Choose Faith over Facts

The Fellowship  |  April 9, 2019

Engraving by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (March 26, 1794 - May 24, 1872) The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man must get one lamb for the people in his house. If there are not enough people in his house to eat a whole lamb, he must share it with his closest neighbor, considering the number of people. There must be enough lamb for everyone to eat. The lamb must be a one-year-old male that has nothing wrong with it. This animal can be either a young sheep or a young goat. Take care of the animals until the fourteenth day of the month. On that day all the people of the community of Israel will kill them in the evening before dark. The people must take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. On this night they must roast the lamb over a fire. They must eat it with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast. "This is the way you must eat it: You must be fully dressed as if you were going on a trip. You must have your sandals on and your walking stick in your hand. You must eat it in a hurry; this is the Lord's Passover. "That night I will go through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn animals and people in the land of Egypt. I will also punish all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. But the blood will be a sign on the houses where you are. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. Nothing terrible will hurt you when I punish the land of Egypt. "You are always to remember this day and celebrate it with a feast to the Lord. Your descendants are to honor the Lord with this feast from now on. the Exodus 12:1, 3-8, 11-14 illustration was published in "Die Bibel in Bildern"(1860) scan by Ivan Burmistrov The First Passover

This month marks one of the most ancient and holiest of Jewish celebrations, Pesach, or Passover. It is a celebration of faith over facts, God’s redemption of His people, Israel, from bondage, and freedom is a theme underlying the celebration. Please enjoy this collection of timeless devotions from my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, on this sacred observance. – Yael Eckstein, President and CEO

“Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.” — Exodus 12:6–7

For more insights on Passover, please download our complimentary Bible study.

The story of the Exodus comes down to one action. According to Jewish tradition, four-fifths of the Israelites did not leave Egypt. They weren’t ready to step out in faith and follow God, through His servant Moses, into the desert and an unknown fate. But for those who did escape the brutal clutches of the Egyptians, it all came down to following this one command: “. . . all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.”

Only those who slaughtered the lamb and put its blood on their doorposts were saved from the final plague that killed every firstborn throughout Egypt. And only those families were redeemed. What was so significant about this single act?

Consider the facts. This one act was tantamount to suicide. Sheep were considered gods in Egypt. Killing an Egyptian god would undoubtedly anger the Egyptians and very likely would lead them to every home displaying the blood of their “god” with pitchforks in their hands. In addition, the Israelites were greatly outnumbered by the Egyptians. And finally, although God had already afflicted the Egyptians with nine plagues and had repeatedly demonstrated His might and power, Pharaoh had not backed down. Why would he back down now?

Not only that, but Moses had only promised to take the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert where they would worship God. He had not explained to them how they would live in the desert, how they would find water and food, or how they would survive the harsh elements or invading nations. The fact was that the children of Israel were slaves at that time. They were weak in body and spirit. How could they possibly survive such an ordeal?

However, on the night of the Exodus, the Israelites who did leave Egypt were the ones who chose faith over the facts. They chose to trust God’s vision over what their own eyes could see. They chose to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Similarly, in our own lives, there are times when the facts say one thing, but faith whispers something else. While we must make an effort to deal with the facts, we also have to consciously choose faith over the facts. Our bottom line must come down to what God says over what anyone else says. In this way, we, too, will be redeemed.

For more insights on Passover, please download our complimentary Bible study, The Passover Experience.

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