Passover Reflections 2020, Part 2
Passover Week 2020 is drawing to a close. There has been much to celebrate. The deliverance of Israel from bondage to Egypt and her birth as a nation of people set apart to become God’s people. Tonight, we celebrate the splitting of the Red Sea as the mighty outstretched hand of YHVH made a path of dry ground in the middle of a very dark night for His people to cross. Once on the other side, they watched as God destroyed the army of their oppressors. We also celebrate the sacrificial death and resurrection of our Passover Lamb, Yeshua, that forever made a path of forgiveness of our sin and opens the door for us to return to the Father’s Kingdom.
Yet, we are still amid trying times in this year of 2020. COVID-19 keeps us in our homes. Worship services have gone online as the Body of Messiah struggles through a season of very limited ability to gather in one accord. Our Passover celebrations felt a bit stifled. Christian churches, both Roman and Protestant, struggled through their celebration of Easter. But perhaps this is for the best for all of us who proclaim Yeshua (Jesus) to be our Messiah and King.
I’ve had this particular message steeping in my spirit for many days, waiting for the time to arrive when I could finally put it out there for others to read. That time has come. I don’t think it to be amazingly profound. Yet it is crucial. May those who have ears to hear, hear. Those who have eyes to see, see.
Prepare the Way of the King! I can not shout it loudly enough! Prepare the Way of the King!
This very unique Passover Week is providing for God’s people an amazing opportunity to stop our nonsense and step up to our calling – to be the set apart people of Yehovah! I have heard some people question if this is the beginning of the Great Tribulation, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. I don’t believe it is. I do believe it is a serious wake up call for each of us, household by household, in the Body of Messiah – be you Catholic, Protestant, or Messianic.
Yehovah makes it very clear the His judgments (opportunities for repentance and deliverance) begin with His own Household. He is not going to unleash His judgments against the unrighteous of this world without first giving us, the righteous in Messiah, opportunity to clean up our own act.
Until this year, I had never seen this principle of God’s Kingdom in the Exodus story before. I confess, like many I kind of take pleasure in reading of how God chastised the nation of Egypt with all those nasty plagues. Go God! Crush those mangy heathens! Until this year. This whole COVID-19 thing brought about a change in my perspective.
I have always marveled at how the plagues fell upon Egypt, yet not upon the Israelites tucked away in Goshen. How remarkable and compassionate of Yehovah! But was it? As I watch the world recoil in fear of this deathly virus, I began to see the experience of the Israelites during the plagues much differently.
Many years ago, I came to understand that the ten plagues were God’s judgment for the Egyptians as He unleashed His wrath against the gods of Egypt. Yes, notice I made a subtle separation there. As the wrath-filled plagues fell over the land and the Egyptian people, they were not without hope of deliverance. Any Egyptian household was quite capable of turning from their gods and embracing Yehovah, the one true God of the Israelites. This indeed happened. The Bible tells us that on the day the Israelites left Egypt many of various origins left with them. These had lived through the plagues and had made a choice to leave their gods and unrighteous ways behind them. They had joined themselves with the people of Israel. One might say they were grafted in!
But what of the households of Israel? Did all of them leave Egypt? What had the plagues spoken to them? Afterall, the Hebrew people had been in Egypt for 430 years. It would be ignorant to assume that none of the ways of the Egyptians, including their gods, had made their way into the homes of the Israelites.
The plagues Yehovah sent upon Egypt were not randomly chosen. They were very targeted acts of His wrath. Let’s take a quick look at what those Egyptian gods were, and which plague was against each of them.
- Blood: Apis (god of the Nile), Isis (daughter of the Nile), Khnum (guardian of the Nile), and Osiris (god of the death & rebirth; also the god of the fertile Nile floodplain; the Nile was believed to be his bloodstream). The waters of the Nile turned to blood. All the fish died, and the water was undrinkable.
- Frogs: Heqet (frog-headed goddess of birth). Frogs were considered sacred by the Egyptians. All the frogs in Egypt died.
- Lice: Set (god of the desert, chaos, evil, storms and darkness) Lice as numerous and hard to remove as grains of sand.
- Flies: Uatchit (the fly god) Flies are so annoying and pollute everything they touch.
- Death of Livestock: Hathor (goddess of the sky) and Apis (god of the Nile) Both are depicted as cattle.
- Boils: Sekhmet (goddess of plagues and healing), Sunu (god of healing) and Isis (goddess of death, healing and rebirth) There existed no healing for these horrid sores.
- Hail, Thunder & Lightning: Nut (goddess of the sky and the cosmos) and Set (god of the desert, chaos, evil, storms and darkness). Almost every living plant was destroyed.
- Locusts: Nut (goddess of the sky and the cosmos) and Osiris (the god of the fertile Nile floodplain) What was left was eaten by locust.
- Three Days of Darkness: Ra (the sun god, source of light and life) – the chief deity of Egypt and symbolized in human form by Pharaoh The sun was not seen, its light and warmth were gone.
- Death of the Firstborn Males: Isis (daughter of the Nile and goddess of fertility and motherhood, the protector of children) All the hope and dreams of each family lies in the birth of the first born. This hope is now gone.
Now, let me ask you a question. If you were an Israelite watching on in the safety of Goshen and had one or any of these gods in your household, what would you be thinking as you witnessed God’s wrath against them? I know what I would be doing. I’d be tossing those idols in the trash ASAP and rethinking my understanding of the God of my forefathers. Yes, these plagues had a dual purpose! The people of Egypt were experiencing tragic hardships and death while be given opportunity to abandon their gods and turn to the one true God, YHVH. But, as the Israelites watched on, an opportunity to return was being experienced by unfaithful Israelite households who had allowed the ways and gods of Egypt to infiltrate their own Hebrew faith.
The disastrous events that fell upon the world around them were wake-up calls to the households of Israel. Though Goshen was the “camp of the righteous”, not all the Israelites were safely tucked away. Not all Israelites lived in Goshen, the place where God’s protection rested. Some were household slaves in Pharaoh’s palaces and in the homes of wealthy Egyptians. Some lived on the agricultural properties their masters held. Many were trapped outside of Goshen by the circumstances of their particular form of bondage. And though it may be hard to imagine, not every Hebrew household sacrificed a lamb and put blood on their doorposts and lintel. The experiences of the plagues by these Israelites were much more up close and personal.
What is even more notable is that this process of removing Egypt from within the homes, hearts and mindsets of His people began long before they left Egypt. During what is believed to be a lengthy plague-ridden time of several months their deliverance was far from completed. In fact, it was still only a promise – and based on the circumstances they were in, it probably looked like a longshot at best. Think of the far-reaching effect on their daily lives. A drinking water shortage. Who do you think had to scoop up all those dead frogs? All the grain is eaten by locust, so there is no straw in Egyptian fields for making bricks. Dead livestock had to buried or burned. Which slaves had the lucky job of picking lice out of Egyptian hair? Though the plagues did not touch their homes, fields and livestock as slaves they still had to deal with the mess in Egypt.
Is our situation much different? Here we are longing for the return of our Messiah to completely deliver us from the woes of our earthly oppression. This COVID-19 mess has us wondering if our time is at hand – yet our deliverance still seems so far away. The world is going mad around us and tyranny is threatening to rise its ugly head all over the globe, including here in the USA. Like the Israelites, we still must deal with the mess this creating. We are dealing with our questions and cares before throne God as well. Are we too crying out for deliverance?
Friend, I am going to be blunt. Our lives right now are pretty much just like the enslaved Israelites in ancient Egypt. We have bought into the traps of worldly economics and most of us our in debt up to our eyeballs. We are afraid to give as God has directed us because we no longer trust Him to provide for our needs. We live paycheck to paycheck, if we have one, fully dependent on this world to feed and clothe us. Our faith has become polluted. Christianity in every form and modern Judaism in its great diversity have been infiltrated by the gods of this world. While I do not believe that COVID-19 is a plague of the Tribulation, nor do I believe it is even from God, I do believe He is allowing this manmade crisis to be our wake-up call. And we MUST wake-up!
We have allowed New Age mysticism, false teachings about angels, and charlatans twisting God’s Word into get rich quick doctrines. We have embraced pagan holidays to replace what God has ordained as His Appointed Times, allowing them to become godlike in our reverence of them. We have abandoned His Sabbath and watered down the Gospel of His Kingdom with a mushy, deceptive human form of grace. We are rejecting His Torah – all the wisdom and instruction we need for a blessed life upon this earth – because we falsely think Yeshua did too. We want a feel-good, seeker friendly, everything is acceptable faith that leaves us without much instruction on how to live in His Kingdom. Our families and communities are collapsing, our children becoming vicitms of abortion, abuse and sex traffficking – even within churches and synagogues. We don’t realize that Yeshua IS the Torah – the Word of God made flesh to dwell among us, destined to write His Torah on our hearts and in our minds. Our safety and our salvation are held in its pages and we are tossing it aside as useless.
WE MUST WAKE-UP! God has promised us that two great and amazing things will happen before Messiah returns. First a Great Awakening – a revival not only as an ingathering of new believers, but the opening of the eyes and hearts of those who are already “believers” to the Truth that is found only in His Torah and only fully accessible through Yeshua. Then a Great Falling Away – a rejection by those who thought they were believers but cannot accept Truth as Yehovah has defined it. God has also promised that His judgments will fall first upon those who claim to be His people…the children of His Household. That judgment has not yet begun – but it is close at hand. We are being given our first warning. Will there be a second or third? Only He knows. What we can be certain of is this. It is time to prepare the way for the King of Kings. This preparation begins with us, the Household of God.
This Passover Week, shrouded in the shadow of death by COVID-19, is our opportunity to sort ourselves out! We are in our homes, separated from the wolves in sheep coverings out to devour us for their own gain and bring a sure destruction by our enemy, Deceiver Lucifer. Entertainments and amusements have been stripped away (along with the worship of their idols as if they were gods). Many of us are without jobs – even that being stripped away, as we relearn our reliance upon God as our Provider. We have time to seek Truth! Please! Shut off the television, cell phones, computers, notebooks and laptops. Dare I say it? Don’t watch the TV preachers right now! Get out your Bible and start in the first book – Genesis – the Book of Beginnings – OUR beginnings as humankind. READ God’s Word for yourself. Don’t look for how we screwed up His perfect world or take pleasure or pain in His numerous attempts to get us to turn around and return. Instead, look for what He desires for us! Don’t look for condemantion. Look for the Deliverer and His deliverance!
Look for what is Truth about who He is, His love for us as His unique creation, and His heart for those who do return to Him wholeheartedly. Set aside your doctrines and theologies and religious traditions. Simply look for the purity and the simplicity of His Word – His teachings, instructions and Kingdom decrees. Choose to RETURN. For this is what Yeshua gave of His own heart and mind to us. This is what He died and rose again to restore to us! He is one with the Father. He is God in human form! If you have seen Him and come to know Him, then you have seen and come to know God! His message, His design, and His destiny for humankind has not changed since Genesis 1:1 and it will come to pass just as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, and the disciple John saw and recorded.
This, my friend, is the message found in Passover Week 20/20. Yes! May the eyes of our spirits clearly see His Kingdom again. May each in our households repent and return. Let us leave the gods and the godlessness of this world that have become a part of the lives of our households behind. We must do this now, before the tribulations about to hit this world truly begin. May His Truth become our Goshen! May we in wholehearted understanding prepare the way for the King to return!
Pastor Deb Munson
April 14, 2020