Exodus Devotional | The Red Sea, Day 1: God Claims Possession of Us
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
Exodus The Red Sea, Day 1
“The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.” - (Exodus 13:1-2)
So far, we’ve taken our five-day devotionals to dive further into what has just been preached the preceding Sunday. I’m going to flip that script, starting this week. I took two Sundays to preach on the plagues . . . and now it’s time to move forward in our devotionals, looking ahead to the Red Sea. I have five things for us to meditate on this week and it means reading Exodus 13 and 14 each day. That should take the average reader 15-20 minutes to read. I’d like you to slow down and take even longer.
Today’s meditation: God claims possession of us
In Exodus, chapter 13, as the Egyptians are weeping over the fresh graves of their firstborn, God commands the Israelites to consecrate their firstborn to him, symbolizing to them that we belong to God.
What does consecration mean? It means to be set aside. Think of your mom or grandma’s good china. They’re not any better than the regular dishes you eat on every day--in fact, they’re far more breakable (and, I always thought, just as ugly!). But, they’ve been set aside for special occasions and, more specifically, special guests. Our communion wine and bread is consecrated weekly as our host team places it out and prays over it--as our deacons pray for us and teach us about communion. The wine and the bread don’t become anything different. Their essential nature doesn’t change. But, being set aside for a special purpose, they become special to us and God.
God claims possession over us, consecrating us as belonging to and set aside for his special purpose. The people of God don’t get new technological armor upgrades, crafted by Tony Stark; they don’t get a set of new special superpowers. What’s different is that, now, God has made a clear declaration to them and all the world--these are my people, set aside for especially for me and for my special purposes.
Don’t make the same mistake Pharaoh made, Israel! He thought he belonged to himself, was his own man, and could whatever he wanted with his days, dollars, and devotion. He thought he served himself and himself alone. No . . . you are my people, and you’re in better hands belonging to me than belonging to yourself.
The Egyptians are defeated--for now. As the Israelites prepare to depart Egypt, their former masters heap gold and clothing and weaponry and livestock upon them, hoping to appease the Hebrew God. Spirits are high and there is much rejoicing. Nevertheless, the Red Sea’s waves lap at its shores, just over the dunes and out of sight. God’s people can’t afford to start thinking they’re the masters now. They can’t afford to start thinking much of themselves. They need to know their lives and freedom were bought with a steep price and they belong to a greater King--the only king who is truly God.
In what ways are you tempted to think of your days, your dollars, and your devotion as belonging to yourself--in effect, when are you most tempted to merely consider God’s commands upon your body and everything else, rather than obey him?
If you have been rejected or neglected--if you have broken the most vital relationships of your life with foolishness or son--if you feel totally alone, I want you to know that, if you’re a Christian, you belong to God and he’s set you aside for himself.
Pray and ask the Lord to show you how you can obey him, believing that your body, your days, your money--everything--has been set aside for him and his purposes.