Saturday in the First Week of Lent


Exodus 12:43-13:16

Consecration and Proclamation

All that our Lord does is for His glory and for the salvation of his people.  Here in this passage, we read of some institutions (circumcision and the redemption of the firstborn) that God gave the children of Israel that leave us wondering how these institutions fulfill those twin purposes.

For starters, why were only Israelites allowed to partake of the Passover, with the exception that strangers might partake if they were circumcised?  Indeed, no uncircumcised male could eat of the Passover.  Why?  Circumcision was the sign of the covenant.  It was the way one was included, and a very personal way, indeed.  It was a sign in one’s own flesh, an indelible mark, in a most private place.  You thereby belonged to God’s covenant community.  To be uncircumcised was to be outside that community and outside that covenant.  God may love and care for other nations (for example, the city of Nineveh in the Book of Jonah), but the people of Israel had a special relationship with Him.  And so does the Church today.  Only our circumcision is not in the flesh, but of the heart, a spiritual circumcision far superior to that made with hands (Romans 2:28-29; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11).

And why was the firstborn of man redeemed; that is, why was a sacrifice brought for him?  Because the Lord spared the firstborn of Israel when He passed over their houses for the Egyptians.  They were spared because of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts.  So the Lord required of them a sacrifice in return, a memorial of what He had done for them, and a sign of their redemption purchased by blood.  Now the blood of the eternal and true Lamb is upon our doorposts, the doorposts of our circumcised hearts.  And we offer up a different sacrifice, the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15-16).

These two institutions of the Old Testament spoke of the consecration of Israel unto the Lord: They belonged to God and were His people.  The last part of the passage speaks of proclamation: Rehearsing to one’s children the great deed of God’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt as the reason for the institutions.  Proclamation begins at home with one’s own offspring, for the promise is for you and for your children (Acts 2:39).  And we have an even greater story to tell our little ones.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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