Our Passover

Imagine You have been told you are to be king. You find yourself in a palace loved by the king now and you fall into such a deep friendship with the prince. Everything goes great till the king hears you are to be king one day and tries to kill you. You run for your life and hide wherever you can. In the midst of your running from the threat of death you turn to God and this is what comes out of you:

Psalm 32:

Thanksgiving for Forgiveness of Sins

32 Of David. A Maskil.

1Happy is he whose transgression is taken away,

whose sin is covered.

2Happy is a person to whom Yahweh does not impute iniquity

and in whose spirit there is not deceit.

3When I kept silent, my bones were worn out

due to my groaning all the day.

4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me.

My vigor was changed into the dry heat of summer. Selah

5I made known my sin to you, and my iniquity I did not cover.

I said, “I will confess concerning my transgressions to Yahweh,”

and you took away the guilt of my sin. Selah

6Therefore let all the faithful pray to you

at the time for finding you.

Surely at the flood of many waters they will not reach him.

7You are my hiding place;

from trouble you preserve me.

With cries of deliverance you surround me. Selah

8I will instruct you and teach you

in the way that you should go.

I will advise youwith my eye upon you.

9Do not be like a horse or like a mule, without understanding;

that needs his tackle—bridle and rein—for restraint

or he would not come near you.

10Many are the pains of the wicked,

but for the one who trusts Yahweh

loyal love surrounds him.

11Be glad in Yahweh and rejoice, you righteous,

and shout for joy, all you upright of heart. [1]

The fear was crazy but his calling to know God more was stronger. God was his hiding place and that not only brought him comfort and joy, but also protection. Along David’s path into this time of trial people followed him and became his people because he showed them that even in times of darkness the light is there to protect, comfort, and bring joy and wisdom. We are in dark times and we have a choice to lay down and let it take us over or to hide in God, do the right thing, be wise, and show the world the joy that can come even when we are frightened. Being afraid is never the problem. It is what you do with that fear that defines us. Be wise, God gave us doctors for a reason, but do not let the fear consume you. It is not the fist time in history we have been faced with a plague. It took 10 plagues just for Pharaoh to listen to God. Oh the hard headed ones in our mist, and what finally did it but death. Seams that does not always work for everyone. I believe there are some people that are so hard headed that they are going to get to heaven and say to God, “Why?,” and “God is just going to do a face palm and walk away. You know the moment when you have told your kids a thousand times that the consequence for their action is not going to be pretty and will hurt them. Yet they still do it, and all you can do is let them and shake your head and hope they don’t die. Imagine what God was thinking when he got to the last of the plagues in Egypt, but God gave them a way to be saved. God always does that doesn't God. So beautiful.

Exodis 11:1-10: Announcement of the Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

11 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Still one plague I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterward he will release you from here. At the moment of his releasing, he will certainly drive you completely out from here. 2Speak in the ears of the people, and let them ask, a man from his neighbor and a woman from her neighbor, for objects of silver and objects of gold.” 3And Yahweh gave the people favor in the eyes of Egypt. Also the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh and in the eyes of the people.

4And Moses said, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘About the middle of the night I will go out through the midst of Egypt, 5and every firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the slave woman who is behind the pair of millstones and every firstborn animal. 6And there will be a great cry of distress in all the land of Egypt, the like of which has not been nor will be again. 7But against all the ⌊Israelites⌋, from a man to an animal, a dog will not even ⌊bark⌋, so that you will know that Yahweh makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ 8And all of these your servants will come down to me and bow to me, saying, ‘Go out, you and all the people who are at your feet.’ And afterward I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh ⌊in great anger⌋.

9And Yahweh said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, ⌊so that my wonders may multiply⌋ in the land of Egypt.” 10And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and Yahweh hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not release the ⌊Israelites⌋ from his land. [2]

I love how God prepares Moses nad Arron for what is about to happen. You can hear it now, “Look this is going to be a hard thing to say and he is going to hate you for it, but it is going to get you out of this mess.”

*Then what happens….God Shows out!

Exodus 12:1-16: Instructions for the Feast of Passover

12 And Yahweh said to Moses and to Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2“This month will be the beginning of months; it will be for you the first of the months of the year. 3Speak to all the community of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month, they will each take for themselves ⌊a lamb for the family⌋, a lamb for the household. 4And if the household is too small for a lamb, he and the neighbor nearest to his house will take one according to the number of persons; you will count out portions of the lamb ⌊according to how much each one can eat⌋. 5The lamb for you must be a male, without defect, in its first year; you will take it from the sheep or from the goats.

6“⌊You will keep it⌋ until the fourteenth day of this month, and all the assembly of the community of Israel will slaughter it ⌊at twilight⌋. 7And they will take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel on the houses in which they eat it. 8And they will eat the meat on this night; they will eat it fire-roasted and with unleavened bread on ⌊bitter herbs⌋. 9You must not eat any of it raw or boiled, boiled in the water, but rather roasted with fire, its head with its legs and with its inner parts. 10And you must not leave any of it until morning; anything left from it until morning you must burn in the fire. 11And this is how you will eat it—with your waists fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand, and you will eat it in haste. It is Yahweh’s Passover.

12“And I will go through the land of Egypt during this night, and I will strike all of the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from human to animal, and I will do punishments among all of the gods of Egypt. I am Yahweh. 13And the blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and I will see the blood, and I will pass over you, and there will not be a destructive plague among you when I strike the land of Egypt.

14“And this day will become a memorial for you, and you will celebrate it as a religious feast for Yahweh throughout your generations; you will celebrate it as a lasting statute. 15You will eat unleavened bread for seven days. Surely on the first day you shall remove yeast from your houses, because anyone who eats food with yeast from the first day until the seventh day—that person will be cut off from Israel. 16It will be for you on the first day a holy assembly and on the seventh day a holy assembly; no work will be done on them; only what is eaten by every person, it alone will be prepared for you. [3]

God told them what would happen. God told them of the death that was coming, but God also told them how to protect themselves. God told them to tell everyone and they did. Those who did were saved, but those who did not were devastated. We are told how to help ourselves and we have a choice to save ourselves or to let life do it’s worst. Thy were told to go in with their own families, cover themselves, and wait till it is time, till it is safe to come out. Does that sound familiar?

I painted a painting for my final project in my advanced painting class in college of a bathroom with a free standing tub full of bubbles and candles all around. I have always felt more at peace in a tub than anywhere else in the world, maybe water in general. I can go under the water and then the world becomes mysterious, quiet, and my thoughts are my own. When you sing and your ears are under water is it so beautiful and muted to you. While on the outside it is very loud and the world can get in. In the mirror of the painting is the reflection of the door that is in the room but not in the picture, and on the top of the door is the blood of Passover. Inscribed on the door is the passage from Exodus about the blood. It says to hide yourself.

There is nothing wrong with hiding in God as long as you know you can not stay there forever. Life calls us to hide ourselves for a moment, so that when we can we can be strong enough to come out and love, we can as we show the world what God has done for us and why. We are coming into Advent soon and we will be preparing for the arrival of Jesus. Jesus was in his mother’s womb in protection waiting to come out to be what he was created to be, an example, a blessing, but also a sacrifice for us. We are in the bathtub of God behind the door. We have a choice to place the blood above the door and have faith. If we do this than we are admitting that we believe that God will protect us as we follow wisdom. We are beveling that there is a future, but we are also beveling that we are meant to go out from here when everything has passed and be the witness of what God has done in our lives, as we sit here waiting in the presence of God. So, the question becomes, what will you do? Will you look down on this time, or will you use it and learn from? This time is a blessing. The wisdom of the people given the learning is a blessing to be listened to. Get in your big bathtub, go under that water, quiet your spirit, and listen. I can not wait to hear what God has told you when you come out.

[1] Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Bible (Ps 32:title–11). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press. [2] Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Bible (Ex 11:1–10). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press. [3] Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Bible (Ex 12:1–16). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.