Personal studies – Exodus 13:11-16

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Exodus 13:11-16

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)
Genesis 49 9-12 Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse Him?The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people, binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. his eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk. Shiloh is a reference to Jesus. I find the fact that the donkey is bound to the vine (symbol of Israel) particularly telling because that is what Jesus did with us gentiles, grafted us into the vine.
Exodus 13:13 (SEE ABOVE)
Numbers 22:23 Now the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned side out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. Balaam was disobeying God, and the Lord sent an angel to block His way – the donkey turned aside, preserving Balaam’s life and got beaten for this act. Ultimately if you read on you hear the donkey answering Balaam, God used the donkey to give His message to Balaam. If God can use a donkey, He can use us.
1 Samuel 9 the donkey’s of Saul’s father were lost, Saul goes to look for them, seeks Samuel the prophet and later Saul will be anointed king. Could the donkey’s be like the lost sheep needing to be found?
Jeremiah 22:19 He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, dragged and cast out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. (regarding Jehoiakim son of Josiah, an evil king of Jerusalem) If we do not come to Christ, we will not be part of the New Jerusalem and will be cast into the lake of fire.

Deuteronomy 22:10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. Makes sense to me, both do not pull with the same strength, they are not equal.

Job 6:5 Does the wild donkey bray when it has grass, or does the ox low over its fodder? Job was showing that his complaints were just.

Isaiah 1:3 The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider. Even a donkey knows it’s master, do we know ours?
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Matthew 21:5 Tell the Daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
John 12:14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it:as it is written (Zechariah quote)
2 Peter 2:16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained madness of the prophet (referring to Balaam)

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,

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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