“Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place.” (Exodus 13:3)
Something that caught my attention in devotional reading last week is just how much of God’s grace is present in the Old Testament. And not just grace itself, but how much the Old Testament talks about our response to that grace. For example, in the book of Exodus, God tells His people to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread as a reminder that they left Egypt in haste – which in turn was a reminder of the great salvation that He had worked for them in their lives.
Additionally, however, this reminder was to be passed on from generation to generation. They were not be quiet about the grace of God, but to celebrate it. In Exodus 13:8, Moses commands the people, “You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’” Did you notice why God told Moses to command the people what He did? God told them that they were to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread because of what He did for them. This is incredible. Their obedience to the commands of God was to be a joyful response to the amazing grace which He showed them in their deliverance from Egypt.
Unfortunately, however, a lot of Christians read the Old Testament as an account of many commands and rules, without seeing any grace. But that is not at all how it is meant to be read! Yes, there are indeed many commands and regulations, rules and restrictions, laws and stipulations. But all these have their specific purposes. And one of the purposes of these commands was for Israel to have a physical reminder (as in the Feast of Unleavened Bread) to help them tangibly remember the work of God in their lives. And as they remembered what God did, they were then to keep God’s commands in response to His grace.
Is this not how we should live as well? Should we not also remember God’s grace in our lives and then respond with joyful obedience to His commands? In fact, this is one of the reasons why I recently started keeping a spiritual journal – in order to preserve the memory of the things God has taught me in His word, the things He has done in my life, and the ways in which He has answered my prayers. And it has been a powerful means through which He has drawn me to Himself. May we remember God’s grace in our lives and seek to pass it on to the next generation.