They were to remember the day. They were to commemorate it with a special feast. They were to pass its memory on from generation to generation, handing it down as a perpetual sign on their hand and memorial between their eyes. They were to consecrate the firstborn of every man and every creature in light of the day, so that when their children asked why, they would have reason to tell again the story. The story of their deliverance. The story of their redemption. The story of a strong hand.
Then Moses said to the people, “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 ESV)
They had been led out of bondage. Not only having walked out as free men and women, but with the plunder of Egypt. They were more than conquerors. And that not of themselves, it was the gift of God who had determined to break their chains. And that, by a strong hand.
Four times in Exodus 13, Moses is led by the Spirit of God to emphasize that God’s deliverance was by “a strong hand.” That when they remembered the story, when they told the story, when they offered up their firstfruits to commemorate the story, the story was not to forget a critical detail. That their actions of memorial were to recall not just that they were brought out of slavery, not just that it was God who had delivered them, but that it was by His strong hand that they walked out of bondage.
It was God who personally opposed Pharaoh’s tyranny. God who actively intervened to show Himself mighty so that His people might go free and His glory might be known. God who powerfully brought Pharaoh and his domain into submission while protecting the children He came to rescue.
When they remembered their exodus, they were to remember a strong hand.
And I’m chewing on this as I get ready to remember.
Our fellowship’s practice is to remember the means of our deliverance on the first Sunday of the month. We’ll take some time to consider afresh the act by which our bonds were broken and our freedom secured. To quiet ourselves before some simple feasting elements designed to direct our thoughts again to the day when the cell doors of our Egypt were burst forth. Death conquered. Sin’s power crushed. Riches, which we didn’t deserve and could never have earned, freely given as our inheritance. Assured that we too would eventually be brought into a land flowing with milk and honey. And this too, by a strong hand.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him.
(Colossians 2:13-15 ESV)
God’s power displayed on the cross. His dominance over our enemies forever settled by an empty tomb. The work finished. The promise secured. Our hope eternal. Because of a strong hand–the strong hand of our Mighty Redeemer.
Remember, you were brought out by a strong hand.
Because of His grace. Forever for His glory.