Much of Israel’s foundational identity is formed in these chapters. It’s the beginning of what they will be marked by as a people group, not unlike Abraham’s call to be a blessing and circumcised. It’s exclusive and specific, yet open. A foreigner can join, but only by serious commitment.
Neither Moses nor Pharaoh knew how many plagues the LORD had planned for this event. They didn’t know what would be the last straw. Even with all the horrible plagues, a nation isn’t going to say goodbye to over a million slaves.
Israel gets on board. Somewhere along the way, they went from being annoyed with Moses to being ready to follow him out of their home. 430 years is a long time for a people group to inhabit a place. Imagine if in the year 2050, anyone who could trace US heritage back to the Mayflower left.
After 430 years and 10 plagues they all suddenly left in a hurry. No waiting for dough to rise. In the middle of the night it suddenly became time to leave. Right that minute. Everything changed in an instant.
This is something the LORD wanted them to remember with all these serious observational holidays and no leaven eating. There was suddenly no more time.
These laws and festivals always make me wish I marked more anniversaries of the LORD’s faithfulness. He did something really amazing, all those years ago.
I just realized, today is the 23rd anniversary of my appendectomy. The way I can know, is my appendix ruptured on the way home from a friends wedding and it was discovered five days later. Five days ago, those friends celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary. Hereby, May 17th is the anniversary of me being alive against all odds. The LORD spared me. I decided in the hospital in the week that followed that my life was to belong to the LORD in a more profound way. I would keep following after Him, because He was keeping me alive. All to Him I owe.
Is there a moment in your history with the LORD deserving a holiday? Ask Him about it today, and rejoice in His salvation!