Eager to Begin the Journey
Yael Eckstein | April 6, 2023
This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. —Exodus 12:11
Through sundown April 13, my family and I will join Jews around the world in celebrating the most important event in Jewish history — the Exodus and redemption of the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt. These devotions were prepared for you in advance to help you discover the many lessons in faith Passover has for you.
So, there I was, in the kitchen getting everything ready. After eating breakfast, we would be heading out for a family vacation. That pre-vacation combination of excitement and nervous worry about details filled the room. It was at that moment, my youngest, Shimmy, walked in for breakfast, wearing his backpack.
To my surprise, when he sat down to eat, his backpack remained firmly in place. We all watched as he sat down, poured himself a bowl of cereal, and started eating, all without taking off his backpack. His sisters, of course, started in on him: “Why are you wearing your backpack to eat breakfast? We’re not leaving for another hour.” But Shimmy wouldn’t budge. The backpack stayed on his adorable little shoulders.
When we were finally ready to head out, guess who ran out first! Shimmy bolted out the door, with his backpack still on, of course, and stood next to the car waiting for it to be unlocked. “You’re not going to get there any sooner!” one of his sisters yelled after him. Shimmy was unperturbed. He was eager to begin the journey and get his vacation started as soon as possible.
Eager to Begin the Journey
I thought about Shimmy and his backpack when I read God’s instructions to the Jews in Egypt about how to eat the Passover lamb offering. God told the Israelites, “This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.”
As the Bible describes, the Jews ate the Passover offering in the evening and only left Egypt the next day. They weren’t even allowed to leave their homes until morning. So why did God command them to eat the Passover lamb “with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand”? Why did He tell them to eat it “in haste?”
Like Shimmy with his backpack, eating the Passover lamb this way showed that the Israelites were ready to leave. They were eager to begin their journey as God’s people.
The lesson is powerful. When we are eager to follow the Lord, we are already redeemed even before the journey has begun.
Arriving early for a worship service is one way we can show God we are eager to serve Him. What are some other ways that we can demonstrate to God that we are ready?