Friday, January 21, 2022

2022.01.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 12:37–51

Read Exodus 12:37–51

Questions from the Scripture text: Where did the children of Israel journey (Exodus 12:37a)? How many of them (verse 37b)? Who else went up with them (Exodus 12:38a)? And what else (verse 38b)? What had they baked and why (Exodus 12:39)? How long had been the sojourning of the children of Israel who had lived in Egypt (Exodus 12:40)? On what day did they leave (Exodus 12:41a)? What are they called in verse 41b? What two things is that night called in Exodus 12:42? Who was to observe it for how long? Who speaks to whom in Exodus 12:43? What does he tell them? Who may not eat the Passover? What person would not be a foreigner (Exodus 12:44)? Who would be disqualified as a foreigner (Exodus 12:45)? What other requirements does Exodus 12:46 make? Who shall keep it (Exodus 12:47)? How else can a foreigner come to eat it (Exodus 12:48)? And what differences are made for how he keeps it (Exodus 12:49)? Who did what (Exodus 12:50)? What does Exodus 12:51 emphasize again (cf. Exodus 12:41)?

From start (Exodus 12:37) to finish (Exodus 12:51), this is a passage about the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. The Lord has kept His promise, 430 years to the day after he made it to Abraham in Genesis 15:13 (Exodus 12:40-41Exodus 12:51). And as He underscores to us His faithfulness to His people, He highlights unto us several fruits of His faithfulness to them.

Their number, Exodus 12:37. When the 70 went down to Egypt to reunite with Joseph, it was a bit of a covenantal explosion. It took three generations to get the number of “the children of promise” above one or two. Now there are 600,000 “men on foot”—a military term that corresponds to their being called “armies” (“hosts”) in Exodus 12:41Exodus 12:51. If that’s the number of military-eligible men, then we’re looking at a minimum of 2 million, and probably closer to 5 million based upon the baby boom of the previous 40 years.

Their variety, Exodus 12:38Exodus 12:43-49. One of the lesser-realized features about “Old Testament Israel” is that it was never a merely ethnic body; it was always a covenantal body. First, “a mixed multitude went up with them” when they left Egypt. “Israel” included a multitude of non-Israelites. The Exodus may have been the greatest evangelistic event until Pentecost. Second, a significant portion of the instructions about Passover was actually focused upon how a foreigner can be made a true Israelite, with right and duty to participate in the Passover.

Some accuse the apostolic message of Romans 9–11 of being “replacement theology” that replaces ethnic Israel with a “new” spiritual Israel that is the church. But Isaac’s family, not Ishmael’s, was the family of promise. And then Jacob’s family, not Esau’s, was the family of promise. And now at the “beginning” of Israel’s life as a “nation,” a mixed multitude is an essential, covenantal component at their core. The Lord is glorifying Himself as a Redeemer unto elect from all the nations—with fruit in Exodus 12 (not just beginning in Acts 2).

Not all who have descended from Israel are Israel (cf. Romans 9:6). And certainly, much of Israel is not descended from Israel. The variety of ethnicity among God’s people has always showed that they are a spiritual people. 

Their identity, Exodus 12:39-42Exodus 12:50-51. They are a redeemed people; they had an annual feast marked by having to hurry up and bake the bread flat because they were being saved so quickly that there was no time to wait for it to rise (Exodus 12:39Exodus 12:42). They are the LORD’s people. Exodus 12:41 calls them Yahweh’s armies. Exodus 12:42 calls Passover not only “a night of solemn observance to Yahweh” but “that night of Yahweh.” They are a people who operate by the command of Yahweh (Exodus 12:43Exodus 12:50). They are a people who belong to Yahweh.

Still today, the Lord multiplies His people, and adds to them from outside, and the hallmark of their lives is that they are His. This is the fruit of His faithfulness to His promises.

What promises of God feel like the hardest to come true? How can you be sure that they will? What will be the fruit/outcome of their coming true?

Sample prayer:  Lord, You are perfectly faithful to all of Your promises! You have been redeeming sinners from all nations for thousands of years. And now, you have saved us for Yourself to add to Your great people who are called by Your Name. Forgive us for when our faith is small and worry is great, and give us the confidence and joy of those who have great and precious promises from a perfectly faithful God and Savior, which we ask in Christ’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP182 “Revive Us” or TPH234 “The God of Abraham Praise”

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