Summary: God keeps vigil on us and we are to honor Him!
In our study of the Book of Exodus, we are now at the point when the Israelites are actually being allowed to leave Egypt as free people. Before we read our passage this morning, let us remind ourselves in general of what had happened so far. How did the Israelites end up in Egypt??
Because Joseph had a God given gift of visions, his brothers threw him in a pit to die and they lied to their father Jacob that Joseph was eaten by a wild animal. But Joseph was found and sold as a slave to Egypt! So let us note that to begin with it was sin of the family of Israel that got Israel to Egypt.
We can also read that because Joseph was a godly man, the Israelites were blessed in Egypt for a while. Open your Bibles for a moment to Genesis 45:17…..
But we noted in Exodus 1 that the Israelites became slaves after Joseph died and a new Pharaoh came to power. So, there are a few reasons why the Israelites became slaves in Egypt:
1. An evil Pharaoh came to rule.
2. We do not note the godliness of Israel as a whole.
A 3rd reason???????
3. It was God’s Plan. We have read several times God stating in the Book of Exodus that He would perform miraculous signs and powers to reveal Himself to both the Egyptians and the Hebrews! These statements from God informs us that the Hebrews themselves lacked faith in God. We actually hear God’s positive response to the enslaved Hebrews only after they eventually cried out in prayer to God.
And so we have noted up to Exodus 10 the revelation of God’s power, judgment, as well as mercy, but as we noted in Exodus 11, God’s patience has a limit. During last Good Friday, we noted the final judgment of God on Egypt in Exodus 12, the plague of death on every first born not believing in God.
Please open your Bibles now to Exodus 12…. Read along with me from v28…..
Let us summarize the passage….
We note in v28: there was obedience to God from the Israelites
v29-30: Every Egyptian home experienced the death judgment of God!
And so, in v31-32, we note that Pharaoh finally gave in to God; sounds good? Based on what we’ve learned about him, what was Pharaoh’s end statement say about his heart??
Pharaoh finally said leave Egypt to the Israelites and admitted there is a Lord but likely Pharaoh still had a selfish heart.
v33-41: as God promised, the Israelites were provided for on their exodus from Egypt and new Believers went with the Hebrews; about how many people left Egypt to worship God do you think??
600000 men on foot, pus the women and children could add up to 2 million people who left Egypt!
Now, why do you think v42 is an important verse??
a. The Lord kept vigil (kept a lookout) to His people!
b. The Israelites were to keep vigil to honor the Lord.
c. Future Believers are to keep vigil to honor God as well!
And let us remember that God desires every person to believe and relate with Him!
And so, what do we note in v43-49?
God relates with people with the right instructions!
What Biblical Principles can we apply from this passage today?
First of all, I think just like what the brothers did to Joseph, we the Christian church need to call out sin because it can greatly impact people’s lives. And, did you notice that the Hebrews were learning; the first thing we read in our passage is that the Israelites obeyed God! And so for us today….
1. We must encourage each other with God’s Words and avoid disobedience! Trust and obey!
And just like what happened in Egypt that Passover night…..
2. God will ultimately judge unbelievers and it will be devastating! What should this mean to us??
We should weep for unbelievers and P-O-S!
And in light of what happened in the past and what Pharaoh will do after the exodus, he still had a selfish heart when he let the Hebrews go. And so we too must always check our hearts to the Lord…
3. God always looks deep into our hearts and so must we (no unconfessed sins and humility before Him), especially as we worship.
And in conclusion, we Christians today are the future Believers who God talked about in Exodus 12! 4. Let us daily be vigilant, honor, and learn from God!