3 Days of Prayer and Fasting (2022/06)

Exodus 12:29-13:16
29 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. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and 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. 31 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. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!”
33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. 36 And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
37 And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.
40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 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.
43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. 45 No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. 46 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. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
50 All the people of Israel did just as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
13:1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”
3 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. 4 Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. 5 And 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. 6 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 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. 8 You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 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 out of Egypt. 10 You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year.
11 “When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, 12 you shall set apart to the LORD all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the LORD’S. 13 Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14 And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, By a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16 It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.”

Day 1: Loving God
The word “redeem” used in our passage is used most frequently to refer to rescue from death (e.g. 1 Sam. 14:45; Job 33:28; Ps. 49:8, 16) or from a deadly threat (e.g. Job 6:23; Ps. 78:42). In Exodus 21:30, this same word is used to refer to the “ransom” price of a person’s life. So the word “redeem” used here is directly tied to how God ransomed Israel from death on the night of the Passover. It’s the price for one’s life. And because the LORD had paid the ransom for the firstborns of Israel, their lives belonged to Him.
And God’s ransoming of Israel on Passover night ultimately points to the ransom He pays in Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb. Jesus says of Himself in Matthew 20:28, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (cf. Mark 10:45). 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all…” We all, as sinners, had the sentence of death. We were slaves to sin destined for eternal damnation. But God sent His only Son Jesus Christ as the ransom price for our life and freedom! “[We] were bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; cf. 1 Tim. 2:6), so we ought to glorify God as His servants. We ought to “conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that [we] were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from [our] forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pet. 1:17-19).
  • Confess the ways in which you have lived like the rest of the world, rather than as someone who has been ransomed, consecrated, and set apart for God.
  • Remember what your former slavery to sin and death was like, and give thanks to God for your freedom. Ask God to help you to remember this often, and not to forget it.
  • Ask God to deliver you from your besetting sins by the power of the risen Christ.

Day 2: Loving One Another
The celebration of the passover was a community endeavor. The purpose of the festival was to remember God’s deliverance from Egypt (13:3), and to let it serve as a “memorial” for future generations (13:9). It was reserved for those who belonged to Israel, God’s chosen people, which was why only those who convert to the worship of YHWH and acknowledge their covenant loyalty to Him by getting circumcised could celebrate it (12:48). Circumcision was the sign that God had ordained to mark Israel as His chosen people, His special possession (Gen. 17:10-14). For us, because Jesus came and established the New Covenant for the people of God, baptism has superseded circumcision as the new sign of the covenant (Col. 2:11-13).
  • Pray that our church would be ever mindful of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and grow in reminding and exhorting one another with the gospel.
  • Pray for the children of our church, that our regular worship would be a memorial for them of what Christ has done, and that they would continue the faith handed down from the Apostles.
  • Pray for those whom our church has baptized, that they would persevere in faith and obedience.
  • Pray for our elders, Dan Roca, Matt Huckins, Paul Buckley, and Shawn Woo, and our pastoral intern Ed Kang, that they would minister the word of God effectively and grow in humble, prayerful dependence on God.
  • Pray for our deacons, Jon So and Lauren Miller, as well as diaconal intern Jen Cook, that God would grow them in wisdom and discernment as they minister to the temporal needs of our members.

Day 3: Loving Our Neighbors
Already, here in Exodus, we see that God’s plan ultimately isn’t only for ethnic Israel, the Jews. It says in verse 38, “A mixed multitude also went up with them.” The mass exodus from Egypt included not only the people of Israel, but also others, it was “a mixed multitude,” and even the “strangers” among them may join themselves to God’s people by getting circumcised, and celebrate the Passover (12:48). This is a preview of how Jesus, through His life, death, and resurrection, “draw[s] all people to [him]self” (John 12:32).
This passage also repeats the fact that Israel “went out of Egypt on this very day. It says in 12:41, “on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.” 12:51 says, “on that very day the LORD brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.” And 13:3-4 says, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery … Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out.” We have come out of our slavery from sin and death, but there are millions who are still living in spiritual slavery, serving Satan, their cruel master.
  • Pray that God would embolden all of our church members to share the gospel of freedom with unbelievers on a weekly basis.`
  • Pray for unbelieving family members, friends, and neighbors, who are living in slavery to sin and death, that they would be rescued from serving idols to serving the living God.
  • Pray for spiritual protection and physical health for Mattea, and for clarity and direction as she discerns what she will do in August when her teammates leave the area she is serving in.
  • Pray for Mariah as she is receiving cross-cultural training for future missions work, that she would be filled with the Spirit and grow in wisdom and discernment.

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