Living Lessons From the Passover Story
Living Lessons From the Passover Story
By Dr. Howard Morgan
As is true with the entire Bible, the Passover story of the deliverance of the nation of Israel from pharaoh’s slavery and Egyptian bondage, is filled with practical and spiritual lessons for us in our walk with the lord, our battles with sin and satan, and our relationships with other believers who are joined with us in our adventure of faith.
To really grasp the importance of this story, we must first understand how central a place Passover holds, and how foundational it is, in the redemptive history that God is unfolding as He deals with humanity. We must understand that the God of Israel is a God who oversees, controls, and redeems history. The historic events that God orchestrates, (i.e. those events that are working according to His redemptive purposes) are full of revelation about the nature of God’s own person and His ways of fulfilling His own intentions. They are all part of God’s plan of redemption that is continually unfolding.
Just as God is working in, and overseeing historical events in order to accomplish His purposes for humanity, so He is also crafting together the events of our lives as individuals, to achieve His purposes for us personally. The favorite verse of so many believers, Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose,” is squarely based on the Biblical revelation that God is working out His plans in history to fulfill His ultimate intentions. Those ultimate intentions will be finally manifested when Jesus returns, you are glorified with Him and, “The glory of the Lord covers all the earth as the waters cover the sea.”
As we study our Jewish roots, we gain greater understanding of the “ways of the Lord,” and that those “ways,” like the Lord Himself, never change. The way in which He dealt with ancient Israel is the way He deals with the modern church. As we allow the Holy Spirit to re-graft us into those roots, we are more effectively able to partake of that authentic “faith once delivered to the saints.” As that authentic biblical faith becomes more and more a personal reality for us, we experience our own individual “Passovers and Exoduses,” as we are delivered from false religious doctrines, systems, and traditions. Those none biblical doctrines, systems, and traditions are like the gods of Egypt that seek to hold you in various spiritual, emotional, mental, psychological, relational or financial bondages.
The Passover story reveals to us God’s way of deliverance from bondage and oppression and His reasons for it. The principles and patterns revealed to us in the original Passover never vary, as God effects all future deliverances from each and every bondage you might find yourself in. The apostle Paul understood how God, who never changes, laid out for us a “road map,” showing us how He would fulfill His plans and purposes for our lives, if we would understand the instruction available to us as we study God’s dealings with ancient Israel.
Before we look at some specific lessons, we must understand that there is one primary and fundamental reason for divine deliverance from bondage that the Passover story portrays. God sought to set His people free from captivity for only one reason and that is so they could “worship Him.” (Exodus 4:23) This is the most important issue for God in our lives. Jesus said, “The Father was seeking for those who would worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23) As we grow in our understanding of worship, so that it is in “truth” and in “spirit,” we will have the kind of relationship with God that will allow God to accomplish His purposes in our lives.
He continually sets us free from every “Pharaoh” in our lives, so that we can constantly grow in intimacy with Him and fulfill the cry of Jesus’ heart, even as He prayed for us that “…we would know God…” (John 17:3). A life of worship in “spirit and truth” will be the foundation upon which all the other spiritual “building blocks” of your life can be built.
Let us look at the tremendously important and profoundly significant narrative of Passover and see what lessons we can learn about the ways of the Lord for our lives today.
Israel entered into the land of Egypt when it was a place of sanctuary during a time of famine. God raised up Joseph (a type of Jesus), to be “savior” for them and open the door of safety and provision. In time, a new Pharaoh came to power who knew not Joseph, and because of jealousy and insecurity brought the nation into slavery and bondage.
Sometimes a good situation can turn bad. Don’t despair! Learn the lesson of Passover. There is a season to enjoy the prosperity of a certain time and place. But if things change, don’t give up hope or reject your faith. Learn the lesson of Passover. God never expects you to remain in bondage. He always provides a way of escape. Sometimes, because of weaknesses like insecurity, jealousy, pride or greed, people change. They become someone you never knew before, or they act like someone who never knew you before. A new Pharaoh arose who knew not “Joseph.” Again, learn the lesson of Passover. Cry out to God and He will, in His own time, send you deliverance. By whose hand it comes you may not know, but God will hear your cry.
God has His own time for effectuating your deliverance. You can try to escape by your own means or devices, but you will not arrive in God’s appointed destination, the “promised land” of the fulfillment of His purposes for your life. You must wait for your time of deliverance and for the appointed deliverer to come. Moses could not be the deliverer God intended Him to be until He was ready. God wanted to make sure that it would be His Passover, that would fulfill His purposes, and not anyone else’s. Your deliverer might be a person or it might be a particular set of circumstances, it might even be yourself. But the point is that the person or set of circumstances have to be made ready by God in order to accomplish His purposes.
As Israel’s bondage grew worse sometimes things get worse before they get better they cried out to God. This is another important lesson. God responds to passionate cries for His deliverance and for His will to be done. God told Moses out of the burning bush, (It is interesting to recognize just who it was that was speaking out of the burning bush!), that the cries of His people had come up to Him. There is a tremendous power to passionate prayer. All through the Bible, and particularly in the ministry of the Messiah, we see how passionate people, and passionate prayers moved God to action.
When Moses was ready, He had a life changing revelation and was given a divine commission. Revelation always brings with it a commission. God always reveals Himself for a purpose. Everybody has a particular calling to fulfill, a mission to accomplish. Your assignment will probably sound to you like Moses’ sounded to Him, impossible. You will probably respond, or may already have, like Moses did, with excuse making about your inabilities, weaknesses and insecurities. God will then respond to you the way He did to Moses, “I will be with you.” If God gave you a mission to fulfill that you could do in your natural strength, you would not need God, and that wouldn’t be much fun for God. (I’ll bet you never thought of it like that!)
God always calls us according to His purposes, which always have to do with building intimacy with Himself. If we didn’t need God, we would not build a relationship with Him. This, by the way, is the major difference between religion and biblical faith. Biblical faith always stretches us and brings us into greater and greater levels of intimacy with God. Religion doesn’t need God in a personal way. As a matter of fact, it prefers that God not get too involved, lest He disrupt our own plans. He should only be there when we need Him to do something for us.
When God was ready, Moses appeared before Pharaoh. We are not told in the narrative how that was arranged. Pharaoh was arguably the most powerful man in the world at that time. Anyone could not just walk in and talk to him, let alone demand that he set his slaves free! Don’t you just love God’s audacity! I believe the reason we are not told about how this meeting was arranged is because God doesn’t necessarily tell you how He is going to work out the details of your deliverance in whatever situation you find yourself in. The lesson is clear. Listen to what God says and leave the details to Him.
When Pharaoh refused to listen to Moses, God stepped in according to His promises. That which the Lord has promised you will come to pass. It might take suffering through some difficulties and a period of waiting, but the day will come when God rises up and says to the pharaohs in your life… “set them free so that they might worship me.” It is very important to understand at this point in the Passover story, that the 10 plagues that God sent upon Egypt were a direct assault upon the gods that the Egyptians worshipped. The God of Israel was showing pharaoh and all the Egyptian people that He alone was God, as He sent judgment upon their gods.
The Plague of : was showing victory over the Egyptian god
1- Blood of the Nile River
2- Frogs “Hekt” – goddess with a frogs head
3- Lice “Seb” – earth god, the earth turned into lice
4- Swarming creatures “Scarabus” – the small beetle worshipped
5- Cattle dying “Apis” – Bull god
6- Boils “Neit”- god of health
7- Hail “Shu” – god of the atmosphere
8- Locusts “Serapia” – god of the Locusts
9- darkness “Ra” – the sun God
10- Death of the first born “Pharaoh” and his son whom the Egyptians believed to be incarnated deities
On the night of Israel’s deliverance, God passed over the homes of everyone who had, in accordance with the commandment of God, placed blood upon the door posts of their home. The blood was to be placed upon the lintel, the top of the doorway, and upon the door posts. As the blood from the lintel dripped down to the floor, we see the outline of a cross upon the doorway. Blood on the left post, on the right post, on the top, and dripping to the bottom. The blood of the cross of the Messiah was pre-figured on this most awesome night.
It was the blood that protected the home from the judgment of death. God already knew where the Jews lived. He had protected them from the nine previous plagues. But He wanted to see the blood of the lamb applied to the entranceway to their homes. It was the blood that protected them. It is that same blood that protects you and I today. I want to strongly encourage you to learn about the power of the blood of Jesus.
From this display of power, we learn how God shows His victory over satan and all of His emissaries, whom Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt represent. Satan might claim to control all the natural influences around you, and say to you that he has the money and the power, and try to put fear into your heart. The devil might say to you, as Pharaoh said to Moses, “who is Yahweh the Lord that I should obey His voice and let you go?”
At Passover, as we celebrate this feast, it is a good time to remember how God answered pharaoh: “Against all the gods of Egypt will I execute judgment.” In the same manner God says to you, especially during this Passover season, “I will judge all the false gods that seek to control your life.” As you seek the Lord in repentance, prayer and in the study of the Word, the Holy Spirit will quicken His word to you and God’s faith will be born in your heart. Stand upon the word that God speaks to you. His word will never fail. “All of the promises of God are yea and amen in Messiah Yeshua.”
Dr. Howard Morgan is an internationally renowned prophetic teacher whose insightful, humorous and anointed ministry is inspiring, empowering and equipping believers around the world. A Jewish believer in the Messiah Jesus since 1971, he planted and pastored churches in New York City from 1976 to 1987. Since 1987 he has been traveling in a full time prophetic and teaching ministry, establishing and overseeing churches and ministries, and pastoring pastors. He is a gifted communicator who is able to present Scriptural truths clearly and precisely, so that the principles of the Kingdom of God are plainly understood and easily applied. His ministry is often accompanied by clear demonstrations of the revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit.
He is the founder and president of Howard Morgan Ministries (www.howardmorganministries.org), his own teaching and equipping ministry, Kingdom Ministries International, which gives apostolic and prophetic oversight to a network of Churches and Ministries, and CEASE an international ministry inspiring and training Christians to Eradicate Anti-Semitism in the Earth.
He has an intense passion to see the entire Body of Christ come to spiritual maturity and unity, as well as a vision to see the Church restored to her Hebraic roots, and to her Biblical relationship and responsibility to the Jewish people. Dr. Morgan has a B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College, an M.A. in Counseling from New York University, and a Doctorate in Ministry from Logos Graduate School.