When I was a kid of about 4 or 5 years old, we lived in California and had lots of neighbors and friends that had swimming pools. We didn’t have a pool in our own family, but my mom and my dad felt it was important for us to learn how to swim.
The local public pool offered swimming lessons for a reasonable fee so my parents signed us up. I barely remember going in for the lessons, but I have a short video clip in my mind of me being held above water by an adult (or probably a teenager) and trying to keep my legs straight while kicking and flailing around. I remember being frustrated and nervous that the instructor would let me sink, and I knew at the time the instructor was a little frustrated with me as well.
I never did learn to swim from that instructor, as a matter of fact they gave my parents a full refund. You see, I had a problem with trust. I didn’t know this person well enough to have the confidence that he/she wouldn’t let me sink. After all, I was putting my life in their hands!
We all have “trust issues” don’t we? We’ve all trusted someone and been thrilled with the outcome, and we’ve trusted others and were disappointed. As a manager at work, I trust my employees to get things done. I trust my friends or loved ones to keep secrets. When I ask a close friend for prayer, I trust that they won’t criticize me for the concern.
After God created the earth and all that is in it in five days, God then created the first man – Adam. Then He created the first woman from that man. God gave them the entire garden to live in and play in, to enjoy the beautiful plants and animals. It would have been like a great big zoological garden! Can you imagine this incredibly beautiful place where every created lived and roamed with these two people? Wow!
Then… it happened. Adam and Eve would have had NO REASON to mistrust God. He had never lied to them or let them down. He always did what He said He would do. But Satan convinced Eve that God was not quite telling the truth. He told Eve that God was hiding this little secret from them and that if they ate the fruit, they would be like God. This is the same lie that Satan himself fell for! Satan wanted to be like God. We learned about this in last week’s lesson: Satan, God, and Fear – More of the Basics
What Does it Mean to Trust God?
Does “trusting God” mean that He won’t allow bad things to happen to you? There is so much hurt and pain in the world, sometimes it’s really difficult for us to believe that God cares. Or that we can trust Him. If God cares and we can trust Him, why do people die?
The Bible is full of situations where bad things happen to people that love God. Through those really difficult times, God asks us to persevere and to trust Him.
There are so many examples of men and women who had faith, trusted in God, and God showed Himself faithful. Look at Joseph who languished in prison in Genesis 40 and 41. Check out the scriptures about how David ran for his life from King Saul in 1 Samuel 24-30 and how God delivered him from the hand of Saul. Look at the life of Job in Job 1-2, then he struggles all through chapters 3 through 41, and God restores him in chapter 42.
The Passover Lamb
Look at the Hebrews in Egypt – they were there for 400 years! Many Hebrew men and women lived as slaves to Egypt and cried out to God all through their lives. They clung to the promise that God would deliver them.
God had foretold to Abraham hundreds of years before that this would happen, and that He would deliver them.
Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.
And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” ~ Genesis 15:13-14
After 400 years in this horrible situation, God raised up a man, Moses, to lead the people out of Egypt. God instructed Pharaoh to let the people go, and Pharaoh refused. After 9 plagues and chance after chance to let the Hebrews go, God gave them one final plague, and with it, deliverance for Israel. (Read Exodus 7-13)
3 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
4 ‘And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.
5 ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
6 ‘Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
7 ‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
8 ‘Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
9 ‘Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails.
10 ‘You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.
11 ‘And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.
12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
13 ‘Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. ~ Exodus 12:3-13
God commanded that the each household of the Hebrews was to slaughter a male, spotless lamb. They were then to mark the doorframe of each of their houses with the blood of this sacrificial lamb, then they were eat the lamb that was slain. After their meal, God told them to put on their traveling clothes and be ready to leave! “A belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste.” In the middle of the night, God would kill every firstborn of every house that was not protected with the passover lamb’s blood on the doorframe.
You see, God had promised them hundreds of years before that even though they would go through a time of real difficulty and trouble, they would be saved from all of that.
21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb.
22 “And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.
23 “For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.
24 “And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.
25 “It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service.
26 “And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’
27 “that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ ” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.
28 Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
29 And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.
30 So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said.
32 “Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.”
God gave them salvation. God heard them and delivered them after 400 years!
Look at what He says back in Exodus 2:
Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.
So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
~ Exodus 2:23-25
God heard their groaning. God hears your groaning. He hears it and He cares. Does that mean we won’t have difficult times? No, not at all. It means He hears us, He understands, and He carries us through it to the other side!
Look at what happens next in our Exodus story:
8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness.
9 So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.
11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?
12 “Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
14 “The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
~ Exodus 14:8-14
God delivers them out of Egypt only to have Pharaoh take chase after them. Pharaoh goes after the Hebrews with “the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army” and he “overtook them camping by the sea”. Pharaoh corners the Hebrews camped by the Red Sea, they are trapped with no where to go!
The Hebrews complain Moses saying: “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
Moses responds with “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
God hears them and delivers them just as He promised! God orders Moses to put his staff in the water and God parts the Red Sea in two. The Israelites walk across on dry ground in complete safety.
28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained.
29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.
~ Exodus 14:28-31
The passage that has struck me recently in my life is “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
Have you ever been trying to demonstrate to someone else, and they interrupt your work with questions that, if they simply waited, they would see answered? What do we say when that happens? “Shush, just watch. I’m showing you right now. Just be patient and you’ll see!”
Just be quiet and watch God at work! It’s OK to ask questions, and to wonder “how long oh Lord?” But God is saying to us even today as we go through trouble: “Just watch what I’m going to do!”
That’s the trust that God wants us to have. Not trust that there will be no trouble. But trusting Him while we are in the trouble. The awful, difficult, and painful times will come for sure. But God wants us to trust that He will see us through.
Now think again about the Passover Lamb that was sacrificed so the Hebrews could be saved. What does that mean to us?
Notice that God gave Pharaoh 9 plagues, or 9 chances, to make things right and let the Israelites go. (Read Exodus 7-13) God is a God of mercy and grace. He didn’t want to kill Pharaoh and the Egyptians. He gave them opportunity after opportunity to do the right thing. He even warned them ahead of time in most of the plagues so they could know in advance what would happen if they disobeyed.
God doesn’t want to condemn us to eternity in hell. Jesus Christ was perfect, pure and spotless. We were sinners with no escape. God gave us His only Son to be sacrificed to be sacrificed on the cross, in death He became our Passover Lamb. God offers us mercy and grace.
You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
1 Cor 5:7
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18-19
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
Jesus is our Passover Lamb. All you and I need to do is to trust Him, that He died for us, the He was raised up again so we can spend eternity with God. That’s what it means to “trust God with your life”. Put your faith in the salvation of The Lord – Jesus Christ.