Have you ever found yourself driving in such bad weather that you had to pull over because you couldn’t see where you were going? You know like in fog, rain or snow?
[Running over sign in Chicago snow storm story.]
It’s hard to know where you’re going when you can’t see. Well, sometimes we find ourselves in a ‘spiritual fog’ and we can’t seem to find our way through life or a certain stage in life. We can’t really see where we’re going but don’t stop to get our bearings.
[Ferdi “I can’t hear God” comment on Facebook story.]
Many people find themselves like this. They find themselves feeling like they’re on their own in this world and they have no direction from God. Even people of faith can find themselves stumbling around in the dark times of life with no real direction.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. God is here to guide us through every area of life if we will simply recognize and follow His leading. God didn’t save our souls and leave us to struggle through life alone. He’s here and will lead us every day if we’ll let Him.
The ancient nation of Israel had the same privilege that we have today. They were able to be led by the God of the universe as they left Egypt for the promised land. So as we look at how they followed the Lord it will help us as we make our own journey to the promised land. And the first thing we need to do is to:
I. Remember what God has done
[Read Exodus 13:1-2.]
These verses introduce the entire passage’s idea that our lives belong to the Lord. When we understand that and act upon it, then we’re able to fully follow the Lord.
[Read Exodus 13:3-10.]
The Lord again reminds them of how they needed to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover once they were in the promised land. This was a memorial of the exodus for the glory of God.
1. Representative – unleavened bread, (sin cleared out, haste of departure)
2. Yearly – for every generation of Jew
This was a feast with lots of symbolism that would direct their minds and their worship to the Lord who had delivered them from their enemies. To the Lord who had given them a new life! This was a celebration solely for Him! It would inspire the adults to worship God and it would inspire the kids as their parents explained to them what they were doing and why.
Now as I mentioned last week, over the years the Jews would forget that their religious acts were to remind them of who God was and how He saved them. They started to believe that the acts themselves were salvific instead of being symbols of what God had done.
They started wearing phylacteries which are small pouches containing paper with verses on them bound upon your forehead and upper arm. They get this from verses in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy.
[Read Deuteronomy 6:8 and 11:18.]
In Jesus’ day He even rebuked them for doing this because they were using it as a way of ‘showing off’ about just how spiritual they were. (Or thought they were.)
[Read Matthew 23:5.]
But God wasn’t asking them to do this. This was meant as a metaphorical expression of a worshipful attitude that comes from holding the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
[Read Exodus 13:9-10.]
The “it” in verse nine refers to the feasts – not some pouch strapped to your hear. When you celebrate the feasts as an expression of your faith your hands symbolize the preparation of the meals, your forehead symbolizes how the feasts will draw your mind towards the Lord and as a result God’s Word will come forth from your mouth. The Feast was meant to be a memorial to the Lord so people would never forget who He is and what He has done.
We have many ways today that we can memorialize what the Lord has done for us.
- Write your testimony in your Bible
[T-shirts on youth room wall.]
We should do things on a regular basis that help us remember what God has done for us. Let’s just make sure they remind us to worship Him and don’t become just some meaningless ritual we do.
Because hopefully, when we remember what God has done, we’ll devote our lives to Him. That’s the next thing the Lord instructed them to do.
II. Devote yourself to the Lord
[Read Exodus 13:1-2, 11-16.]
The Lord told Israel that since He killed all the firstborn of their enemy and since He graciously saved all their firstborn, the firstborn of Israel belonged to Him and should be consecrated or set aside for service. It was to be another way of remembering what God had done for them and how they had been redeemed.