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Daily Devotional

February 11

IT IS THE LORD’S PASSOVER

by Henry T. Vriesen

Exodus 12–13

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron what they should’ tell the children of Israel. On the tenth day of the month every household should take a lamb; it should be kept to the fourteenth day and then be killed in the evening. The blood should be used to sprinkle the side posts and the lintel of their doors. The meat should be roasted and eaten together with unleavened bread. At that time they should be ready to leave, with shoes on their feet and staffs in their hands. For the Lord said, “I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast … And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt … And ye shall keep this day a feast throughout your generations. And when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you … and your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses.”

The children of Israel did as the Lord had commanded. On the evening of the fourteenth day of Abib every household in Goshen was very busy. Instead of preparing for a restful night of sleep, every man, woman and child was wide awake. They were obeying the command. The lambs were killed and the blood sprinkled upon the door frames of their houses. The meals were prepared, and everything was made ready for the departure.

And at midnight the terrible thing happened. The Lord smote all the firstborn, from the firstborn of Pharaoh unto the firstborn of the captive, and all the firstborn of the cattle. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron a little after midnight and told them, “Rise up, get ye forth from among my people … go, serve the Lord … Take your flocks and your herds as ye have said, and be gone, and bless me also.” And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people to send them out of the land in haste; for they said, “We be all dead men.”

So the children of Israel left Egypt, about six hundred thousand men and women with their children. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might go by day and by night. And Moses said, Remember this day, in which by the strength of his hand the Lord hath brought you out of this place. To remind them of the departure from Egypt the Passover was instituted. They had been in Egypt about four hundred years.

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