Torah: Exodus 10:1–13:16
PROPHETS: Jeremiah 46:13–28
APOSTOLIC WRITINGS: Romans 9:14–29
These devotionals are designed to supplement, not replace, your Bible reading.
Torah 1 & 2
God Continues to Teach Through: Locusts…
After unleashing 7 plagues upon Egypt, God reiterates His purposes: 1) to perform signs that parents will teach children; and, 2) to teach every generation to “know God.”
To accomplish these purposes God tells Moses to Bo! (Go to Pharaoh, or Enter into his presence). They go to Pharaoh demanding freedom (v. 3) and threatening the consequences of refusing (vv. 4–6).
These consequences will be the 8th Plague: LOCUSTS (vv. 1-20). Pharaoh’s servants plead with Pharaoh to give in (v. 7) While Pharaoh does call for Moses and Aaron to return and tells them to “Go,” he ends by asking them, “Exactly who will go?” (v. 8). When Moses tells him, “basically every person and animal” (v. 9) Pharaoh scoffs and says that only the men may go (vv. 10–11)!
God tells Moses to lift his hand to initiate the locusts to devour the vegetation still left after the previous plague.
On cue, the locusts begin their offensive.
While Pharaoh appears truly humbled and repentant (vv. 16–17), after Moses prays (v. 18) and God removes the stress (v. 19) Pharaoh’s hardness of heart returns (v. 20).
God commands Moses to lift his hand again (v. 21) to initiate the 9th Plague: DARKNESS that smothers Egypt but spares Israel (vv. 22–23).
Torah 3 & 4
God Uses Pharaoh to Display His glory
Plagued by darkness, Pharaoh moves beyond just allowing men to go out (cf. 10:10–11) but women and children as well; but animals are still out of the question.
Moses, however, will not compromise God’s requirements, no matter how close Pharaoh’s “concessions” come to meeting them (vv. 25–26). Do you make concessions when calling others to give their lives to God by following Yeshua? One way we can succumb is by “giving in” when they comment that they “worship God” in their own way? How can you press on and keep up the godly pressure in a spirit of love and genuine concern for their spiritual welfare?
Pharaoh hardens again and threatens Moses against appearing before him again (vv. 27–28). Moses agrees with Pharaoh because God has already told him the outcome and God’s purpose in it (v. 29; cf. 4:21–23; 7:1–5; 10:1–2).
The text goes on to tell us what God had said (or said in that moment) to Moses so that he could give the following speech to Pharaoh before he left his presence for the last time.
There is a seamless flow from the 3-day plague of “darkness” into the 10th Plague: FIRSTBORNS SET APART which will bring God’s “light” into the world.
God Teaches Us to Remember Him (Every Day!)
In this final speech Moses relays God’s words of warning against Egypt (vv. 4–7) as well as his own words for Pharaoh (v. 8). Consider the 5 ways God teaches that He distinguishes between His chosen ones and everyone else (cf. 8:22–23; 9:4, 26; 10:23; 11:7). This choice was based exclusively on God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises to the patriarchs and not on Israel’s merit (cf. Deuteronomy 7:7–9; 9:4–6). How does this foreshadow God’s choosing you whether you are Jewish or Gentile based on His sovereign choice? Furthermore, how are setting apart Israel and setting apart believers both rooted in God’s purpose of displaying His glory as a sovereign, merciful and faithful covenant keeping God (cf. Romans 9:23)?
God uses Moses and Aaron as vessels of honor and Pharaoh as a vessel for common use (cf. Romans 9:21).
The next chapter begins with God’s words to Moses instructing him about the great Passover event about to unfold and how to memorialize the event in the life of the nation. The Passover event will serve as an “anchor in time.”
This is similar to God “resetting” our modern day calendar by anchoring it to His Son, Yeshua (BC & AD). God gives Moses instructions for the Passover Lamb (vv. 3–7) and the Passover meal (vv. 8–11; cf. Leviticus 23:5) that will freely save whoever obeys.
God also explains the Passover event and the saving power of the lamb’s blood (vv. 12–13) and gives instructions to commemorate the event through a 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread (vv. 14–20; cf. Leviticus 23:6–8).
God has given us what we need to know Him. God’s appointed times such as Pesach (Passover) and Shabbat are some of His gracious provisions to help us remember Him always. How can you embrace these times in your life and cultivate a deeper relationship with God?
torah 5 & 6
It’s You or the Lamb
In the previous section, Moses received God’s words of instruction. Now, Moses gives these instructions to Israel. He basically tells them to obey in order to live (vv. 21–23) and remember in order pass along a God-centered heritage (vv. 24–27a).
Just as Israel initially responded to Moses’ words by believing and worshiping (cf. 4:29–31), they now worship (v. 27b) and obey (v. 28) despite previous grumbling (cf. 5:21 and 6:9). Perhaps the five instances mentioned above where God distinguished Israel taught Israel something about God as well!
A Nation is Judged
The 10th plague is unleashed and Pharaoh finally lets go (vv. 29–36)!
The great Exodus of around 2 million people (God-fearing Gentiles went out also; Egyptians and/or other slaves!) begins by the power of God according to the promise of God (vv. 37–42; cf. Genesis 15:14).
God regulates eligibility to eat Freedom’s meal (vv. 43–49). Grace is free but it is not cheap! Circumcision is a high price to pay to participate in covenant communion within God’s covenant community (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
Does God save Israel because they obey, or has this obedience flowed from hearts that have been brought to trust Him (vv. 50–51)?
How is God teaching you to trust Him? What would greater and more God-glorifying obedience look like in your life? Talk with Him about it in prayer. (You may want to approach God in prayer by following Moses’ example in Exodus 33:13 and/or King David’s example in Psalm 86:11–13.)
torah 7 &
Regarding the Passover event, God first speaks to Moses (12:1–20) and then Moses relays God’s instructions to Israel (12:21–28).
Now, God speaks to Moses regarding the consequences of the Passover event.
The purpose of commemorating God’s “passing-over” event by a 7-day Feast of Matsot (Unleavened Bread) helps us remember God’s grace in saving Israel (what is the implication of God instructing us to say “me” in v. 8 as opposed to “them”?).
The consequence of God sparing Israel’s firstborns (both man and animal) is that all firstborns now belong to God because He saved them; He purchased them. Thus, all firstborns must be either redeemed (bought back) with money or burned up on the sacrificial altar. Ceremonies can be signs or symbols that teach us about God (vv. 9, 16). What is the instructive value of these “signs”… in other words, what are they supposed to teach (cf. Deuteronomy 6:8 and the surrounding context intending to teach about how to love God completely)?
Redeemed From Egypt
God spared Israel’s firstborns and saved the nation. How is God working today to save Israel as His “firstborn” (cf. Exodus 4:22) to save the Nations of the world (cf. Romans 11:11–15)? What is your part to play in God’s redemptive drama? Keep your eyes on the Lamb and God will lead you!
As God judged Egypt by plagues in our Torah portion, so too will He judge Egypt around 800 years later by the Babylonian kingdom (vv. 13–26). God’s words of judgment for Egypt are also a warning to Israel not to trust in Egypt for protection but look to God alone. Just as God taught Joseph not to look not to the cupbearer for deliverance while in prison but to look to God alone, so too is God teaching Israel this same lesson in Jeremiah’s day. God’s words to Israel include discipline, but ultimately the purposes are redemptive (vv. 27–28).
How does Hebrews 12:7 apply to Israel? How does Hebrews 12:10–11 apply to you?
Paul addresses the LORD’s methods and purposes for redeeming mankind:
(1) Can God be righteous and show favoritism (vv. 14–15)?
(2) If God hardens whom He pleases, then why does He still find fault, for who is able to resist His will (v. 19)?
(3) Does man really have a right to ask, “Why did you make me this way (v. 20)?”
(4) Can God just conclude and “cut things short,” doing so in righteousness (v. 28)?
(1) God manifests mercy. This is not unrighteousness (Exodus 9:16 in Romans 9:17).
(2) Granted, no one can resist His will – not even Pharaoh (Exodus 9:12; 10:20, 27; 11:10).
(3) But it’s patently absurd to criticize the Creator. Man is a mere pot (plasma, in Greek), without arms (Isaiah 45:9).
(4) God can judge the world for evil, save some (Romans 9:24), “cut short” the rest (Isaiah 10:23; Romans 9:28), and still manifest compassion with righteousness (Romans 9:29; Isaiah 1:9; 13:19).”
*(Walk Exodus! A Messianic Devotional Commentary, Jeffrey Feinberg, p. 61).
Rest. Fellowship. Discussion.