INTERESTING FACTS :
The entire New Testament as we know it today, was canonized before the year 375 A.D. The Old Testament had previously been canonized long before the advent of Christ[1
DAILY READING : [EXODUS 13 - 15]
TEXT : Exo 14:11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Exo 14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. Exo 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. Exo 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
THEME : DELIVERANCE
As we see in chapter 13, God requires all the firstborn of Israel to be dedicated to the Lord. This is to remind the Jews of their deliverance from the Egyptians by the Hand of God. Not eating leavened bread and not permitting even so much as a trace of leaven in the home of any Israeli indicates the supreme Holiness of God. Leaven [yeast] is a symbol for sin. In the putting away of all leaven, and the sacrifice of the lamb, we have a beautiful illustration of God's love. Although God is so Holy no flesh can see him and live, He still loves His people enough to make an atonement for their sin [sin is the reason we cannot look on God] and put away their sins. This shows, [as the Jews - even today - will search the house before Passover for any leaven], how sin cannot be in God's presence. It is a reminder that God delivered them from the Egyptians and atoned for their sin at the same time. Christ, our Passover delivered us as well. This is why communion "bread" is usually a piece of matzo, because it has no leaven or yeast. It symbolizes the fact that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." [1 Peter 1:18-19]
At the end of chapter 13, we see an important truth how God led Israel, and often leads us as well. It says - " And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt." [Exo 13:17-18] Here we see that had God did not lead Israel by the shortest route. If He did, they would have been discouraged by the strength of the Philistines. No doubt, their faith would be weak. Therefore, they would not be able to withstand the rigors of war and lose many men in battle. For this reason, God takes them the long way into the wilderness. It will be in the wilderness, Israel will become a mighty, formidable army. The nations of Canaan will not overcome Israel in battle after God trains them to endure hardness and adversity.
TRUTH FOR TODAY : GOD WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!
God will take the new Christian down an easier path at first because we are not able to stand the difficulties of spiritual life in the beginning. Many times, our new life will seem so easy - now that we have Christ, until the training begins. Little by little, God will permit trials and adversity in our lives so we become mature in the faith. In addition, as we grow older the newer Christians need wisdom, encouragement, and help. The seasoned Christian who has walked with His Lord over many a long and hard road is the only one able to comfort and console the new believer. Learning the ways of God takes time, and there are no short cuts to growing strong in the Lord. We get there only through trial and error, until we learn Christ. Of course, this is a lifelong process. We graduate from the school Christ when we leave our bodies and go home to be with Him. Until then, we are ever learning and maturing. In addition, like Israel, Christ leads us in a cloud of anointing by day, and a pillar of fire by night. This is the presence of His Spirit in us.
To illustrate again how God leads His people - through the Holy Spirit - to be tested, we look at Jesus. In the Gospel according to Luke, we read - "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Luk 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered." [Luk 4:1-2-] Notice who it is that leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tested. It is the Holy Spirit. This is related to the way God led the children of Israel - right into a difficult, if not impossible situation. Yet, in Luke 4 we also read - " And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. [Luk 4" 13-14] Even Jesus the Son of God had to go through a period of testing - as the Son of Man, similar to Israel, you, and me. We must not forget our trials only endure for a season. Then, we will return in the "power of the Spirit!"