God’s Renewing Word of Joy
Exodus 12:15-36: Instructions are given for celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and the Israelites celebrate the first Passover. The first-born sons in all Egyptian households are killed, including the son of the Egyptian king. The king tells Moses and Aaron that they and the Israelites are to leave Egypt.
The Festival of Unleavened Bread
15 The Lord said, “For seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast—eat only unleavened bread. On the first day you are to get rid of all the yeast in your houses, for if anyone during those seven days eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people. 16 On the first day and again on the seventh day you are to meet for worship. No work is to be done on those days, but you may prepare food. 17 Keep this festival, because it was on this day that I brought your tribes out of Egypt. For all time to come you must celebrate this day as a festival. 18 From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month to the evening of the twenty-first day, you must not eat any bread made with yeast. 19-20 For seven days no yeast must be found in your houses, for if anyone, native-born or foreign, eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people.”
The First Passover
21 Moses called for all the leaders of Israel and said to them, “Each of you is to choose a lamb or a young goat and kill it, so that your families can celebrate Passover. 22 Take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the bowl containing[a] the animal’s blood, and wipe the blood on the doorposts and the beam above the door of your house. Not one of you is to leave the house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through Egypt to kill the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the beams and the doorposts and will not let the Angel of Death enter your houses and kill you. 24 You and your children must obey these rules forever. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord has promised to give you, you must perform this ritual. 26 When your children ask you, ‘What does this ritual mean?’ 27 you will answer, ‘It is the sacrifice of Passover to honor the Lord, because he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. He killed the Egyptians, but spared us.’”
The Israelites knelt down and worshiped. 28 Then they went and did what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.
The Death of the First-Born
29 At midnight the Lord killed all the first-born sons in Egypt, from the king’s son, who was heir to the throne, to the son of the prisoner in the dungeon; all the first-born of the animals were also killed. 30 That night, the king, his officials, and all the other Egyptians were awakened. There was loud crying throughout Egypt, because there was not one home in which there was not a dead son. 31 That same night the king sent for Moses and Aaron and said, “Get out, you and your Israelites! Leave my country; go and worship the Lord, as you asked. 32 Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and leave. Also pray for a blessing on me.”
33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country; they said, “We will all be dead if you don’t leave.” 34 So the people filled their baking pans with unleavened dough, wrapped them in clothing, and carried them on their shoulders. 35 The Israelites had done as Moses had said, and had asked the Egyptians for gold and silver jewelry and for clothes. 36 The Lord made the Egyptians respect the people and give them what they asked for. In this way the Israelites carried away the wealth of the Egyptians.
TODAY’S KEY VERSE: Exodus 12:14
The LORD made the Egyptians respect the people and give them what they asked for. In this way the Israelites carried away the wealth of the Egyptians.
What instructions were given for celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread? What is the meaning of the Passover ritual? Following the death of all the first-born sons in Egypt, what did the king say to Moses and Aaron? As the Israelites were leaving, what did the Egyptians give them?
Holy God, I worship and praise you today. Keep me close to you and teach me your ways so that I continue to grow in knowledge of you. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
And now, join us in a prayer of thanksgiving for the people in Ghana who have committed their lives to Christ. Lord God, we thank and praise you that, through the JESUS Film and audio Bible listening groups, more than 200 people in Ghana have had their lives transformed by your Word.
Thanks to Bible-A-Month Partners, people have also received the Esahie Bible and can now read Scripture in their own language. Thank you, Lord God, for bringing the people of Ghana the hope of Jesus Christ through your Word. Amen.
Exodus 12:37-51: The Israelites leave Egypt.