Finally! The moment we have all been waiting for! The Exodus! For over four hundred years, God’s people had been living in Egypt. Now, after ten devastating plagues dealt by the very hand of God, Pharaoh finally lets them go.
God’s people did not wait for him to change his mind. The text says they took their dough before it was leavened and left Egypt. There is something to be gleaned from the swift action of God’s people when finally freed. When God opens a door or presents the opportunity we have been praying for, he expects us to walk through it with promptness and purpose. Lackadaisical laziness in the face of God’s favor is an affront to his great grace and generosity. What kind of child petitions day and night only to sleep when his requests are honored? Only an ungrateful one. Convenience carries no weight in the instances of God’s divine appointments.
Not only they, but a “mixed multitude” came along with them. These could have been some Egyptians who were simply curious as to where they were going or even fearful of more plagues, but as Matthew Henry notes, “There were always those among the Israelites that were not Israelites, and there are still hypocrites in the church, who make a great deal of mischief, but will be shaken off at last.”
And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. ~Exodus 12:36
Incidentally, though not accidentally, God’s people ended up with all of Egypt’s loot, too! Silver, gold, and clothing were all given to them with open hands. Israel did not have to steal from their enemies. Their enemies willingly gave it all to them. Talk about an act of God! The truth is that we do not have to seek to destroy others who do evil to us, either. Sooner or later they will destroy themselves. The reasons are simple: sin makes people stupid while God’s favor continually enriches.
The Israelites left in such a hurry that they did not even have time to let their bread rise! Surely their unleavened cakes were less tasty than they would have been if there had been time for leaven, but grateful captives who have been set free eat their daily bread with great thanksgiving no matter how distasteful it is. Likewise, a sinner saved is an ever thank-filled saint no matter what his physical portion or lack thereof.
Finally, the text refers to this time of departure as, “a night of watching.” God watched so carefully over them that they were to ever remember to keep watch for him and remember how their God miraculously delivered them – throughout all generations.
God’s people are so often enslaved and oppressed by the evil in this world. We must always keep watch for our Deliverer. When God’s people are delivered from evil, we must run as far and as fast from it as we possibly can. Anything less is an affront to Our Father’s great grace and mercy. With God’s favor, we will plunder our enemies, not by attacking them, rather, merely by our obedience and closeness to Him. He will destroy our enemies as we focus fully upon him. No matter how little or less our daily bread is, it will be more than enough if we be free from the the hard and hateful taskmaster of sin.