Upon leaving Egypt, God laid out very specific instructions about how to remember what he has just done for them. God’s people were not just coming out of slavery, oppression, and harsh treatment at the hands of a false god named Pharaoh. They were also being led into a very long and life-changing land of need and dependence on the true God named Jehovah-jireh; Yahweh; Adonai – “The Lord who provides.” (First named such by Abraham at Mt. Moriah as he found provision to sacrifice in his son’s stead.)
God has already spoken specifically on how to remember the Passover with a meal. Now he instructs his people on how to remember this Passover by consecrating their firstborn children and animals to Him. They all must be set apart and redeemed. Furthermore, in order to remember their great and mighty deliverance, they were instructed to avoid leaven on specific days and in specific ways.
Interestingly, the Lord calls them first, to remember (Exodus 13:30), second, to go (Exodus 13:4), and third, to keep the service of his present instruction when they get to the place where He is taking them (Exodus 13:5). First, past. Second, present. Third, future. Past. Present. Future. The Lord is speaking to His people’s past, their present, and their future.
In between all of these instructions, God is emphasizing one particular idea. Four separate times Moses is called to say this to the people:
For with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. ~Exodus 13:3,9,14,16
Matthew Henry quotes, “The more opposition is given to the accomplishment of God’s purposes, the more is his power magnified therein. It is a strong hand that conquers hard hearts.” God wants his people to get this. Children, I saved you. I delivered you. I saved your children. I delivered your children. Remember! Remember! Remember! I AM strong! I AM strong! I AM strong! I AM strong! Past – remember. Present – go. Future – remember. You are weak, but I am strong. You can trust your God.
Remember and do not forget! We serve a God who saves! We serve a God who delivers. Remember, Christian brother. Remember, Christian sister. He is strong. Remember. Go. Remember.