Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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October 18 – God’s Great Love For Us

“And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:14-16

Devotional Thought For The Day

The dynamics of the faith-relationship and spiritual life of the children of Israel following the great Exodus from Egypt is a very close parallel to that of the Christian church. All was based upon God’s gracious and powerful deliverance of these people from “the house of slavery.” Their relationship with the LORD was to be one of gratitude and thanksgiving for His love for them, a love which led Him to drastic action against their enemies – even destroying the firstborn of their enemies throughout the land of Egypt. Of course, the destroying angel had “passed over” the houses of the children of Israel, who had “painted” the blood of the Passover lambs on their doors, thus sparing them by God’s gracious love.

Everything that follows in the historical accounts – not only in the Pentateuch, the book of Moses, but also in the historical books and the prophetic books – flows from this singular, constituting act of deliverance accomplished by the LORD for His dear people. Many of their customs were engaged in as constant reminders of God’s gracious mercy, forgiveness, and love, as demonstrated in the great deliverance from Egyptian slavery and as promised to all people of faith forever. Many of their customs and practices were designed to provide teaching moments for their children, so that the knowledge of God, His deliverance, His tender love and mercy, would be inculcated in their children, that they too might live by faith alone in God’s gracious Word and promises. The entirety of the “old covenant” is based upon God’s grace, mercy, love, and goodness toward the children of Israel. Their first priority and responsibility was to perpetuate this faith, this knowledge of the LORD, the only True and Living God. Their decency and goodness of life was to accurately reflect God’s own goodness and love toward them.

Though they owed all to God, their very lives and being and all that they owned and possessed, including obviously all of their children, they were to dedicate only the “firstborn” to the LORD, sacrificing the firstborn of the livestock and “redeeming” their firstborn male children by sacrificing an animal to the LORD. The purpose of this was NOT to establish favor from God or to earn blessings from Him. In view of the history and God’s ongoing love and blessing, such a thought would be utterly absurd. No, it was purely out of gratitude to God, in remembrance of His great deliverance, love, mercy, forgiveness, and goodness to them that they joyfully and willingly consecrated the firstborn to the LORD. It was their faith in God’s goodness and loved that compelled this – and the actions were a reflection and expression of their faith. People with such faith and knowledge of God would obviously be eager to make sure that others, especially their children, would have the same blessings of faith, and joyful confidence in the ongoing blessings and love of the LORD.

The same dynamics are operative in our own lives of faith – although the deliverance we have received in Christ Jesus is far greater and more glorious than the Exodus. Our deliverance is eternal, and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. By such faith in Christ we have become eternal sons and daughters of the King, the LORD, and the “promised land” that we are journeying toward is a glorious, perfect, new heavens and earth. We have been freed from slavery to sin and death and damnation. Obviously we are quite eager that others might join us and share in these great blessings with us, especially our children! What we do – how we live our lives, our worship and devotion to God, and our “sacrifices” [our offerings] – reflects our faith and our knowledge of God, His great love for us. It is never to “get” something from God, but always a matter of joyful thanksgiving and praise to God for what we have already received by His grace, mercy, and love. By a strong hand God has graciously showered us with His love and provided us with everything we need in Christ Jesus – to Him be all glory, honor, praise, and thanksgiving!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, help us to learn about You in all of the Scriptures You have caused to be written, that our hearts and minds might be captured by Your love. Grant us grace to live in strong faith and trust in You, ever growing in our knowledge of Your great love for us. Grant us the blessing of reflecting Your love in how we live our lives, in faith, in gratitude, and in praise of You. Use us as instruments to reveal Your great love to others. Amen.