And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”
Exodus 12:34-36


Over the last few days, my family and I have been laboring to get my parents out of their house and into an assisted living complex. Getting them into their new place was easy (praise the Lord!) but coping with all their belongings, deciding what to bring with them as they enter their new phase of life, is a real challenge. The situation reminded me of today’s verse passage, which is part of the remarkable account of Israel’s exodus from slavery in Egypt. As our text indicates, the Israelites were to take some things from Egypt as they headed for the land of promise. Other things they were to leave behind. One of the things they were to leave behind was the Egyptian leaven. This is symbolic of the fact that when Christ led us out of our old lives of bondage to sin (Romans 6:17), we were to leave behind the “leaven” of false doctrine (Matthew 16:12) and hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). “Purge out therefore the old leaven,” wrote Paul, “that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Corinthians 5:7-8). Just as the Israelities were to take some things from the land of their captivity, we too ought to take some things from our former lives and use them for God-honoring purposes. The man who introduced me to the Lord was a competitive bodybuilder. The man who mentored me through my graduate work was a professional boxer. I had been a competitive kick-boxer. The drive, the devotion, and the discipline we had exhibited in the past, we have taken with us to our new lives, now to be used for God-honoring purposes. The talented musicians we have in the church are great examples also. Some acquired their musical proficiency before they knew Christ in a saving way. After receiving the Lord for salvation, these people made their exodus from their old lives, bringing with them their voices, their knowledge, their experience, and their instruments, now to be used in the service of God. May God help us all to discern what things from our old lives we ought to use for His glory and what things we should simply abandon and renounce.

Walk strong today, dear saints, and God bless you,

Pastor John