Exodus chapter 12 and verses 40-42 say this “Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.”
Israel was to keep the Night to be much observed in part as a night of watchful vigil to commemorate the reason they could leave Egypt so easily: God watched over them as His plan unfolded.
Reading Genesis 15 with the story in Exodus, we can see how God watched over them. Israel’s bondage in Egypt had disciplined Israel, preparing them to go through the wilderness, and afterwards, take the Promised Land. This was God’s plan for them, and He watched it brought to completion. His greater plan is not completed even now, because we are a part of it! Genesis 17 shows that it has eternal consequences and is still in operation.
The Night to be Much Observed is a significant event in God’s plan. Will anyone deny that God watched out for Israel, seeing the blood on the doorposts and lintels and passing over them? Can anyone deny that He watched over them their whole journey?
“Watch” does not mean that God passively observed them as they left. Instead, it means that He actively “guarded” them. “Watched” comes from the Hebrew shamar, used often and translated as “keep.” Whenever one desires to keep something, he guards and protects it. In like manner, God watched, kept, guarded, and protected Israel. Exodus chapter 11 verse 7 shows just how closely God watched, not allowing even a single dog to bark.
Can anyone deny that God watched as the Israelites walked out that night in the very sight of the Egyptians who were burying their dead? Most likely, the Egyptians would want to blame the Israelites for the death of their children and animals. They would be enraged. They could not see God, nor blame Him directly, as it were; but they would take it out on His people. But they stood by numbly instead of resisting or fighting.
The Night to Be Much Observed is the official marking of God’s watchful care. An entire nation of slaves just got up, and without lifting a hand to achieve their liberty, they walked away.
So as those at work I am observing are pressing on through huge challenges searching for extra resilience with our current situation, Christians need to remember that by being part of God’s family, He is watching you as he did his people long ago and always has. He will bring you through and He will give you His strength…… if you ask.
Have a great week