February 27, 2014 by Chris French
What memorials have you set up to remember God’s faithfulness?
Today we’re reading Exodus 12 which contains the final plague and God’s instructions for the Israelites so that, if followed, they would be exempt from it. Yesterday you probably noticed the progressions of the plagues, each one getting closer and closer to taking human life. The Nile turning to blood was awful, but it didn’t kill anyone, the frogs were annoying and a show of God’s power, but they weren’t lethal. As Pharaoh continued stubbornly refusing to submit to God’s will though the plagues became more violent with the 7th plague of hail killing anyone who was away from shelter. Now finally every person who was born first in their family was going to die. The Israelites were saved from this final plague by a perfect lamb’s blood, an obvious nod to Jesus for those of us with hindsight. They weren’t just wasting the lamb though. They were supposed to cook the entire thing and eat it that night, burning anything that was left over in the morning. This wasn’t just a one time deal though. God wanted them to remember what He had done so He made this Passover a festival and restructured the Israelite calendar. Now Nissan would be the first month of their calendar, the month in which they left Egypt, and they were supposed to remember the Exodus with a feast from Nissan 14th-21st.
This isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time God gives His people a physical reminder to remind them of what He has done for them. In Exodus 16.31-32 God tells Moses to put an omer’s worth of manna in a jar so future generations can see that He took care of them while they were in the wilderness. God will tell Joshua to set up 12 stones on the other side of the Jordan River so all future generations will remember that God split the Jordan so Israel could walk thru on dry ground (Joshua 4.1-7). Jesus also sets up a physical reminder to help us remember His redemptive work in the Lord’s Super (Luke 22.19). I would hazard a guess that you’ve got some physical objects that remind you of God’s work in your life too. You may not have thought of them in that context yet, but when you look at them you’re reminded of how gracious God has been to you. Give those things a place of prominence in your home so you see them everyday. We all need reminding of how good God has been to us. When life is hard and you’re not in a praise kind of mindset you’ll see that object and remember. He’s faithful. He’s been amazingly good to me in the past and He will be amazingly good to me in the future, even I’m struggling currently.
Don’t miss the other component of these physical reminders. People were going to ask about the rocks standing outside the Jordan River. It gave Israel an opportunity to tell others what God had done for them. Don’t wait for your friends to ask what the deal is with your physical reminder. Tell them of God’s graciousness and His goodness.
Head Scratcher Question of the Day!
Why did God demand that the Israelites do something to exempt themselves from this particular plague? He exempted them to the prior ones without any action on their part.