Passover to Pentecost – Three Days

Passover to Pentecost – Three Days        Week 2 Day 7

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers.  Luke 2:46 (NIV)

I have done many number studies just because they are interesting.  This number related study came as a surprise; the term “three days” has been several places in connection with the Exodus and Counting the Omer.  The ones that caught my attention have been:

  1. “three days” to go to worship in the desert
  2. same time after each of the first two Passover’s, with no water or complaining about food
  3. the story in Luke of Joseph and Mary looking for Jesus
  4. the plague where the sun was darkened for three days
  5. Joshua moving the people into the Promise Land, they had a three day notice
  6. The three days Jesus spent in the tomb

Pre-Exodus stories include the sacking of Shechem by Jacob’s sons, and Joseph with Pharaoh’s servants and their dreams.  Shechem is where Joshua read the blessings and curses to the people, and the dream helped get Joseph into the position to help his family.  Post-Exodus stories include Jonah in the whale which is a shadow for Jesus being in the tomb three days (Passover).

To help you study use https://www.biblegateway.com and search “three days.”

The number three maybe associated with God (triune).  But this “three day” period seems to be a waiting period and frequently there is a test at the end of it.   In Exodus 15 (three days after the first Passover) God talks about testing the people, and in Numbers 10 (2nd Passover) God said they had tested Him ten times and it was over!  I view the story in Luke as a test for Mary and Joseph in their understanding of who Jesus really was.

Passover to Pentecost – Food

Passover to Pentecost – Food        Week 2 Day 6

Your children will be shepherds for forty years. Numbers 14: 33 (NIV)

Food has been a reoccurring topic so I thought we needed to put these thoughts together in a post.  Israel and the rabble with them did a lot of complaining about the food they had and the food they remembered.  Their diet was probably simple compared to many of our daily meals, but the thoughts of food carry powerful emotions.

The three main elements for the Passover meal were unleavened bread (no yeast/sin), bitter herbs to represent slavery, and the lamb (the sacrifice and the protector).  The typology of the unleavened bread and lamb points to Jesus our sinless sacrifice.

After the second Passover the people that came with them out of Egypt got the people all worked up about food.  They remembered the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic they had in Egypt.  And it was free!  I guess they forgot about slavery, plus the rabble could have left and went back to Egypt.

Quail is mentioned twice in Scripture as the meat that God gave the people – Exodus 16 and Numbers 11.  It is interesting that both of these were in the days right after Passover in the time of the Counting of the Omer.  Even today there are large migrations of quail over this general area.

Exodus 12 talks about the large herds of livestock they brought with them as they left Egypt.  So they would have had milk (cheese) and meat as a regular part of their diet.  Since God (the cloud) could move at any time planting crops would have been useless.  This lifestyle was part of the burden the children were to carry because of the complaining of the parents.

Manna, the “what is it” food of the Bible; it looked like dried tree sap and tasted liked olive oil and coriander seed.  It would not keep overnight and had to be picked up fresh every day.  This miraculous food is a shadow of Jesus.  It is referred to as manna and the bread of Heaven in several places in the Old and New Testament.  Some references for this are found in Psalm 105:40, Nehemiah 9:15, and John 6.  In Hebrews 9:4 an omer of manna is mentioned again as being in the Ark and then in Revelations 2:17 manna will be given to those who overcome.

Passover to Pentecost – Passover Number Two

Passover to Pentecost – Passover Number Two        Week 2 Day 4

Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  Exodus 40: 34 (NIV)

This may help with the timetable of events if you remember that Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers are really one long story.  The first part of Numbers is out of sequence because it starts with the second month of the second year and then in Chapter 7 it goes back to the first month. (This was done to determine marching order and camp placement so that the offerings for the Tabernacle would make sense.)  If the legend is correct and Israel made it to Mount Sinai in fifty days, Moses spent forty days with God before the golden calf episode in Exodus 32 and then another forty days after that.  That puts them at more than 130 days out of Egypt.  Exodus 40 is the first day of the first month of the second year; that gives an idea of how long it took to make everything God showed Moses.

Leviticus has a lot of action in it, but it is set between the laws and rules that have been given.  The ordination of Aaron and his sons is an important part of the Book and is a little hard to place timewise.  It probably happened between Exodus 40 and Numbers 7, in which case that was a busy fourteen day period leading up to the second Passover.  There had to be seven days for the ordination of Aaron’s family and twelve days to dedicate the Tabernacle.  The tent that Moses and Joshua used to meet with God, which was set up outside the camp, was also called the “tent of meeting.”  The context of the scriptures really does point to a very busy fourteen days.  God may have been doing a little cleaning out the “yeast” in Aaron’s family before Passover.

After Passover, during the time of the Counting of the Omer Moses took a census (Numbers 1) and by the 20th day of the second month, they were moving again towards the Promise Land.  Like the first time, there was a three day journey and the people started complaining (Numbers 10: 33 to 11:3).  Timestamps are missing but in Numbers 11:24 is a perfect place to put the Day of Pentecost because the Lord poured His Spirit out on the seventy elders.  The next real-time stamp is Numbers 20 and the death of Miriam; this is the first month of the 40th year.

An important date was set in Numbers 9: 9 and that is the “Second Passover.”  God does want certain things to remembered and celebrated.  He made an allowance for people who were unclean to have time to rejoice and remember His mighty works.  (More on this on May 10th.)

Passover to Pentecost – What Is Important

Passover to Pentecost – What Is Important        Week 2 Day 3

Genesis 15: 13 “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own….they will come out with great possessions. (NIV)

Abraham and Moses both lead groups of people out of Egypt.  When they left they were given riches, and had other people added to their groups.  The focus today is those things that you take with you when you leave Egypt.  Face it, I have not met anyone who has “left Egypt” that has not had some kind of “baggage” with them.

People

It is significant that Abraham and Moses both had family with them when they left.  Moses’ wife and kids must have been sent to Jethro because he returned them to Moses in Exodus 18.  It is the “other people”, non-family that we need to look at. Hagar and the other slaves are the “shadow” (Genesis 12: 16).  We know that Abraham made a mistake and their child would spawn enemies for Israel for many centuries. (See Enemies Part 1)

Exodus 12: 38 states, “Many other people went up with them.”  These people may have been other slaves, etc. but they did cause Israel to stumble in Numbers 11: 4.  There are many references to how God expected aliens or foreigners to be treated.  No, special rules against them, but they did have to follow the laws of the land (Israel).  Leviticus 24: 10 is the story of an Egyptian and Israelite son who blasphemed and was stoned.  God made it possible for aliens to participate in Passover, they just needed to be circumcised (Exodus 12: 48).

Water

It seems they had enough to make it three days into the desert before they ran out.  Remember, this was the length of time for the original trip to worship God (Exodus 15: 22).  I have heard creative preachers say that the piece of wood Moses threw in the water stuck upright and resembled a cross.  For sure this was a test and God reminded them that He was their healer (26 + 27).

Food

We know they brought their bread dough out of Egypt (no yeast), but Exodus 16 tells that the food lasted thirty days before it ran out.  This was another test and the people failed it.  God would have met the need, and He did, they just needed to learn to ask.

Riches

They asked for and received silver, gold, and clothing from the Egyptians.  They had more riches than ever had in their lives.  They could have bought anything they wanted.  It seems, however, all of the money that they now possessed was not all that important when they ran out of water and food.

All of the riches did come into play in Exodus 25 when they gave for the building of the Ark and all of the furnishings and tent of the Tabernacle.  It took a minute of reflection to realize that the Egyptians paid to make the items of worship for a God they did not believe in.

Skills

Exodus 35: 30 is the beginning of the story where they assembled the Tabernacle and the Ark.   As you read this and chapter 36 it repeatedly talks about skilled men, craftsmen, and designers.  Some of these people were doing other things than make bricks.

Yeast

They should not have had yeast because of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  So they just let the bread dough “sour” and they were back in business!  The thought hit me though that yeast (connected to a goddess) was not usable once they started using the manna.  It would not have had time to rise well (or kept) before it had to be thrown away because they could not keep it overnight.  God did not want “yeast” in His miracle.

Passover to Pentecost -Out of Egypt – Things You Might Recognize

Passover to Pentecost -Out of Egypt – Things You Might Recognize        Week 2 Day 2

As someone who is coming “out of Egypt” and has watched many others make their way or at least try I found the Biblical narrative amazingly helpful.  Here are components of the trip that you might recognize:

  • Good Influence – God will send someone (Moses and Aaron) that you will identify with. The message will be simple “God hears you and He is concerned for you.
  • Bad Influence – A someone/thing will have a hold on you (Pharaoh). Frequently they are very demanding and possessive.  You may not be sure why they have a hold on you, but it can be strong.  It may be that in the beginning there was a good reason they were given that power over you. (Joseph and the famine)
  • Stuck – A feeling of being stuck in the situation, and that you cannot change it. There is possibly an aspect of where you are that you really enjoy.  You may have a feeling that you are needed; frequently you are being used to improve a situation. (Israel was building Pharaoh’s storage cities.)
  • What Lies Ahead – You may look ahead and imagine all kind of things that you will give up or have to do. God only gave Israel two things they were responsible for before they left Egypt – Celebrate Passover ever year, and consecrate your first born male child to the Lord.  The very thought of the journey may have been intimidating; they may have never been more than a mile or two from their houses.
  • From bad to “Are you kidding me!” – When you first hear the Gospel, hope will rise up inside you. Then Pharaoh hardens his heart, and things around you start to fall apart (plagues).  Three plagues happened to Israel and Egypt, but seven were only on Egypt.  This may seem strange but the plagues were to show that Egyptian gods were no match for the Lord!  Those three plagues may have been the ones the Israelites had strong ties with.
  • Preparation – Jesus will take you as you are. I have seen these steps and components worked on later in the spiritual journey.  Passover was a preparation time for Israel; things had to be done and plans had to be made before they were freed.  I think it fair to say most people will count the cost (or some of them) before they go on the Jesus Journey.  Oh, they made the preparations for the meal and then the miracle(s) happened.
  • Finally on the journey – Reality will hit, but learn from what Israel did.
  1. It may take you a while to get to the next level of growth. It was fifty days to Mount Sinai and the Word.
  2. Expect new enemies, the Amalekites. They were a problem for Israel for centuries. (see the post on the Amalekites)
  3. Things will change. Israel ran out of the water and food they had brought with them. God showed up and showed off for them.
  4. Israel DID not ask God for supplies, instead they complained and blamed. I want to believe if Israel would have sought the Lord instead of complaining this story may have been written differently.

Other thoughts:

  1. Abraham and Sarah was the foreshadowing of all of this “going out of Egypt.” The story is in Genesis 12: 10 – 20 and it sounds very much like the story in Exodus.
  2. Joseph and His Brothers – The brothers experienced some of these conditions, while trying to take care of their families, before they brought Jacob/Israel into Egypt.   (Genesis 42 – 44)
  3. Jacob did come out of Egypt but he was dead. (Think about that) Pharaoh did give him royal treatment and had him escorted to the burial cave.
  4. Two other people came out of Egypt. Jeroboam (1Kings 11: 26 – 40 and 12: 15 – 20) He was a stumbling block for Israel, but he choose that course when God had promised him something better.  Jesus – Matthew 2: 19
  5. Moses left and came back. The first time he was a hunted man, the second time he left he was in charge of a million people.  As leader Moses had his own set of problems and learning experiences.  He also moaned and complained, but he learned and believed.  He had to have Aaron to speak for him.  Jethro’s visit was for Moses but it affected the people also.
  6. Israel did leave with things of Egypt, but that is tomorrows post.

IF YOU HAVE NOT STARTED THIS JOURNEY PLEASE SEE – FOLLOWING JESUS!