Anglican Morning Devotion for 4 February 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. 14And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” (Exodus 12:1-14; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
The Lord God had blessed the sons of Jacob when they came down into Egypt at the behest of Joseph, their brother whom they had sold into slavery, and they prospered. The household of each son flourished so well in the rich soil of Goshen that they multiplied greatly over the intervening years before they were enslaved by an Egyptian Pharaoh who knew not Joseph and who feared the Children of Israel would overwhelm the land and take power. The whole of the events were all according to the designs of their true Sovereign – God Almighty. Joseph pre-figured the only Begotten Son of God who would also be betrayed into the hands of unbelievers but became the once-and-for-all sacrifice to save His people.
There are many points and symbols to grasp in the hard bondage of Egypt, many of which exceed the scope of a short devotion. Some main points to remember is that God works always in the affairs of men. Even when we are fearful of the outcome, His plan is always for the good of the faithful. The Land of Egypt was a type of bondage that sin works on all men and women descended from Adam. Though we may flee to a far country for relief in time of famine and farewell for a time, like the Prodigal Son, we will eventually be used up in that land apart from the place God planted us and wind up living like swine of the sty.
After 400 years in Egypt, the bondage became almost unbearable just as the life of sin leads to the most depraved of spirits. God had already made provision for Israel even though they were ignorant of His silent workings in a man named Moses whom He had schooled in the palaces of Egypt, sent away to the wilderness to learn of Him, and was now sending Moses back to Egypt to set His people free.
Moses was God’s chosen vessel to convince old Pharaoh to “Let my people go!” God wittingly sent ten plagues upon Egypt as an example of the intractability of the sinful disposition. The first plagues of curses were not fatal, but only the tenth plague of death (to which disobedience invariably leads) could move the stony heart of Pharoah to release the Children of Israel. Since no other tragic plague would bring the Pharaoh to heel, God must resort to a great sacrifice on the part of Egypt. Woeful disobedience to God always leads to death. It brought death to the firstborn of every household in Egypt whose doorposts and lintels were not covered with the blood of a choice lamb.
The innocent and unblemished lamb of Goshen to be sacrificed stood as a figure of that greater sacrifice to come – the Lamb of God. The blood applied to the doorpost and lintels represented our relationship to God (the vertical) and to our fellow man (vertical) and the strokes followed that of the vertical and cross beams of the cross at Calvary. Among other requirements, the lamb chosen for the household of each of the Children of Israel must be perfect and without blemish – an example of the Only Begotten of the Father: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” (1 Peter 1:18-20) The Lamb of Goshen was a feeble figure of the true Lamb that would be a sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. As John proclaimed: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) There is much more to the story for a later day to come.