Sermon Series: Covenant Foundations

  1. God Is and God Created - Genesis 1

  2. Paradise Lost - Genesis 3

  3. A Promise toward Paradise Regained - Genesis 12

  4. God Delivers - Exodus 12

  5. God Gives His Covenant Commands - Exodus 34

Scriptures: Exodus 12:5-13

Connection to unit theme

In the grand narrative of history that has been unfolding, God remains in control. Though the children of Israel now found themselves in slavery in Egypt, God has not forgotten His promises to His people. In fact, God has already been fulfilling His promise to make a great nation from Abraham. He will now continue to fulfill His promise by delivering them from the slavery of Egypt and taking them toward the land of promise.


God had been faithfully working out the fulfillment of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The people of Israel had become so great in number that a new Pharaoh, one that did not know Joseph, had committed them to forced labor and ordered the killing of all the Hebrew baby boys. God protected one of those boys, Moses, allowed him to be raised in Pharaoh's house, and sent Moses to the wilderness for 40 years to prepare him for his God-assigned task of leading God's people out of the land of Egypt. God had not forgotten His people or His promises. He had heard their cries. He would now act to deliver them.

I. God delivers according to His plan (vv.5-11)

In verses 1-4, God indicated to Moses and Aaron that He was doing a new thing. They would look back to this event as an important marker in their history. Even their calendars would be a reminder of God's deliverance. As one commentator notes:

"Here we read that God has decided that history determines the calendar, and in particular, the history of God's saving act of the exodus does so. Whatever might theoretically have been their previous thinking about a calendar, God decreed to his Old Covenant people that they would henceforth have a calendar designed to remind them of how they first became a people. It happened by reason of their deliverance by his mighty hand out of the bondage of the oppressor, an act so important that it was also to be memorialized by a special annual feast, the Passover." 1

They would celebrate this feast every year as a reminder of God's faithfulness and deliverance from bondage and slavery.

It is important to note the detail spelled out in God's instruction to His people. He did not tell them to have a feast of deliverance, and to do so in whatever manner they would choose. They could not conduct the feast however they wanted. They were not delivering themselves. God was the one delivering them. And they were to obey Him completely.

Application: When you find yourself in a difficult situation, are you willing to live according to God's will and follow His plan? Will you trust that He will do what is right and deliver you according to His plan and timing?

II. God delivers from slavery and death (vv.12-13)

Yahweh, the one true God, the God of Israel, was bringing judgment upon the land of Egypt. Everyone in the land of Egypt, Israelites and Egyptians alike, was guilty of sin against the true God. His coming judgment would be swift and severe. The only means of avoiding God's judgment was faith in Yahweh that resulted in obedience to His substitutionary plan.

The Israelites had to follow God's directions completely, the key step being the application of the blood to the doorposts of their houses. It was not the blood of the animal that saved the Israelites (Heb. 9:12-13; 10:4). Again, Stuart writes:

"The blood on the doorposts showed acceptance of God's plan for rescue and trust in his word. After all, the sight of dried blood by itself had no power to deter death. It was only as the dried blood painted on the top and sides of the door was a testimony to the faith of the inhabitants in Yahweh that it had its efficacy. Thus the statement, 'When I see the blood, I will pass over you' - in other words, I will spare all those who show that they have placed their faith in me." 2

The thing that brought deliverance to the children of Israel was faith in their one, true, covenant-keeping God, and obedience to His command to apply the blood of the substitute (goat/lamb) to the doorposts of their houses. As we also see in these verses, God was distinguishing Himself from the false gods of the Egyptians. Israel's faith was in the true God.

The credit for God's deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt could never have gone to the people. The plan was God's plan. The power to execute the plan was God's power. The result of God's deliverance could only take place as He would bring it about. The people had simply to obey Him from a heart of faith. As God delivered His people out of Egypt, and soon across the dry ground of the Red Sea floor, the testimony of God's mighty power went throughout the lands, as Rahab would later testify in Jericho (Joshua 2:10).

God receives glory through our lives as evidence of His salvation is seen and declared to others.

Application: Have you received God's deliverance - salvation - through the blood of His Son, the spotless Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ? Do others see evidence of the power of the one, true God in your life as you walk in faith, surrender. and obedience to Him?


God set aside a people for Himself through Abraham. God promised to make them a people and give them a land. God used the blood of the Passover lamb to deliver His people from bondage in Egypt, pointing ahead to another Passover Lamb that would deliver people, not from physical slavery, but from spiritual slavery to sin, all to the glory of His grace.

Randy Mann is minister of education and evangelism at Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina.