PASSOVER 2020 will begin on the evening of Wednesday, April 8 and ends on the evening of Thursday, April 16.
LIVING LESSONS from the PASSOVER STORY From the book Leaves from the Olive Tree – Dr. Howard Morgan Chapter 14
Living Lessons from the Passover Story
As is true of the entire Bible, the Passover story of the deliverance of Israel from Pharaoh’s slavery and Egyptian bondage is filled with practical and spiritual lessons for our walk with the Lord, our battles with sin and satan, and our relationships with other believers joined with us in our adventure of faith. To really grasp the importance of this story, we must understand the central place Passover holds, and how foundational it is, in the redemptive history God is unfolding as He deals with humanity. We must understand that the God of Israel is a God who oversees, controls and redeems history. The historic events that God orchestrates (i.e. those events that are working according to His redemptive purposes) are full of revelation about the nature of God’s own person and His ways of fulfilling His own intentions. They are all part of God’s plan of redemption that is continually unfolding.
Just a God is working in and overseeing historical events in order to accomplish His purposes for humanity, so He is also crafting the events of our lives as individuals, to achieve His purposes for us personally.
The favourite verse of so many believers, Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose”. It is squarely based on the Biblical revelation that God is working out His plans in history to fulfill His ultimate intentions. Those ultimate intentions will be finally manifested when Jesus returns, you are glorified with Him and, “The glory of the Lord covers all the earth as the waters cover the sea” (Hab.2:14). As we study our Jewish roots, we gain a greater understanding of the “ways of the Lord”, and that those” ways”, like the Lord Himself, never change. The way in which He deals with ancient Israel it gives us insight and understanding into the way He deals with the modern Church. As we allow the Holy Spirit to re-graft us into those roots, we are more effectively able to partake of that authentic “faith once delivered to the saints”.
As authentic Biblical faith becomes more and more a personal reality, we experience our own individual multiple “Passover and Exodus,” experiences as we are delivered from various false religious doctrines, systems, and traditions. Those non-biblical beliefs and practices are like the gods of Egypt that seek to hold you in various kinds of spiritual, emotional, mental, psychological, relational or financial bondages.
The Passover story reveals to us Gods way of deliverance from bondage and oppression and His reasons for why He does it that way. The principles and patterns revealed in the original Passover never vary, as God affects all future deliverance from each kind of bondage you encounter.
The apostle Paul understood how God, who never changes, laid out for us a “road map,” showing us how He would fulfill His plans and purposes for our lives if we would understand and obey the instructions available to us as we study God´s dealings with ancient Israel (1 Cor.10:11).
Before we look at some specific lessons, we must understand that there is one primary and fundamental reason for divine deliverance from bondage portrayed in the Passover story. God sought to set His people free from captivity for only one reason, so they could “worship Him” (Exodus 4:23). This is the most important issue for God in our lives. Jesus said, “The Father is seeking for those who would worship Him in spirit and in truth” John 4:23. As we grow in our understanding, so that our worship is grounded in “truth” and in “spirit”, we will have the kind of relationship with God that will allow Him to accomplish His purposes in our lives. He will continually set us free from every “Pharaoh” in our lives so that we can constantly grow in intimacy with Him and fulfill the cry of Jesus’ heart when He prayed for us that we would know the Father (John 17:3).
A life of worship in “spirit and truth”, is the foundation upon, which all the other spiritual “building blocks” of our life can be built. Let us look at the tremendously important and profoundly significant of Passover narrative and see what lessons we can learn about the ways of the Lord for our lives today. Israel entered the land of Egypt when it was a place of sanctuary during a time of famine. God raised up Joseph (a type of Jesus), to be “savior) for them an open the door of safety and provision. In time, a new Pharaoh came to power “who knew not Joseph”, and because of jealousy and insecurity brought the nation into slavery and bondage (Ex.1:8-10). Sometimes a good situation can turn bad. Don’t despair! Learn the lesson of Passover. There is a season to enjoy the prosperity of a certain time and place. But if things change, don’t give up hopes or reject your faith. Learn the lesson of Passover. God never expects you to remain in bondage. He always provides a way of escape. Sometimes, because of weaknesses like insecurity, jealousy, pride, or greed, people change. They become someone you never knew before, or they act like someone who never knew you before. A new pharaoh arose who “knew not Joseph”. Again, learn the lesson of Passover. Cry out to God and He will, in His own time, send you deliverance. By whose hand it comes you may not know, but God will hear you cry. God has His own time for effectuating your deliverance. You can try to escape by your own means or devices, but you will not arrive in God´s appointed destination, the “Promised Land” of the fulfilment of His purposes for your life. You must wait for your time of deliverance and for the appointed deliverer to come, Moses could be delivered God intended him to be until he was ready. God wanted to make sure that it would be His Passover that would fulfill His purposes and not anyone else’s. Your deliver might be a person, or it might be a set of circumstances, it might even be you. The point is, that the person or ser of circumstances have been made ready by God in order to accomplish His purposes. As Israel bondage grew worse-sometimes things get worse before they get better-they cried out to God. This is another important lesson. God responds to passionate cries for His deliverance and for His will to be done. God told Moses, from the midst of the burning bush, that “the cries of His people had come up to Him” (Exedos3:7). (It is interesting to recognise just who was speaking out of the burning bush! See the chapter on the Angel of the Lord, p.183) There is tremendous power in passionate prayer. All through the Bible, and particularly in the ministry of the Messiah, we see how passionate people, and passionate prayers, moved God to action. When Moses was ready, he had a life-changing revelation and was given a divine commission. Revelation always brings with it a commission. God always reveals Himself for a purpose. Everybody has a calling to fulfill, a mission to accomplish. Your assignment will probably sound to you like Moses´ sounded to him, impossible. You will probably respond, or may already have, as Moses did making excuses about your inabilities, weaknesses, and insecurities. God will then respond to you the way He did to Moses, “I will be with you” (Ex.3:12)). If God gave you a mission to fulfill that you could do in your natural strength, you would not need God, and that would not be much fun for God (which is actually an interesting way to think about it). God always calls us to His purposes, which always have to do with building intimacy with Him. This, by the way, is the major difference between religion and Biblical faith. Biblical faith always stretches us and brings us into greater and greater levels of intimacy with God. Religion doesn’t need God in a personal way. As a matter of fact, it prefers that God does not get too involved., lest He disrupts our plans. He should only be there when we need Him to do something for us. When God was ready, Moses appeared before Pharaoh. We are not told in the narrative how that was arranged. Pharaoh was arguably the most powerful man in the world at that time. No one must walk in and talk to him, let alone demand that he set his slaves free! Don’t you just love God´s audacity! I believe the reason we are not told about how this meeting was arranged is that God doesn’t necessarily tell you in advance how He is going to work out the details of your deliverance. The lesson is clear. Listen to what God says and leave the details to Him. When Pharaoh refused to listen to Moses, God stepped in according to His Promises. That which the Lord has promised you will come to pass. It might take suffering through some difficulties and a period of waiting, but the day will come when God rises up and says to the Pharaohs in your life…” set them free so that they might worship me” (Ex.5:1). It is very important to understand that at this point in the Passover story, the ten plagues that God sent upon Egypt were a direct assault upon the gods that the Egyptians worshipped. The God of Israel was showing Pharaoh and all the Egyptians people that He alone was God, and He sent judgment upon their gods. The Plague of: Was showing God´s victory over 1 Blood……………………………………..…………..”Osiris”-god of the Nile River 2 Frogs……………………………………………”Hekt”-rogs head goddess 3 Lice………………………………………………”Seb”-Earth god 4 Swarming creatures…………………… ……….”Scarabus”-Beetle god 5 Cattle dying………………………………………”Apis”-Bull god 6 Boils………………………………………………”Neit”-god of health 7 Hail……………………………………………..”Shu”-god of atmosphere 8 Locusts………………………………………….”Serapia”-god of Locusts 9 Darkness………………………………………”Ra”-the sun god 10 Death of the firstborn…”Pharaoh” and his son, whom the Egyptians believed to be incarnated deities. On the night of Israel’s deliverance, God passed over the home of everyone who had, in accordance with the commandment of God, placed blood upon the lintel, the top of the doorway, and upon the doorposts. As the blood from the lintel dripped down to the floor, we see the outline of a cross upon the doorway. There was blood on the left post, on the right post, on the top, and on the bottom. The blood of the cross of the Messiah was pre-figured on this most awesome night. It was the blood that protected the home from the judgment of death. God already knew where the Jews lived. He had protected them from the nine previous plagues. But He wanted to see the blood of the lamb applied to the entranceway to their homes. It was the blood that protected them. The precious Blood of the Lamb of God, the Son of God, Jesus the Messiah, protects you and me today. I strongly encourage you to learn about the power of the Blood of Jesus. From the display of power, we learn how God shows His victory over satan and all His emissaries, whom pharaoh and the gods of Egypt represent. Satan might claim to control all the natural influences around you and say to you that he has the money and the power and try to put fear into your heart. The devil might say to you, as Pharaoh said to Moses, “who is the Lord that I should obey His voice and let you go?” (Ex.5:2). As we celebrate the Passover, we are reminded how God answered Pharaoh: “Against all the gods of Egypt will I execute judgment” (Ex.12:12). In the same manner God says to you, especially during this Passover season, “I will judge all the false gods that seek to control your life.” As you seek the Lord in repentance, prayer and in the study of the Bible, the Holy Spirit will quicken His Word to you, and that Word will create faith in your heart (Roms.10:17). Stand upon the Word that God speaks to you. His Word will never fail. Remember, “all of the promises of God are yea and amen in Messiah Yeshua” (2 Cor 1:20)