Revive Our Hearts Podcast

God Delivers His People, Day 2

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Hi, this is Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. Before we start today’s Revive Our Hearts, I've got a question for you: How many old cell phones do you have in drawers or closets around you house? Did you know you could put those phones to good use to help support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts? We’re able to be here today thanks to the support of listeners like you. Usually, that support comes in the form of financial gifts, but it can also includes tangible gifts like: cell phones, cars and other vehicles, jewelry, or stock. So maybe it’s time to do some spring cleaning and support Revive Our Hearts at the same time. To get more details, visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth asks, "Do you have a sense of wonder over your salvation?"

Nancy: Has the gospel, has the old, old story, become commonplace to you? Have you forgotten what an amazing, incredible, monumental, historic night that was the day that Jesus gave His life as the Passover Lamb?

Have you forgotten how amazing it was that, out of all the billions of people on this planet, He would have chosen you to belong to Him?

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Tuesday, April 5, 2016.

If you’ve been around church much at all, you’ve heard the story of how God brought His people out of Egypt. Yesterday, Nancy began showing us how amazing this story is in the series "God Delivers His People." She helped us recognize the wonder of the Lord’s deliverance. Nancy reminded us that God told the Israelites to put the blood of a lamb over the doorpost. This was to protect them when the firstborn of each house was killed.

Israel obeyed and sacrificed those Passover lambs.

Nancy: Then we come to the tenth and final plague, the death of the firstborn sons. Verse 29 of Exodus 12:

At midnight, the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead (vv. 29–30).

Judgment! As you go through the Scripture, you’ll see that judgment and salvation always come together. You don’t have judgment without salvation, and you don’t have salvation without judgment. You see those two juxtaposed in this passage in a powerful way.

Judgment! “The wages of sin is death,” and so God passes through the land. He strikes the firstborn of every home that has not sacrificed a lamb. How does He know which homes have and haven’t? When He sees the blood on the doorpost, he passes over those homes.

The ones that don’t have the blood are judged. The firstborn son is killed. Did you notice who it was that killed the firstborn sons? It was the Lord. It was God Himself who killed those firstborn sons. Many hundreds of years later, it was God Himself who put to death His own beloved Son, judging Him for our sins, that we might be set free from slavery.

The theme of judgment and salvation. . . Judgment and destruction on the Egyptians who did not put up the blood, who did not offer up the lambs, who trusted in themselves rather than in God, but salvation and deliverance for the Israelites who believed God, who sacrificed the lambs. God passed over their houses—not because they were more deserving than the Egyptians, but only because they had accepted God’s provision, God’s means of escape . . . the blood of the lamb.

Well, Pharaoh is finally broken. Under some divine pressure, he finally releases the Israelites. Verse 31 of Exodus 12,

Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, "Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also" (vv. 31–32).

“Get out of here! What more could happen?” Finally, he’s broken, and God delivers His redeemed people out of Egypt, out of captivity, in what we call “the exodus.” Verse 40 tells us,

The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations. (vv. 40–42)

I love that phrase, “it was a night of watching.” A lot of watching went on that night. The Egyptians watched to see what would happen in this last most deadly of the plagues, but more than that, it was a night when the Lord watched over His people, and a night when God’s people watched Him execute judgment on His adversaries, and watched Him deliver them out of life-long captivity.

So as a result of this exodus, this Passover lamb being slain, God passing over the homes of believing Israelites, we have the institution of the Passover. It's a very, very important ceremony in the lives of Jews from that point on. Verse 43,

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones.  All the congregation of Israel shall keep it" [that is, this Passover celebration] (vv. 43–47).

So Israel is delivered from slavery, they are redeemed out of Egypt, and they go out of Egypt. It’s unthinkable that they should stay there when God has delivered them from that captivity. This is a night that is to be commemorated in perpetuity every year by observing the Passover feast.

It was a way of remembering what God had done. It was a way of instructing their children and their grandchildren and future generations and those who had never lived in Egypt what it was that God had done and the price that had been paid for their deliverance.

It was a way of remembering how God had spared their firstborn sons, had spared their lives and had redeemed them. As a  result, they were to keep this day as a memorial day, as a feast to the Lord, year after year after year after year, so they would never, ever forget.

Now, it’s interesting that no foreigner was to be allowed to eat the Passover with them. Only those who belonged to the community of faith could eat the Passover. I’m reminded that there are a lot of unredeemed people who go to church, but only those who have received the sacrifice that Jesus paid on our behalf—only those people have a right to partake of the Lord’s Supper, to partake of Christ, and to celebrate the feast of redemption with God’s people.

Turn to chapter 13, verse 3. There’s a phrase in this verse that I want us to just meditate on for these remaining few moments.

Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. [. . . on this Passover day. Leaven, of course, is a picture of sin and its consequences. Only eat unleavened bread.] Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out? (vv. 3–4)

Remember, we said that salvation involves both being brought out of slavery in Egypt—out of Egypt, out of bondage—but it also involves being brought into a new land.  So he says,

When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month [this Passover remembrance feast . . . and He tells them how this is to be kept once they get into the land].

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory.

You shall tell your son on that day [Imagine the kid saying, “Dad, why are we doing this again this year?” Tell your son], "It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt."

And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the Lord has brought you of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year (vv. 5–10).

And so, Moses says to the people, “Remember this day. Remember it! Don’t ever forget!” And I would say to us, as we ponder the awesome work Jesus did for us on the cross, and the salvation that He purchased for us, and the day when He came to take up residence in our lives . . . As you reflect back on that, don’t ever forget. Remember this day.

So when your kids ask, “Why do we go to church, Mom? Why do we read the Bible? Why do we pray? What’s all this about? I’m not sure I believe all this.” You may not know the exact day, the exact moment when you came to faith in Jesus Christ, but you need to remember where God found you . . . remember what it was like to be a slave to sin.

“Remember,” Moses is saying to the people of Israel, “how miserable Pharaoh made your lives. Remember how you cried out for relief. Remember how God sent me to confront Pharaoh. Remember the awful plagues that God sent on Egypt. Remember how you killed the lamb in your home and you spread the blood over your door. Remember how God went through Egypt that night and He killed the firstborn son in each Egyptian family. Remember how He saw the blood on your door, and He passed over your house. Remember how He sent you out of Egypt and delivered you from generations of bondage and misery. Remember this day!”

And you might wonder, How could they ever forget? It’s so dramatic, so amazing. As the calendar changes, as it’s the first month of the new year, you’d think that they would be forever grateful. You’d think they would always trust and worship and serve Jehovah God who delivered them out of slavery.

But truth be told, it was only a matter of days—not a whole year, but days—before they were doubting God. They were forgetting what He had done. They were grumbling over His provision; they were whining.

And, believe it or not, they were wanting—begging—to go back to Egypt. What’s with that? Well, one might ask, “How could we ever forget?” You’d think we would be forever grateful for what God did for us in Christ on that cross—for His saving mercy and grace. You’d think that we would always trust and love and worship and serve and praise Him.

But how prone we are—how prone I am—to doubt Him, to forget what He has done, to grumble over His provision, and sometimes in our hearts to even want to go back to the world where we were miserable slaves to sin. “Remember this day!”

All of this exodus story, all of this Passover story, foreshadowed the deliverance, the redemption that God would one day send to this world through Jesus Christ. That redemption required the sacrifice of a Lamb.

The New Testament talks to us about that amazing, most important, significant week in the history of the world since Creation—when Christ gave His life for the sin of the world. The apostle Paul reflects on this a lot in his epistles. Let me just mention two passages in 1 Corinthians that bring this together for us.

First, he says in 1 Corinthians 5:6,

Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened (vv. 6–7).

In other words, “Live like who you are.” You’ve been delivered from sin, you’ve got the pure life of Jesus living in you, now live that pure life."

You’ve been delivered from sin, so live like who you are.

For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed (v. 7).

Remember all those thousands and thousands of bleeding lambs in Israelite homes? Now Christ, our Passover Lamb, the One those lambs pointed to, He has been sacrificed.

Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (v. 8).

Christ, the spotless, blameless Lamb of God has been sacrificed for us, and in so doing He inaugurated a new covenant, a new testament, reminding us by His death that there is no salvation without judgment. A lamb had to die in every Israelite home, and in the homes where no lamb died, a firstborn son died. Either a person had to die, or a lamb had to die.

So Christ, as the Passover Lamb of God, the innocent substitute, dies in our place on the cross, takes the judgment we deserve for our sins, so that God—when He sees that blood applied by faith to our hearts—will pass us over in the judgment and deliver us from that Angel of Death.

First Corinthians 11 says it a little differently. It reminds us of that night before Jesus went to the cross, when Jesus gathered with his disciples to eat the Passover feast. Even as they were observing this feast, the throats of millions of lambs were being slit, and their blood was running through the streets of Jerusalem as, once again, year after year after year after year, ever since the exodus—with not many exceptions—the children of Israel had observed that Passover feast. Why? So they could remember this night, what God had done in Egypt.

Now they were celebrating, memorializing that occasion. Jesus was gathered with His disciples, eating the Passover lamb, eating the unleavened bread, eating the bitter herbs. He is giving to them the wine that symbolizes, as we will see, His blood.

And the Scripture says that that night,

The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." [Remember this night!] For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes (1 Cor. 11:23–26).

For most of us in this room, the story I’ve told tonight is a familiar one, but I love to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love. I love to reflect on the old, old story. It’s good for us to remember where God found us, what He has done.

If you’re a child of God, you’ve been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, as we love to sing. My question is,

  • Has the old, old story, become commonplace to you? 
  • Have you forgotten what an amazing, incredible, monumental, historic night that was, when Jesus gave His life as the Passover Lamb?
  • Have you forgotten how amazing it was that out of all the billions of people on this planet, He would have chosen you to belong to Him? 

Why did He choose you? Why did He choose me and not someone else who has never even heard His Name? I don’t know the answer to that question.

But I know it’s so significant, what He has done, that it’s a crime, a travesty, that we should forget, that we should lose the wonder of it all. So my appeal to you, to me, to all of us tonight is to remember. Remember Jesus, the Passover Lamb slain, His blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins.

Remember Him. Do it regularly, as the Jews year after year would celebrate that Passover feast. That’s why I probably put more stock in celebrating my spiritual birthday than I do my physical birthday, because everybody’s born.

The gift of life is a gift, it’s valuable, and something to thank the Lord for, but there’s no big deal about a physical birthday. How much more ought we to be thanking Him for the gift of second birth, eternal life? Remember what Jesus did for you, remember what He rescued you from, remember what it cost Him to do that, and ask Him to restore the wonder of your salvation. Remember Jesus.

And then, rejoice. Rejoice that you will never experience the judgment of God for your sin. The price has been paid; the Lamb has been slain; the blood has been spilt. God has seen the blood, and when He sees it applied to your heart by faith, He passes over you. “No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” How amazing is that?

Thank you, Lord! Rejoice in that. (Applause) Rejoice that He has brought you out of slavery; rejoice that you are no longer in bondage to sin. You don’t have to keep sinning. You don’t have to. You’re free.

We’re now slaves to righteousness. We have a whole new owner, a whole new management, a whole new Lord, whole new laws of the land, a whole new constitution. We’re a new nation, a new people. Rejoice in all that. Rejoice that He’s brought you out of slavery into a good land.

Give thanks. Remember Jesus. Rejoice in what He has done. Then tell others. Tell your children; tell the next generation; tell your friends; tell your neighbors. Look for opportunities to tell what Jesus has done for your soul.

Here’s the thing, either a lamb has to die or we have to die. If we trust the fact that the Lamb died for us, then we can be free from bondage. If we trust ourselves, our own good works, our own efforts, our own religion . . . then we’re not good enough. We will have to die.

So if you’ve never placed your faith in Christ, say, “O Lord, by faith I believe that the Lamb’s blood was shed for me. By faith I place that blood over the doorpost of my heart, and I ask that you come into my life. Forgive me of my sins. I repent of going my own way. I want to be your redeemed child.”

The Scripture says that if we believe, if we place our faith in Him, the blood of Christ is sufficient to pay for all of our sins. He will deliver you, He will set you free, and He will do it for the display of His glory in our generation and for generations to come.

Leslie: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been helping you rekindle a sense of wonder, that God would choose you and rescue you from sin.

She’s been in a two day series called “God Delivers His People.” That was recorded when Revive Our Hearts was on the road, recording in Indianapolis. If you’re in the Atlanta area, you have the opportunity to attend a Revive Our Hearts recording session. Nancy’s here with your invitation.

Nancy: I spend a lot of time at my home study, preparing for teaching sessions and writing. In fact, right now I’m working on a new book on Titus 2 to be released next year, Lord willing, and I’ve been sequestered for hours at a time, doing heavy labor, finishing that book. So, I’m excited to get back on the road and interact with Revive Our Hearts' listeners face to face. If you’re in the Atlanta area, I hope you’ll join us for a recording session in Roswell April 26, or join us April 28 in Jonesboro, Georgia. You’ll be able to see some of the behind the scenes at how these programs come to you each weekday. This event is free, but you do need to sign up. You can do that and get all the information, dates, times, and places at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Here in April we want to invite you to do some spring cleaning. Now, cleaning your closets or your windows is a great thing. But even more importantly, we’ll show you how to clear out unhealthy thinking patterns. Tomorrow Jennifer Rothschild will speak on "Your Thought Closet Makeover." Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wologemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries. 

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.

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