Israel

Day 9 » The Passover Lamb

Today's post is written by Bonnie Duncan. 

Today's post is written by Bonnie Duncan. 

Today’s Reading » Exodus 3, 11-12

I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land.” Exodus 3:7-8

Exodus is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It’s a story of God’s supernatural rescue of the Israelites from Egypt’s oppression. Despite the supernatural rescue and despite the miracles, the Israelites rebel and turn away from God. The beauty of this story is it reminds us that imperfect people can still get to know a God who loves them perfectly.

Moses wrote this book for the Israelites as a reminder of how God rescued them from slavery. Exodus is a book that details God’s progressive revelation to his people. It’s the book where God establishes trust, makes Himself known, and establishes the law to give a framework for how His people can know him and be set apart as His.

Exodus reveals God’s direct involvement in human history, his concern for the oppressed, and the lengths that He will go to reach the people He loves.

We pick up today with chapter 12: the Passover—one of the central events in the history of Israel, and yet another foreshadowing of the perfect sacrifice.

Just as the Israelites were called to trust God for deliverance from their bitter enslavement to the Egyptians, so are we called to trust Jesus for deliverance from our enslavement to sin.

The details of Passover provide another glimpse of the thread of redemption:

We also see numerous other New Testament references to the Passover. 

Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Jesus said to people on the road to Emmaus:

“How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27 

While Passover was the beginning of Israel’s redemption, it foreshadowed a much bigger redemption plan for the world. 

Day 6 » Joseph the Dreamer

Today's post is written by James Kim. James is a 2014 Georgetown Grad and a Chi Alpha intern. 

Today's post is written by James Kim. James is a 2014 Georgetown Grad and a Chi Alpha intern. 

Today’s Reading » Genesis 40-41, 45

Joseph the Dreamer is a unique figure that we cannot overlook in our reading through the Old Testament. He has a key role in Israel’s lineage and God’s plan for deliverance. However, Joseph did not know in the process of his journey where he was going to end up, what he was going to, or when or how his life will end. He was sold into slavery by his brothers as a teenager, a servant for 11 years, and an innocent prisoner for 2 years. He didn’t think he was doing anything wrong, he didn’t intend harm, and he did what he does best – interpret dreams. As a servant, he was humble and wise enough to avoid the temptation to be with Potiphar’s wife. When imprisoned, he did not dwell in anger over the injustice that happened to him. It seemed like he was doing everything right, at least nothing wrong. But, why was his life such a mess?

God does not seek to manifest Himself in the lives of those who have all things together. The more perfect our lives appear to be, the less room we leave for us to appreciate the things God has put in our lives and honor Him for it. It is in our humble circumstances that we are able to recognize God is still true and constant even when our lives are falling apart. And Joseph was a man who stayed faithful to God for who God is and not what he received from God. When the Pharaoh chose Joseph as the Second in Command in all the land of Egypt, Joseph did not have the wealth, family background, political power, leadership experience, or a tested set of administrative skills to qualify him. But the Pharaoh recognized that the Spirit of God was in him. The Pharaoh was drawn towards Joseph because of who he was inherently.

We can observe from today’s reading Joseph held certain characteristics that were important for determining his steps towards his rule in Egypt. Initiative. Authority. Patience. Humility. They are not only characteristics of a successful man, but also of a true leader.

Joseph shows initiative after he notices the downcast faces of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. He bothered to enter into their personal lives even though he did not know them. It doesn’t take much effort to say “what’s wrong?” or “are you doing okay?” But, we often pass by those in need thinking that they are not in need of OUR help, they surely must have friends to support them, and our interruption in their lives may be rude.

Joseph claims the authority over spiritual matters that God has revealed to him. As a follower of God devoted to the things of God, we can be sure God will give the power and knowledge over spiritual matters when we ask for it. (yes, God doesn’t always answer our prayers as we ask them and desires a sincere heart) To his fellow prisoners who were puzzled by their dreams Joseph tells them that “interpretations belong to God, so tell them to me.” Is Joseph claiming to be God, or like God? No. He is simply recognizing God is his Lord and is willing to work through him.

 Joseph shows patience through his two full years spent in prison. He was in there for no fault of his own and wasn’t getting any closer to either returning home to his father or establishing a stable life in the new land. What’s worse is that the cupbearer forgot about Joseph after gaining his life back! The golden opportunity had passed! But, Joseph continues to trust in God and waits on the Lord. He still does not know if he will make it out of there alive, but he can wait because he is sure that God will be with him, and that’s all that matters.

Joseph frames everything around God. He attributes to God his ability to interpret dreams. In his humility, he does not recommend himself when he advises the Pharaoh to make a new position for saving and rationing the nation’s crops. He points to God yet again in regards to his purpose. He tells his brothers that the reasons for ending up in Egypt were within God’s hand. It is God who wanted Joseph in Egypt so that Israel can continue to multiply and fill the earth in spite of the famine. It is God who provided hope in his tough circumstances. It is God who brought forth light out of darkness, life out of chaos.