BY THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD
Leslie M. John
And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: (Exodus 13:14)
Very often it is noticed that children ask their parents questions starting with words viz. ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’ etc. Parents take pleasure in explaining the answers to the questions the children ask. In Exodus Chapter 13 vs. 14 God gave instructions as to how details of the deliverance of the Israelites should be told their children.
The children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of slavery under Pharaoh with the mighty and outstretched arm of the LORD. It was not easy going for Moses and Aaron to demand the release of the children of Israel from the bondage except that the LORD was with them. The LORD promised that He will be with Moses and Aaron when they speak to Pharaoh.
Moses and Aaron brought not one but ten plagues on Egyptians and on their ruler Pharaoh. Pharaoh yielded to God’s demand conveyed through Moses and Aaron that His children be released from the bondage of slavery and his yielding was not before his firstborn was killed by the LORD.
The LORD heard the cry of the children of Israel when they were in bondage. The LORD saw their hardship of making bricks for construction in the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. As Moses and Aaron demanded their release Pharaoh increased their labor by not providing the necessary ingredient, straw. The children of Israel were to gather themselves the straw and make bricks.
Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. (Exodus 5:7)
The foremen supervising the making of bricks would beat the children of Israel if they did not obey their harsh instructions of their convenience. This harassment was not for a day, or week, or moth, or year but it was for nearly four hundred years. The prayers and cry of the children of Israel were so appealing to the LORD that He decided to deliver them with His mighty and outstretched arm.
It was when Pharaoh’s firstborn was killed by the LORD that he realized the mighty power of the LORD, the God of Israel. A time came when Pharaoh let the children of Israel go from his presence hurriedly as soon as possible. But when they left Egypt heading toward their Promised Land Pharaoh of Egypt chased them again from behind to capture them and bring them back to be under his slavery in order that he may extract more work from them.
However, the LORD showed His mighty power once again when the Red Sea was parted by Moses at the command of the LORD and the children of Israel walked without any harm on the dry land. The children of Israel with their children and with their cattle slowly walked the entire length of the Red Sea on the dry ground as the parted waters rose up to stand like towers on either side of the pathway for the children of Israel to walk leisurely under the protection of the LORD.
The Protection from the LORD was in the form of pillar of cloud between the children of Israel and Pharaoh and his army and pillar of fire for the children to see the light and walk comfortably the length of the Red Sea. (Ref: Exodus 14:19,20)
The LORD spoke to Moses and commanded him to tell the children of Israel that when they come into the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey, which was the Promised Land, that they should remember the deliverance of the children of Israel with the mighty and outstretched arm of the LORD. The LORD said that they should celebrate festival, which is the Passover Festival, and tell the children these real happenings in the form of story as they sit for the feast. The son would ask question as to why they were celebrating the feast the father would read the story to the children.
“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt” (Exodus 13:15-16)
Lord Jesus Christ, who was ‘Lamb of God’ thought it not robbery to be equal with the Father but took the form of servant in the likeness of man and came into this world redeemed mankind. The Word of God says there is no one righteous but all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)
Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself our sin and was crucified unto death in order that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. The Lord takes delight in telling this story over and over to the children in the family and to the nations that by the blood of Lord Jesus Christ there is salvation and as often as we eat the Lord’s Supper we remember His death until He comes again. He not only died but He was buried and rose from the dead on the third day and later appeared to many and ascended into to heaven after forty days and seated on the right hand of the Majesty.
“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)