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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

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Exodus 12:43-51

Verse 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.”

 

    A large part of the Passover celebration revolved around the meal.  God had set particular details in place which were to be observed during each commemoration.  The detail in today’s lesson may seem a bit over the top to us.  We live in a world which glorifies inclusivity, often to the point of there being no true identity.  God wanted His people to have a clear identity which would set them apart from the world.

 

    God had set this sign of belonging to Him in His covenant with Abraham.  Of course this wasn’t a mark which others could see but it being a hidden sign didn’t mean it wasn’t important for God’s people.  God wasn’t wanting His people to make a spectacle of themselves so people would know they belonged to Him but did need His people to know they were called to be different.

 

    God had instructed His people to be hospitable but there were to be limits to their hospitality.  It was important they allowed people to be in their presence and see the difference in their way of living but allowing people to be among them was not the same as allowing other people to infiltrate them.  God warned His people over and over through the generations the dangers of becoming too familiar with the people and customs of other nations as it was likely to pull them away from solely worshiping God.

 

    While Passover was a festival to be celebrated with great detail, it was a festival of worship of God and what He did for His people.  Those who were not worshippers of God had no reason to celebrate it.  It is easy to let others celebrate holidays with us but it was important for God’s people to remember it wasn’t as much about the celebration as it was about Him.  This was the danger of allowing others to be with them during the festival.  The foreigners wouldn’t understand the significance of worshiping God.

 

    It wasn’t that no one was allowed to celebrate with them, they just had to prove by their actions they truly wanted to worship God.  While circumcision of the body is not the requirement for us, Paul would later talk about the importance for Gentiles to remember it isn’t about the outward sign but the connection of their hearts with God which matter.  Obedience is only as true as the heart behind it.

 

Making It Personal

    What is your heart focused on as you gather for worship on Sunday?  Do you think about God as you celebrate days which are set aside to worship Him?  How do you view those who aren’t God’s people?

 

Making It Personal Kids

    Who should you be thinking about during church?  Do you focus on what is going on or what you wish you were doing?  What would help you think only about Jesus during the service?

 

Closing Prayer

    Father, we are sorry we aren’t as intentional about guarding our relationship with You as we should.  Help us be better about surrounding ourselves with those who also walk closely with You so we can be drawn closer to You instead of away from You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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