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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Monday, June 25

We now begin the final Passover plague which will be the decisive blow to Pharaoh, culminating in the releasing of the Hebrews (Exodus 12:1-13).

The Hebrews, soon to become a liberated people with their own culture and national existence, must now form their own calendar, and it is God who gives instruction to its basis.

While in Egypt, the Hebrews kept the Egyptian solar calendar which revolved around the Nile and the Sun.  It was cyclical in nature and based around agricultural seasonal changes.  As such, it was also a way to track religious calendar days in order to celebrate the various gods who provided their abundance.

To be fair, it must be noted that the Egyptians were highly skilled, efficient and in many ways the most advanced people of their day.  They receive a bad light in Exodus primarily because of the Pharaoh and his detestable actions affecting the Hebrews.  But seen against the backdrop of Egypt's amazing accomplishments, in its buildings and culture that even today are monumental and in some ways still unrivaled in scope and complexity, they rightly deserve a sense of our awe and appreciation.

Israel's new calendar is to be based on the sun and moon, and oriented to the liberation afforded it by God and the Passover.  Unlike Egypt's calendar, grounded in myth and pagan worship, Israel is to view time and events from the historical creation and liberation of the Hebrew people provided and sustained for by God Himself.  The Passover will mark the calendar with God's greatest gift of liberation for His people, and will become a yearly event of importance and reflection. 

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