Exodus 12-18 Daily Devotionals by Kevin E. Jesmer 2015

Exodus 12-18 Daily Devotionals by Kevin E. Jesmer 2015


Sunday, November 1


Exodus 12:1-28

“Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.” (17)


First, there is deep meaning in the Passover Lamb (1-13). The Lord gave instructions concerning the Passover meal. The lamb was without defect. Its blood was put on Israelite doorframes. It was seasoned with bitter herbs, symbolic of their suffering. They ate all of it in haste, with everyone dressed for travel. The sacrifice was a family affair. They bonded with the lamb for 14 days. The whole community sacrificed together, at the end of the day, keeping worship on their minds the entire day. The whole act was very spiritual.


Second, commemorating God’s redemption (14-28). God wanted his people to commemorate the Passover, letting generation after generation know of God’s great love and deliverance. God was very concerned that the children of each succeeding generation knew about it. The account of the Passover has been told since its occurrence around 1400 BC. It is still being told to this very day.


Lord, thank you for your redeeming grace that sets us free from sin and death. Help me to share your grace to the next generation.


One Word: Saved by God…tell the whole world

Monday, November 2




Exodus 12:29-42

“Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.” (42)


First, getting on board with God (29-30). God wanted his people to be set free. At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt. Only households protected by the blood of the lamb were spared. God struck the very heart of Pharaoh when the Pharaoh’s own son died. His hardened heart surrendered and he let Israel go.  It is fruitless, pointless and even painful to resist the will of God. Instead of raging in vain against the Holy One of Israel, get on board with what God is doing.


Second, our faithful God watches over his people (31-42). After his son died, Pharaoh  summoned Moses and Aaron that night and ordered the Israelites to leave Egypt. So they left – three million people. They ate the Passover meal and left in a hurry. And so it came to pass, God fulfilled his promise to Abraham (Gen 15:14). All the power of Egypt couldn’t stop God. Our God is faithful; He keeps vigil over his us. We can trust him.


Lord, thank you for keeping vigil over your people during life’s pilgrimage. We trust you and follow you.


One Word: Our faithful God leads us to freedom


Tuesday, November 3




Exodus 12:43-13:16

“’In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’” (14)


First, be part of the community of faith (12:43-51).

There were foreigners among the Israelites. That was OK. They could be with God’s people. They tasted freedom too. But they needed to be fully committed to the Lord and the body of God’s people. God extends his salvation to all peoples of all nations who come to him in faith.


Second, they were commemorating what God has done (13:1-16). God wanted all future generations to remember his grace. There were two holidays. First, the consecration of every first born male and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The firstborn male of each animal was to be sacrificed to the Lord. God was asking them to sacrifice the strongest and the first. This takes faith. Next, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When God told his people to leave, the people couldn’t wait around for the bread to rise. And so they baked flatbread for their journey. The grace of God comes quickly, like a flood. All who came needed to decide and go.


Lord, may your salvation be forever on my heart and lips. Help me to tell the next generation.


One Word: Remember the Lord’s deliverance

Wednesday, November 4




Exodus 13:17-14:14

“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.’” (13)


First, the people needed opportunities to grow in faith (13:17-22). God did not send the people directly to the Promised Land because they needed to grow stronger in faith. Instead, God led them toward the Red Sea. They needed God’s discipline and healing that would come through their forty year journey through the desert. But first they had to cross the Red Sea.  What a growth experience!


Second, the call to stand firm (14:1-14). God was going to teach his people great lessons: to stand firm in any impossible situation, to  experience deliverance and to see the glory of God. When they saw the Egyptian army coming they were terrified. But their God is the Almighty Creator. He will come through for his people for his glory. They need not fear, but rather they needed to stand firm in faith. Sometimes standing firm is hard to do.


Lord, thank you for helping me to stand firm in faith even in the face of enormous Red Sea’s in life. Thank you for teaching me to trust you and glorifying yourself in my life through hardship.


One Word: Stand firm and you will see the glory of God

Thursday, November 5




Exodus 14:15-31

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.’” (15)


First, make a move by faith (15-18). From God’s point of view, the time of grumbling was over. The people needed to begin their move. If they refused they would be destroyed. Moses took his stand and obeyed God by praying and raising his staff. God would work through this act of faith to divide the water. The Israelites had to engage their faith and take the first step into the Sea.


Second, keep in step with God (19-31). God, the angels, the servants of God, Moses and the people were all working in unison. The angel placed himself between the two groups; God manifested in the pillar of fire; the people decided to proceed; Moses raised his staff as the Lord directed, supported by two elders. God also worked in the Egyptians’ minds and kept the water to release it at the right moment. The Israelites were saved, God was glorified and a new chapter in history was unfolding. God’s people need to keep in step with the Spirit and proceed as the Lord co-ordinates.


Lord, so often I am in a spiritual rut. Help me to trust in you and follow your leading. Help me to keep in step with your Spirit.


One Word: Keep in step with the Lord. He will save and deliver in his way and time.

Friday, November 6



Exodus 15:1-21

“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (2)


First, thank and praise God for who he is (1-19). The people were giving God thanksgiving and praise, not just because of the things he did, but for who he is. There are 22 statements about God and who he is and also what he does. God is highly exalted, majestic, great, and reigns as Lord and God. He has holy anger to those who oppose him. He is strong, a Savior and controls nature. God is a personal God who brings salvation. He has unfailing love and defends his people. He brings his people to where they cannot bring themselves.


Second, don’t hold back praising the Lord (20-21). The people responded in thanksgiving and praise, expressing this in singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. This praise was led by Miriam and the women who sang and danced with all of their hearts. God’s grace of deliverance is so abundant and overwhelming. Our cup overflows. We need to thank and praise God without reservation.


Lord, you delivered us and keep delivering us. You are our strength and song. You are my salvation. We thank and praise you with our whole hearts.


One Word: Celebrate the Lord with all of our hearts

Saturday, November 7




Exodus 15:22-27

“He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’” (26)


First, God understands and shows the way (22-25a). The people found no water and they grumbled. They didn’t come to God in trust and thanksgiving. They didn’t pray nor seek God’s guidance. The people were not spiritually mature. But God saw their suffering and heard Moses’ prayer. God showed Moses what to do. The water was purified and the people were quenched.


Second, listen to God, be saved and healed (25-27b). God put before his people, a choice. If they rebelled, they could expect what came upon the Egyptians. But if they humbly submitted, they would be healed and established as a holy nation. Obedience to the word of God is imperative. The people didn’t know it, but the next stop was Elim, where abundant water flowed. God’s abundant blessings are just around the corner for those who trust and obey the Lord.


Lord, thank you for listening to all my grumbling and helping me to pass the spiritual test by your grace.


One Word: God’s blessing is just around the corner

Sunday, November 8




Exodus 16:1-12

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.’” (4)


First, look beyond spoken words to see the need (1-3). The people were breathing the fresh air of freedom. God had done a miraculous deliverance among them. But life in the arid desert was difficult. People were saying disparaging things. God met them where they were and helped them to grow through hardships. He saw beyond their gripes to see their need.  Thank God for his understanding.


Second, gather in prayerful expectation (4-12). Moses and Aaron told the Israelites that God has heard them and now they must gather. Then the Lord would reveal himself to them. The entire community presented themselves to the Lord. There is something about a whole congregation coming together in faith and expectation. God is there, doing wonderful things among those who gather in prayerful expectation.


Lord, thank you for hearing our prayers and seeing beyond our grumblings to see our need. Help us grow in faith and united prayer.


One Word: Learn to trust the Lord daily and obey him. Then you will see the glory of God.

Monday, November 9




Exodus 16:13-36

“Moses said, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’” (32)


First, gather daily manna from heaven (13-22). God knew what the people needed and did as he promised, delivering a huge amount of delicious food. It satisfied their temporary physical need, and yet revealed God’s glory. How great is our God! He is able to provide the daily needs of those who trust in him, serving up the richest of fare. Spending time each day, gathering “spiritual food”, in prayer and meditation in the word of God, is essential.


Second, the jar of manna is a testimony (23-36). The manna in a jar was a reminder of God’s provision. Later on, the “testimony” would also include the Ten Commandments inscribed on two stone tablets and also Aaron’s dry rod that budded. This manna never rotted. It was sustained by the power of God as a memorial of his faithfulness. We can find rest in the God who provides. Ebenezer!


Lord, my “jar of manna” is my personal testimony of your grace. Help me never to forget it and share it again and again with all who will listen.


One Word: God provides for our needs with love and wisdom. Memorialize his grace.

Tuesday, November 10




Exodus 17:1-7

“’I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.’ So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (6)


First, completing the mission by prayer (1-4). Moses and the leaders were leading the people according to the will of God. Though they were sincere, Israel was led into more arid areas. It seemed strange that God, who declared his love to Israel, should lead them into the desert where they were being pressed to their human limits once again. God was treating them like his beloved children (Heb 12:5-13). They could experience the Lord, growing in faith. But the people allowed complaints to escalate out of control. When Moses reached his human limits he cried out to the Lord.


Second, God reveals the way to blessing (5-7). God came through, revealing his grace and truth by telling Moses to strike the rock. Moses would never think about striking a rock for water. It was all because God gave him the best, wisest and most timely instructions. Trust God to show us the way.


Lord, thank you for seeing our thirst and our deep spiritual need. We hold onto you as we pass through this dry and weary land.


One Word: God provides water that quenches our spiritual thirst

Wednesday, November 11




Exodus 17:8-16

“When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” (12)


First, pray, obey and experience God (8-13). Moses knew that his people had to fight. When the Amalekites attacked, Joshua led a small, inexperienced army out by faith. As the battle raged, Moses stood with his raised staff, praying. But it was not just Moses standing alone. Aaron and Hur were holding up Moses’ arms. The stone supported him. Whenever Moses held his staff in the air, the Israelites were winning. Whenever Moses let his staff down, the enemy would start to win. God taught them to pray and fight together.


Second, our banner is the Lord (14-16). This battle was to be remembered from generation to generation. Moses built an altar and called it, “The Lord is my Banner.” Hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord. Altars have been altars of thanksgiving. Banners rally fighting forces. Armies come together under a banner, finding strength and unity. We gather under the Lord as his people.


Thank you Lord, our “banner” in the spiritual battles in life. We rally around you to bring you glory.


One Word: Rally around the Lord our banner

Thursday, November 12




Exodus 18:1-27

“Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians.” (9)


First, Moses’ was used to bring Jethro to faith (1-12). Moses spent decades planting seeds of faith in Midian. Moses trusted Jethro with his family, making himself vulnerable. Moses respected Jethro. Absolute respect paves the way for God to work. Moses shared about God’s deeds. Moses humbly listened to Jethro, even obeying him. God opened Jethro’s heart through this relationship. He responded in raptures of praise, seeing God as the one who “is greater than all other gods.”


Second, God works through humble people (13-27). God saw Moses’ need and intervened by sending Jethro. Though Jethro was spiritually younger, yet God worked through him to help Moses manage the demands of governing. Jethro urged Moses to listen to wise words of advice and delegate. He reminded Moses of his first responsibility, to teach God’s truth to the people and represent them in prayer. Moses was thankful for Jethro’s input. He humbly implemented the new suggestions. God never leaves us to struggle alone.


Lord, mold me into the person that you can work through to bring others to faith in you.  


One Word: God works through “Jethro’s” too

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