Daily D – Exodus 12:1-2
Exodus 12:1, 2 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ex 12:1–2.
The children of Israel’s days of slavery were coming to an end. This was good. This was God’s doing. They were leaving Egypt to begin again in a land of their own long-promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Consider what this meant to a people who had been told what to do all day every day. This group of people enjoyed little freedom. More decisions were made for them than they made for themselves. Now they were leaving en masse but in something of a mess.
They did not know how to organize themselves for community living where they had freedom and responsibility. God’s kindness is on display here. He tells them, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.”
First things first when beginning again includes remembering how you got where you are. This is followed by knowing how to prepare for what’s next. Then they were to commemorate annually how the deliverance was achieved and what it means for the generations who follow.
God gave Israel years, months, and days with holidays and celebrations, rhythms and routines. One Old Testament textbook describes what happens here and in the wilderness wanderings to come as turning a mob into a nation.
For Israel, the proper organization of their individual lives, their families, and their communities began with the beginning. This is the New Year. This is the annual commemoration of how this people came to be who they are. This is how to remember, how to celebrate, and how to lean into the future.
As God has been faithful to deliver from oppressive slavery, from false gods, through the sea and through the wilderness, so will he be faithful to lead across a flooded river and into a land inhabited by entrenched and deeply sinful people.
Yes, the simple and profound truth we find again and again in the pages of the Bible is on display here and in the adventures ahead. Where God guides, God provides. This is true regarding calendars and seasons and special days. This is true in our daily bread. This is true now and forever.
Today is Groundhog Day. It is the day a famous ground squirrel tells us how much more winter we can expect. According to our local forecast, today we will have rain followed by freezing rain followed by snow. It will only last a couple of days, but that is more than enough for native Texans who have been known to freeze when temperatures fall below 60.
The orderly world our Father in heaven gave us is a true gift. The longer we live, the more we appreciate days and weeks, months and years, seasons and celebrations. Today is a good day to remember, no matter the groundhog’s prediction, there is coming a day of no ordinary thaw, but an eternal Spring bright and fair.
I will prepare for the never-ending season to come.
Our Father, let the cold come today.
Let the calendar declare the day.
Let the seasons come and go.
Let each one your glory show.
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“