Obedience To God Is Important

What we will read today in Exodus is an essential piece of Jewish history. But it also shows us the importance of you and me living in obedience to God and His Word.

God expected total obedience from the Israelites as they prepared to leave the land of Egypt. What He instructed them to do would become a celebrated festival for many generations.

While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron. Exodus 12:1

What God Wants You To Know
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Remember, sometime earlier, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. Then, the Lord sent Moses back to his birthplace, Egypt, to lead His people out of bondage.

When Moses got there, Pharaoh didn’t welcome him with open arms. His meeting with the Egyptian king initially caused the Israelites more work. Enough so, they complained to Moses.

May the Lord judge and punish you for making us stink before Pharaoh and his officials. You have put a sword into their hands, an excuse to kill us! Exodus 5:21

So Moses took their complaints to the Lord because he, too, might have also been somewhat confused. God, however, told his servant Moses that He had everything under control.

Then the Lord told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!” Exodus 6:1

God is in Control

And, of course, God did have everything under control. What the Lord had in mind through His actions would accomplish two purposes.

First, God exhibited His power to Pharaoh, who thought himself the most powerful person in the world. Next, the Israelites would exchange their fear of the Egyptians to obedience to God.

When God sent the plague of frogs, the Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. But with the second one, the plague of the gnats, the magicians couldn’t duplicate it.

Before God sent the flies, Moses told Pharaoh this third plague would only affect the Egyptians. They would not infest the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived.

But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the Lord and that I am present even in the heart of your land. Exodus 8:22

For the next six plagues, the Egyptians experienced the hand of God against them. During that time, God didn’t expect anything from His people. They got to watch His mighty hand at work.

After Moses told Pharaoh what would happen in the tenth plague, he then addressed the Israelites. He informed them that their freedom revolved around their obedience to God.

Obedience to God

Obedience to the Instructions from God

God instructed each family to select a lamb or goat on the tenth day of the month. The one they chose needed to meet God’s criteria.

The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects. Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Exodus 12:5-6

I wonder what it meant to give them special care. Did it mean they treated their animal almost like family for four days? Following God’s next instruction may not have been easy if they did.

Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. Exodus 12:6

For the effects of the tenth plague to bypass them, the next step made their obedience to God essential. Their salvation depended on what they did with the blood of their slaughtered lamb.

They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. Exodus 12:7

After they applied the blood, God instructed them to roast the animal and eat it. They needed to burn what they didn’t eat before the next morning. The Lord continued with more instructions.

The Lord’s Passover

These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover. Exodus 12:11

In reading these verses and others like them, my mind goes to attitudes I’ve often observed. I know Christians who, instead of obeying God, have justified doing things contrary to His Word.

They’ll say things like, “God understands” or “He didn’t really mean that.” God made obedience to Him even easier by listing things we shouldn’t do. The following list came from Jesus.

For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you. Mark 7:21-23

God made His instructions to Moses easy to follow, but I’m sure some decided not to obey them. For both the Jews and Egyptians, only the blood would keep death from entering their home.

For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down. Exodus 12:23

Life is the Result of Our Obedience to God

God’s instructions for us today are just as easy to follow. He, however, does not require us to sacrifice a lamb nor paint our door frames with blood. The Lord already provided a sacrifice.

Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross. In obedience to God, we must recognize and receive what Jesus did for us. Then, accept Him for our salvation.

During that first Passover, the blood from the sacrificed lamb saved the Israelites from death. When we call upon the name of Jesus, His cleansing blood saves us from eternal death.

Holy God, may your Spirit check me and straighten me out when I stray from my obedience to you.

Check out these other related posts in Exodus

Check out these other posts related to obedience to God.

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