Summary: Re-examining the first Memorial Day (the Passover) to learn why remembering God’s blessings not only honors Him but also helps us in times of trouble.
The Passover story is extremely familiar; you might say it is overly familiar.
God’s tenth and final miracle in ancient Egypt sent to judge the Egyptians and deliver the Israelites was accomplished in a unique manner. A lamb was sacrificed for each household of Israelites and its blood applied to the doorposts so the death angel would "pass over" their dwelling when the firstborn of the Egyptians died. God instructed Moses to make the anniversary of this miracle a Memorial Day. God wanted them to remember some things.
Now that part of the story is familiar to us. What I want to address is WHY God wanted them to remember this day.
1. SO FUTURE GENERATIONS WOULD KNOW OF HIS LOVE AND POWER.
Our children and grandchildren should learn about God’s wonderful attributes through hearing about the great things God has done for us. Christ followers often place a high priority on the evangelization of the world - as well we should - but then turn around and neglect to evangelize their own families.
Here are a few practical suggestions on discipleship in the home:
a. Begin talking to your child (or grandchild) about Jesus as soon as they understand the difference between right and wrong. For some this is as early as age 4 or 5. For others, it will be at an older age. But don’t make it too much older. Don’t forget, even when adults come to Christ it must be in childlike faith.
b. Begin reading the Bible and Bible-based literature to your children at an early age. The impact of the Word of God on a child’s life is tremendous. Some educational experts have estimated that 75 to 90% of the moral training a person receives comes before their 12th birthday!!! Don’t wait until your child is in middle school or high school to begin spiritual training. Begin in preschool!
c. Of course, bring your children and grandchildren to Sunday school and church services consistently. Don’t send them; bring them. Your presence in God’s house teaches volumes to your children about the place of spiritual training in life.
d. Encourage your children with praise. If you must criticize, keep your criticism constructive. Many adults bear the scars of a lack of wisdom by their parents. They have little or no self-confidence because they were called "dummy" or "stupid" or "clumsy" by the most significant people in their lives - their parents. The greatest heritage to pass on to your children and grandchildren just may be the security that your love and acceptance creates!
So discipleship begins in the home - not at church. Consider this:
- The church has the child 1% of the time.
- The school has the child 18% of the time.
- The home has the child 81% of the time!
That puts the responsibility of the development of character and discipleship training on the parents and grandparents. Especially since schools are currently configured in a way that doesn’t contribute much to moral and spiritual training.
Also, God had a Memorial Day...
2. SO WE COULD BE REMINDED THERE’S ALWAYS A SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEMS.
The predicament of the people of God in ancient Israel was a great one. They were in slavery. But even though they had a big problem - they also had a big God! The longer we serve God we should remember it is not the size of our problems but the size of our God that matters most!
Here are just a few reasons God always has a solution to our problems:
a. His power is inexhaustible.
Now I realize this runs contrary to the laws of science as we know them. We must realize that God set the laws of science in motion to govern our environment, but these laws do not govern Him. Why? Perhaps because if you or I were not governed by the laws of nature we would lose our way in selfishness. If we were all-powerful we wouldn’t always use our power properly.
God, on the other hand, always has the best interest of righteousness in mind when He steps outside natural law. He always does what is right and good. That is because His very nature is right and good. We have a fallen, sinful nature.
b. His plans are perfect.
Did it ever occur to you that nothing ever occured to God? That’s because God has always had a plan!
After the Exodus from Egyptian slavery, Moses and the people of God were in the desert. There was no food in the desert, and feeding 2 or 3 million people requires a lot of food.
According to the Quartermaster General of the Army, Moses would have to have had 1,500 tons of food each day.
Did you know that to bring that much food each and every day, two freight trains, each a mile long, would be required?