Bible Study Lesson from Exodus 13:1-22

God redeems the firstbornLearn about the Feast of Unleavened Bread as God leads the Israelites to the promised land. God redeems the firstborn at Passover so they belong to Him.

He did not take a direct route to the promised land, but led Israel according to His plan.

See Why God Redeems the Firstborn and Works for the Good of Israel

This study from Exodus is about how God works in the lives of Israel – and in ours.

Moses tells the people to “remember this day in which you went out from Egypt..” and gives instructions not to eat leavened bread.

“Why” Questions

Why does God have so many “picky” rules and regulations for His people?

And, why didn’t He just take them directly to the promised land when they walked out of Egypt?

The verses below from the Book of Exodus show how God works with Israel – and why.

God Redeems the Firstborn – Exodus 13:11-16

“Now when the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, you shall devote to the Lord the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the Lord.

But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.

And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.

It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the Lord killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast.

Therefore, I sacrifice to the Lord the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’

So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.” – Exodus 13:11-16 NASB

Celebration – Feast of Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is not difficult to understand. Celebrated in late March, early April this is a remembering of the days that separated the Hebrew nation, and clearly God’s people.

This celebration marks the beginning of the nation of Israel – even though they don’t yet have a country.

The Redeemer of the First Born

As shown starting with verse twelve, God stated that every first born of Israel belonged to Him because He spared them from certain death during the night of Passover – freeing them from Egypt.

But, God did not demand human sacrifice to redeem the sons of Israel as the pagan gods would require in the eyes of the people.

He commanded that they “buy” them back with dedication of first born man and animal.

Our Redeemer

The interesting part is that God said to give a lamb in place of the donkey which is later what Jesus was sent to do for us.

Christ died in our place so that we can be redeemed and have everlasting life.

Lastly – How God Works

Notice that the Israelites were not taken directly to the promised land.

They were led on a journey with God guiding them away from the sure confrontation with the Philistines. God knew the hearts of the people.

He was still protecting His people although they were not aware of it.

Directions from God – Do They Make Sense?

To us the instruction we receive from God may not make sense to us at the time. When we are asked to do something for God, He will not always lead us in the way we expect.

The reason? Well, for one God knows the entire journey (beginning and end) and we can only see the present.

For instance, if I hire a guide to take me through a dangerous mountain pass the guide may know of obstacles I am not aware of.

I might complain that he is taking me the long way around but he knows the outcome. I don’t.

Be Encouraged – and Be Patient

If God seems to be leading you around in circles, don’t get discouraged or impatient. He knows what He is doing. And, God knows what is best for us in His final plan.

“Our way” is not always in the will of God. So obedience, no matter how tough, will help us to complete the journey in a way pleasing to God.

Love in Christ

– Bob

If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see the verse, John 3:16 .

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