TLH = The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941; WS = Worship Supplement 2000; LSB = Lutheran Service Book, 2006
Fearful of the increasing numbers of the Israelites, Pharaoh orders the killing of all newborn baby boys. The Lord protects these little ones through the brave actions of two midwives. May God give His people today courage to defend the lives of all those who cannot defend themselves.
The Lord blesses a daring plan to protect the future leader of God’s people. Too impatient to await God’s timing, grown Moses takes matters into his own murderous hands. He has a ways to go before becoming the Lord’s humble servant. Though fully forgiven, God’s believing people are always a work in progress.
Moses tries to wiggle out of God’s assignment. True, setting a whole nation free is a big job. Yet the Lord assures Moses that He will be with him. When I AM is with us, success is guaranteed! Remember, the Lord never gives us a task without first giving us Himself.
Why would the Lord choose a reluctant sinner like Moses for such a huge job? God’s patience is amazing! Certainly it’s God’s grace and power that shines through when clay vessels like you and me finally get moving in the direction the He wants us to go.
The God-hating world will always meet God’s message and His messengers with cold-blooded hostility. Yet Moses has learned at least one thing: when confronted with obstacles, return to the Lord in prayer. It’s a lesson that seems slow to sink in for most of us.
After what looks like a huge setback, the Lord sends Moses to the people with an encouraging message: “I am the LORD . . . I will redeem you.” Today the Lord sends His servants out with an uplifting message of spiritual redemption centered in the cross of Christ.
He can only go so far in aping the miracles of God.
The Lord strikes Egypt with three devastating plagues! But Pharaoh still won’t let God’s people go! The sinful human heart is foolishly proud. Only the miracle working power of God’s Word can break inside and work repentance. Lord, tear
Pharaoh claims He will let God’s people go. But once the plague of hail is lifted, he hardens his heart again, refusing to let the people go. Pray that God give us tender hearts of faith, always willing to hear His Word and receive His forgiveness.
A plague of locusts is followed by total darkness. After all the wonders he saw, how sad that Pharaoh remained in the darkness of unbelief. Like Pharaoh, many today are in spiritual darkness. Stir us up, Lord, so we will bring the saving light of Jesus to those lost in the dark.
The last of ten plagues will bring about the death of every firstborn son in Egypt. Noteworthy is that the Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart. When a person perpetually hardens his heart against the Lord, it may lead to the terrible judgment of the Lord hardening that person’s heart. “Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word!”
Lamb’s blood painted on the frame of the door saves the life of the firstborn within that house. As firstborn Egyptians die throughout the land, Pharaoh relents. God’s people are finally free. Yet the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, has won a far greater freedom for sinful man.
The Passover is to be a yearly celebration. When future generations ask about its meaning, fathers will tell how the Lord’s mighty hand brought the people out of bondage. Let Christian fathers today earnestly pass down the great and liberating truths of God’s Word to their children.
“Do not be afraid . . . The LORD will fight for you.” After speaking these words through Moses, the Lord follows through, rescuing His people by the incredible parting of the Red Sea. The Lord always keeps His promises. So don’t be afraid. Sit back and watch the Lord fight for you.
The Lord gives a complete victory to Israel over the Egyptians. Through Jesus, He’s given us a full and final victory over sin, death, and Satan. With Israel of old, how can we not sing a song of praise for all the marvelous things the Lord has done for us, and continues to do for us.
Whenever things get hard for the Israelites, it’s complain, complain, complain. Even so, the Lord, in His mercy, provides for His grumbling people. The Lord never fails to provide for His people. May He replace our complaining, with trusting hearts filled with thanksgiving.
Moses holding up His arms over the battlefield was a way to show how necessary it is to have God’s blessing and help. In whatever endeavor, let us rely on the Lord to see us through. Also, don’t forget to hold up your pastor’s arms. He’s only a man, and your encouragement is invaluable.
Moses’ father-in-law advises him to delegate some of the work. Called workers are saved from burnout when others step up to play an active role in the work of the Church. More importantly, when the talents of God’s people are put to use in service of the Lord, God’s Church is blessed.
“I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” These are words of grace spoken by the Lord before the giving of His Law. We are saved entirely by grace and not in the least by our works. Yet grace produces a desire to walk in the ways of God’s commands.
It was a day of thunder, lightning, smoke, and a shrill trumpet blast! From the mountain the Lord spells out, in no uncertain terms, His holy demands! Mount Sinai fills the sinful heart with terror. Our only hope? Run to Mount Calvary, where is found God’s infinite mercy!
The Lord establishes a civil code by which Israelite society was to be governed. The undergirding foundation for this code is the timeless law of “love your neighbor.” May the love of Christ move us to follow the laws of our land. By doing so, we honor God and show love to our neighbor.
The Lord gives instructions for the building of the Ark of the Covenant. Later we learn how once yearly the High Priest was to sprinkle animal blood on the covering of the Ark. This blood prefigures the blood of Christ. His cleansing blood is the only we sinners can get near to God.
How could the Israelites turn from God so quickly to worship an idol? But wait! Shouldn’t we identify the idols in our own lives first? By the power of the Spirit and Word, let us daily grind our personal idols to powder, thanking God for His great mercy for sinners like you and me.
Moses wanted to know how the Lord would lead His people. The Lord said, “My presence will go with you . . .” The Lord’s Presence is the Son of God. With His sure guidance the people would reach the Promised Land. Only by the perfect care of Christ can we reach the Promised Land of Heaven.
The Lord’s Name is the revelation of His identity. His Name reveals that He is a wondrous God of forgiveness and mercy. “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin . . .”
The furniture to be placed in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle are pictures of Christ. The Table upon which showbread was placed calls to mind that Christ is the Bread of Life. The Lampstand tells how He is the Light of the World. The Altar of Incense reminds us that only by His sacrifice are our prayers acceptable to God.