I was reading one of the people whom I subscribe to, Anna’s blog and she had some really sobering thoughts regarding the end times. She is a good source for Biblical knowledge and current events, as well as homeschooling. What struck me in my studies today is how much Exodus is similar to End Time prophecies, for God will remove a remnant from Egypt (the Earth). He does preserve a remnant no matter how bad things seem. God will provide a feast for this remnant (the Marriage Feast of the Lamb), and He will also provide for them (Manna), protect them, and set up a new kingdom (in the Promised Land). So many similarities.
Exodus 13:11-12 And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your fathers, and gives it to you, that you shall set apart to the LORD all that open the womb, that is every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD’s.
Given God is our creator, everything we are and have is His. He wants the firstborn set apart for Him as a reminder of this, and it will also remind the Israelites of what God has delivered them from. We are His firstborn through Christ. When we became saved and born into His kingdom, we are set apart for Him. No longer do we belong to the World, we belong to Him and owe everything to Him. He has birthed us to be a new nation.
Frankly, in my pagan days I would have spat at the thought of being given to God, or belonging to God. Who did God think He was? I was my own person, free, and should be able to make my own decisions and rule my own life. I now realize that I was deluding myself. Imagine two kids playing a game, fighting over the game, and one kid gets angry and takes his toy (the game) and goes home – there is no longer any game. If God got angry at us and took his created things away (the earth, the air we breathe, our breath of life, the natural laws, the seasons, the growth cycle, our body processes) there would be no life. We are not independent creatures, we are so dependant on Him and it is only a fool that does not realize this. Truthfully, everything belongs to Him, and it is a good thing – we are so possessive that we can be a prisoner of our earthly things and lose our eternal focus. Since all belongs to Him, and He uses these things through us, He will do so for our own good. He is truly a loving and benevolent God, who has our interests at heart.
Exodus 13:13 But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of men among your sons you shall redeem.
I wondered why a donkey would be so signaled out, and got from a teaching of Chuck Colson that it symbolized natural man – not too flattering if you ask me. He suggested in the teaching looking up the references to donkey/ass if you wanted to further check it out, so I did.
Genesis 22:3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose and went to the place of which God had told him. (God had wanted Abraham to sacrifice His son Isaac, and Abraham obeyed God. The wood was for the sacrifice – and then a ram was substituted for Isaac in the 11th hour – but notice that both Jesus and Isaac rode a donkey)
Let’s consider for a bit – Jesus rides on a donkey (He came in Human form) and carried our sins to the cross, Isaac (a picture of Jesus) rides on a donkey, Balaam receives verbal rebuke from a donkey – God will even use a beast to get His message across. There is a message of separation – ox and donkey do not plow together, the ox is an honorable beast of burden. It was said that when the Messiah came if He was pleased with Israel He would come on a horse (like He will come in Revelation), if displeased He will come on a donkey. We know that Jesus came to Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Samson used the jawbone of an ass to attack the Philistines. This is a smattering of verses about donkeys.
The donkey is very gentle and patient, and does not seem angry even when he has a very heavy load to carry. Though he seems dull, he loves his master, and will sometimes find him out and run to him even when he is in a crowd of men. The donkey is a sign of humility. Do you have any other ideas about donkeys?
Exodus 13:14 So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come saying, “What is this? that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’
I really love this verse, because it gives a promise of the future to a people fleeing for their lives from Egypt.
Exodus 13:15-16 “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of men and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I shall redeem. It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, for by strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.”
Ok, when I first read the Bible I was puzzled about how there was so much repetition. I, in my natural mind, figured that with 4,000 years of history to cover, wouldn’t God rather give lots of variety in information. But there are some spots that we are going to come to where God issues a command, Moses repeats it to the people, and often after the act is done the same words are shown again stating that they did what God commanded. With the price of parchment in those days, wouldn’t economy of words been a better solution? But then it dawned on me that God repeats Himself when it is something that is very important to Him – something that He doesn’t want us to misunderstand (sort of like we sometimes sound like broken records to our children, repeating the same warnings, cautions and lessons over and over again.) Also it shows us that Moses faithfully carried out God’s instructions, to the letter, and that will become important when we see that what He does is a picture of Jesus who is to come.
It lets me know that God really does want to be obeyed, that He does not want elaboration on His instructions, that there is a purpose behind them, and if we strike out in our own understanding we stand a good chance of getting something important to God wrong. We need to know who our savior is, who brought us out of Egypt, and we can’t forget that. If we do, then we stand the very possible chance of getting lost. We need to keep our focus on God and the next step, and remember the past, but not dwell in it. As we watch the progress of the Israelites in the wilderness, we will see that God leads them one step at a time. He doesn’t give them a road map, they have to follow Him.
Praying that you have a blessed day. It was nice to touch base with you over the New Year,
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