Read the full story of God's calling for Moses and his journey out of Egypt here (Exodus chapters 2-14) Listen and pray that God will speak to you through the story.
Abraham’s descendants settled down in Egypt after Joseph (Abraham's great-grandson) and his family moved there while fleeing from a famine. This story can be found in Genesis Chapters 37-50.
400 years passed. When their population grew bigger, Egypt began to see them as a threat. So Egypt used them as slave labour and killed all baby Hebrew boys.
God planned Prophet Moses' birth to happen at this difficult time. Because of the massacre, Moses' sister hid him in the river Nile. But Pharaoh 's daughter found him in the water. The name Moses means 'pulled from the water.' He was adopted into Pharaoh's family and brought up in the royal courts. It was all God's plan.
But God’s plan seemed to be on the brink of disaster. God's people suffered more and more as slaves and cried out hopelessly to God for help. God heard the cry of His people (Exodus 3:7-10) and He had a plan.
The Burning Bush (Chapter 3)
Prophet Moses lived as a shepherd for 40 years while his people were suffering as slaves. Was there any purpose in his life? Why didn’t God do anything to save his people?
When Moses was 80 years old, he saw a strange vision on Mount Sinai with a bush that burned, yet it was not burned up.
The Angel of the Lord called out to Moses:
“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.” (Exodus 3:7)
God had seen the misery of the people and heard their cry, and He promised He would rescue them and bring them to land God had prepared.
So God asked Moses to confront Pharaoh and lead the people out into the desert to worship God.
Moses really did not want to. How can an old shepherd who couldn't speak well convince Pharaoh to let his slaves go free?
Yet God asked him,
"Who made your mouth?" (Exodus 4:11)
He promised Moses He would be with him. God's presence is the only factor that matters.
The 10 Plagues
When Pharaoh repeatedly refused to let the slaves go, God sent 10 plagues to Egypt: water turning to blood, frogs, lice, flies, livestock pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and the killing of firstborn children.
Each plague was designed to show to Pharaoh the power of God over Egypt's false gods and idols.
The last one was a punishment from God on the rebellious nation. The Angel of the Lord would kill the firstborn of every Egyptian family and all their livestock, including Pharaoh's firstborn son!
The Passover: God's ultimate plan?
This punishment was coming onto Egypt, just as one day we will all face God’s final judgement. Yet God provided a way of escape for people who listened to God.
God's people were to take a male lamb, an innocent one, kill it and wipe the blood on the doorposts of each house. Then they were to roast and eat the flesh of the animal.
When the Angel of the Lord saw the house covered by the blood of the lamb, he would ‘pass over’ that house and the people inside would be saved from death. They would not face God's judgement.
God was revealing a very important lesson for Prophet Moses and all His people:
The criteria for God's salvation is decded by God, not by us. Salvation does not depend on how good we are, but on God's mercy alone. In the Passover, God had made it clear salvation was not about how good the people inside each house were, but whether it was covered by the blood of the lamb which God has provided. The Passover became a festival people celebrate to remember how God had spared them from death.
The blood of the lamb that covers God's people
So here in the Torah, written about 3500 years ago, God revealed an eternal truth. How can we face God's judgement? No one can.
The Passover shows us that salvation involves a sacrifice of an innocent lamb and the shedding of its blood, a life for a life. Blood is to be shed for the forgiveness of sins.
And as Prophet Abraham has taught us, God Himself provides this 'lamb' for the sacrifice.
But the blood of an animal can never bring us full forgiveness of our sin. In the next few centuries, God would reveal to more Prophets about the Lamb He had prepared for the salvation of the world.
The Passover is God’s way of dealing with our problem of sin. It also points to a future, a permanent solution through the Lamb (the Anointed One), as promised by God Himself. It also shows us difficult circumstances do not stop God from carrying out His plan for our lives. He always provides what is needed for us to get close to Him.
Watch the story here with an overview of God's calling for Moses and the Passover
Your Response: Listen to God and Pray…
1. Have you ever cried out to God in your misery and suffering? How did God answer your cry?
2. What has God revealed about Himself and His relationship with His people in this story?
3. What has the story of the Passover shown you about God’s salvation? How would you respond to God?
4. Who can you share this story with?