don't go looking for a bald head when you get up there to find me. Somebody has to use glasses to read; you'll never recognize them.
"A building of God not made with hands." The body that comes out is not the body that you planted. All you planted was a bare grain, and God gives it a body that pleases Him, so is the resurrection from the dead. We are planted in corruption; we are raised in incorruption. We are planted in weakness; we are raised in power. We are planted in dishonor; we are raised in glory. We're planted as a natural body; we are raised as a spiritual body.
God said, "When I see the blood I will pass over you." That is the death that has been sentenced upon man. He's gonna pass over me. I'll not die, but I will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, into the glorious likeness of Jesus Christ. Whom, having not seen, yet I love. Even though I don't see Him yet, in my heart I rejoice with a joy unspeakable, and full of glory because even though I am now a son of God, I don't know for sure yet what I'm gonna be, all of the full capacities and everything else. But I know that when He appears, I'm gonna be like Him. For I'm gonna see Him as He is, conformed into His image.
Oh, how glorious is the hope of every child of God, who by faith follows the command of God, and who has received the sacrifice of God, God's lamb Jesus Christ, and has received the covering of Jesus Christ, and his sins have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
So in Exodus we have God laying out the Passover lamb, which is a type of the Lamb of God. For Jesus it was the night in which He had the Passover supper with His disciples, that He took the Passover elements and said, "Hey this is Me, this is Me don't you understand? It's Me. I'm the Passover Lamb. This cup is a new covenant; it's in My blood."
No longer the lamb in Egypt and the blood of the lamb in Egypt. No longer does this feast carry you clear back to Egypt. This feast now carries you back to the cross of Jesus Christ. And as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you show the Lord's death, not the death of the lamb in Egypt, but the death of the Lamb of God. You do show the Lord's death until He comes. So the feast was inaugurated, but it was inaugurated to remind, yes, but also to look forward to the fulfillment of what that lamb in Egypt typified, the Lamb of God slain for our sins.
And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; and you shall keep it a feast by the ordinance for ever. Seven days you are to eat the unleavened bread; even the first day you'll put away leaven out of your houses (Exd 12:14-15):
Now what is leaven? It's yeast. What is yeast? Decomposition, the breaking down of substance; thus, leaven has become throughout the scripture a type of sin because of its decomposition, its breaking down, its effect of just permeating the whole by a process of deterioration or breaking down. It becomes a very fit picture of sin. Any sin tolerated or allowed has a way of just expanding until it takes over and controls your life. But it brings into your life that element of decomposition, the breaking down, filling the whole life. So leaven is, and it's to be excluded, they were to eat the unleavened bread, a memorial. "Seven days you'll eat unleavened bread; and the first day you'll put away leaven out of your houses."
Jesus said, "I am the bread of life", and thus the bread of the Passover, the middle wafer was representing Jesus Christ. In the Passover meal they have three wafers of unleavened bread in this little napkin thing. They take the middle wafer and they break it, and then they hide it, and the children have to go and find it. Now why they do this, they really don't know. But Jesus said, "I am the bread of life", He said, "this bread is my body broken for you". They break it, even as He was in the grave for three days. They hide it, and then they discover it and there's great rejoicing when it's discovered, a great celebration, "They found the broken bread." It's brought out.
What a day it's going to be when Israel discovers the bread of life, Jesus Christ. For if the cutting off of Israel brought salvation to the Gentiles, what will it be when they are restored; but the kingdom, the kingdom age, the entering into the kingdom age. So their being cut off brought salvation to the Gentiles, but God is going to restore them again. And when He does it's gonna be life for the world, the kingdom age being brought in. So the inauguration of this Passover feast.
The Lord said in verse sixteen,
And in the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. And in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, you will eat the unleavened bread, until the twenty first day of the month at evening. Seven days there will be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eats that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your houses shall ye eat unleavened bread. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your
families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, [little scrub bush] and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning (Exd 12:16-22).
Now as long as you were in the house where the blood was applied, you were safe. If you went out of the house then you were no longer safe. The only place of safety is in Jesus Christ. He said, "Abide in Me, and let My words abide in you. And if any man abide not in Me, he is cut off like a branch withers and dies, and men gather them and throw them into the fire. Abide in Me"(John 15:4,7). He emphasized the importance of abiding in Him.
I really am not concerned about the past experiences you may have had in Jesus Christ. I am concerned with your present relationship. For any past experience that you may have had with God, no matter how dynamic, has no value unless it has translated into your present experience. "Abide in Me."
"So let them stay in the house till morning."
For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer (Exd 12:23)
So with the Lord there was to pass with Him this destroyer. He is called by many the death angel. The scripture just calls him the destroyer. "He will not allow the destroyer",
To come in unto your houses to smite you (Exd 12:23).
Now it is interesting to me that Satan is called the destroyer in the book of Revelation. I do believe that Satan is bent upon destroying people. I do believe that God does put limitations upon what Satan can do. I believe that Satan operates only within certain boundaries that have been prescribed for him by God.
We often make a mistake of thinking that Satan is the opposite of God. He is not at all an opposite of God. In no way is he an opposite of God. Satan would more apt to be an opposite of Michael or Gabriel, angels of God. That is not an opposite of God. He opposes God, but is not the opposite of God. Because his power is so limited, his authority is so limited, he only works within the limits that God describes and defines for him. I believe that if it weren't for God's protecting hand, Satan would've already wiped all of us out. He's bent on our destruction. I believe that God restrains him.
Now the destroyer passing through the land, God allowed him to smite the firstborn. Where the blood was upon the house, God passed over that house and did not allow the destroyer to enter in to destroy.
And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. It shall come to pass, when you come to the land which the Lord will give to you, according as he has promised, that ye shall keep this service. [or this celebration, this feast, this festival] And it shall come to pass when your children shall say to you, What do you mean by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did (Exd 12:24-28).
So the purpose of the feast was a memorial, a reminder of what God had done, but also it was to create a question in the mind of the children. God is always creating questions in the minds of children. You ever notice how many questions they ask? The purpose of God creating questions in the minds of children is that they might learn. God deliberately creates questions in their minds to give you an opportunity to teach them the things of God, to make them conscious and aware of God, and the presence of God.
"Where do trees come from? Why are roses red? How can a fly fly? How big is God?" The questions that God creates in the mind of a child that give you the opportunity of unfolding to that mind the understanding of the infinite God, to bring that child into a knowledge and a loving relationship with Him. God is always creating questions, deliberately, setting things up to create questions in the mind of a child to give you the opportunity to teach. So, "When your children shall say, What is the meaning of this service?", then you have the opportunity of sharing with them what God has done, the power of God that was demonstrated.
And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all of the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; the firstborn of the cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all of his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and he said, Rise up, get out of here from the people, both you and the children of Israel; go, serve the Lord, as you have said. And take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, be gone (Exd 12:29-32);
Now you remember earlier he had offered compromises, "Go but leave your children here. Go but leave your flocks here. Go but don't go very-go in the land, worship God in the land." Now he is-he's just not offering, "Get out of here. Get out and get into the wilderness. Take your flocks, take your children, just go."
Then he says,
pray for me. [Interesting, no matter how pagan a person is, they sure appreciate prayer when they're in trouble.] And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We'll all be dead. And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians [instead of borrowed] jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and raiment: And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave [rather than lent] such things to them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, and there were about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children (Exd 12:32-37).
Now if six hundred thousand men used in a generic sense, it would mean that there were six hundred thousand adults, and then besides children which would give you a possible million, five hundred thousand people making the exodus at this point. If it was six hundred thousand men, men, plus then the six hundred thousand wives plus their children, you have over two million that are making then the exodus. There's no way for us to know for sure the full number. Because we don't know if "the men" just is a term that is referred to the adults above twenty-one years old, or refers to men as such and then besides children. Why doesn't it say besides women and children? So that's something for you to not get worried about. A big group either way you look at it.
And there went a mixed multitude with them; and their flocks, and their herds, and very much cattle (Exd 12:38).
Now this mixed multitude, it seems they're always hanging on with the people of God, but a mixed multitude are always a weakening element among the people of God. This mixed multitude later on got them into trouble. In Numbers we read where, "The mixed multitude began to lust after the things of Egypt, began to complain unto Moses"(Numbers 11:4). A mixed multitude is always an unhealthy thing within the body, but it is always there. Whenever God is doing a marvelous work and gathering His people together, and there comes a real excitement over the things of God, a genuine revival of the Spirit; there are always just a certain number who just come along for the ride, who have not made a true commitment of their own lives. They are part of a mixed multitude. They're not really totally God's people; they're mixed. They find an excitement, they find it's fun to be around, they find that it's an interesting thing, but there
is not a true heart commitment unto God. The mixed multitude always a danger.
And they baked the unleavened cakes out of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of the land, nor could they wait, neither had they prepared for themselves any victuals. Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. [God had prophesied this to Abraham back in Genesis that they would be in the land for four hundred years.] It came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt (Exd 12:39-41).
Now that's interesting to me that God said that it happened on the very same day. In other words, it was four hundred and thirty years to a day. I emphasize that because of the Thursday night study this week, when we find God talking about another period of four hundred and eighty-three years when God says "Four hundred and eighty three-years", He wants to be exact, and He comes exactly to the day. So it was exactly to the day, four hundred and thirty years from the time that Jacob went down, exactly to the day four hundred and thirty years they came out, right to the day. And as I say, I emphasize that and you'll find out why on Thursday night.
It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: it is the night of the Lord to be observed of all of the children of Israel in their generations. [or throughout their generations]. And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: But every man's servant (Exd 12:42-44)
Now no stranger is to eat of the Passover. You remember Paul warned against unbelievers partaking of communion. "For he that eateth unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his own body"(1 Corinthians 11:29). He warns that about the unbelievers partaking of communion. It's not for strangers. The communion service is not for the public, the general public. It's for the body of Christ; it's for the family of God. That's why we have communion on Thursday nights rather than Sunday mornings. Sunday morning we have more of a mixed multitude. Thursday night's more of the family. That's why we have the communion on the Thursday evening service because it's more of a family service, not so much of a mixed multitude, because a stranger wasn't to eat.
In the Jews' celebration of their Passover, a stranger wasn't to eat of it. In fact, he goes on to say that,
every man's servant that is bought for many, when you have circumcised him, then he can eat. But a foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat. In one house it shall be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone of it. [They weren't to break the bones of the lamb, for Jesus, of course, was to be the sacrificial Lamb. And that is why they didn't break His legs as they did the other prisoners to hasten His death, because of a sacrificial Lamb. Not a bone of Him could be broken.] And all the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof (Exd 12:42-48).
Now if a person wanted to proselytize into the Jewish faith, there were three things that were necessary. Number one, baptism; number two, circumcision; and number three, the partaking of Passover. And until you had gone through these three things, you were not really considered a Jew. But if you wanted to proselytize into their faith, and into their nation, these are the things that were required. So here we find two of the three spoken of in this particular scripture.
One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourns among you. Thus did all the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. And it came to pass the same day, that the Lord did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies (Exd 12:49-51).