Hebrew Highlights 107 Passover 1
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
JOS 5:8-14, “Now it came about when they had finished circumcising all the nation, that they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day. While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal, they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. And on the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year. Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" And he said, "No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"
There are a number of recorded Passover celebrations in the Bible, after of course, the original one. Each time the celebration is mentioned, it is accompanied by wonders and miracles.
Passover, or “Pesach” in Hebrew, as you probably know, speaks of the fact that during the onset of the 10th plague God sent to Egypt, the slaying of the first born, the angel of death passed over the houses of the children of Israel, whose doorposts had been sprinkled with the blood of a lamb. The first-born sons of Israel were spared.
It was this final drastic plague that finally convinced Pharaoh to let Moses and the Hebrew people go. The Jewish people were commanded to celebrate Passover every year to all generations by the eating of unleavened bread for seven days, in order to never forget this fantastic miracle of deliverance.
There were many periods in History where the people of God forgot to keep this feast. These where times when they were far from His will, and following earthly pleasures. However, each time they returned to this celebration, miracles again abounded.
It is unclear whether Passover was celebrated every year during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. However, when Joshua celebrated Passover again with the people just outside of Jericho, we do know a special event was about to take place.
Just after the days of Passover, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joshua with the now famous plan to overtake the stronghold of Jericho. 40 years after their incredible flight from Egypt, the people of Israel where finally ready to take the promised land, and enjoy the fruits thereof.
Often in God’s word we are told to remember His mighty deeds. As we see in ISA 12:2-6, "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation." Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation. And in that day you will say, "Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted." Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Why does God want us to bear in mind what He done in the past? Probably because He has not finished His work here on this earth. He has more countries to conquer, more Good News to spread, and more blessings to bring to His people.
Whenever we consider God’s past marvels, we are filled with faith to march with Him into new battles. We are anxious to hear His plans from the messenger of God. As we read in Isaiah, God becomes both our strength and our song.
God’s people saw a tremendous deliverance from slavery. They carried away with them rich treasures. They crossed the Red Sea on dry land, and their enemies where drowned in their wake.
In the service of the Passover Seder, or meal, one of the sentences we recite goes like this, “each person should see himself or herself as having come out of Egypt also.” Indeed, each one of us, by the blood of the Lamb, has been delivered from the slavery of sin.
But, do we stop there? Absolutely not. God wants to carry us far away from the world we once knew, and bring us into a land flowing with milk and honey. We can slay giants. We can build families. We can take new territory for His kingdom.
This year, remember your deliverance. "Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted."
Pharaoh is no longer your ruler. Slavery is no longer your lot.
Happy Passover from Jerusalem.