Exodus

Exodus 12:31-51

The Exodus

31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me."

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. "For otherwise," they said, "we will all die!" 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.

40 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt[a] was 430 years. 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord's divisions left Egypt. 42 Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.

Passover Restrictions

43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover meal:

"No foreigner may eat it. 44 Any slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised him, 45 but a temporary resident or a hired worker may not eat it.

46 "It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. 47 The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.

48 "A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord's Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat it. 49 The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you."

50 All the Israelites did just what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.

Reflection

37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people went up with them...

'Many other people.'

The Hebrew is erev rav (עֵרֶב רַב).

It means a 'mixed multitude'. When this people left their slavery it wasn't just Jewish people, not just Hebrew slaves who left, it was an erev rav. A motley crew. A rag tag group of nobodies. Immigrants. All sorts of people who didn't really fit the pattern joined them on their way. Probably some slaves who were not Hebrews, and some Egyptians who responded to God's mighty acts. According to Jewish tradition, they were accepted by Moses as an integral part of the people.

All sorts of people who didn't really fit the mould joined the movement.

Isn't that a picture of the church?

There is a theologian I like called Scot McKnight who wrote a book called 'Fellowship of Difference' where he suggests that the church is "God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and difference to the table to share life with one another as a new kind of family, showing the world what love, justice, peace and reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be."

As they exited Egypt, these people needed to find a way to live together.

The answer - circumcision (48).

Which IMHO has to be the least fun way to join a group... EVER!!!

Paul said, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." (Galatians 5:6)

One Size Doesn't Fit All

For us as the church, we should celebrate our difference. Who wants everything the same? It is faith that holds us together, a common conviction in Jesus Christ expressed in love for others - particularly to those different from ourselves. Beyond that, it is our difference and our ability to love one another that demonstrates that we are members of Christ's church.

Do you feel like you're in the church 'in crowd' or that you don't quite fit the mould?

If you feel like you don't fit the mould - you need to know that you are integral to our community. Keep being you! If we were all the same we wouldn't be the church, we would just be another social club.

One way we can show love is to pray for others.

Are there people in the church you kind of wish weren't there? People who think differently to you? Believe differently to you? Look different to you? People who aren't in your clique?

Pray for these people, asking God to bless them, pour his love on them and knit them further into our community.

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