“Doing more work for God with the resources that you have, while being obedient, is eternal contentment for the Soul, Spirit, and Love of God with great respect and reverence.”~ Jon Barnes
It is music to my ears when God smiles at what I’m thinking, doing, saying, eating, wearing, and working on.I don’t need a title, pat on the back, or recognition, but when it comes, I’ll be thankful just the same.People will also call you out and thank you for the amazing work that you do, just as others will lie on you and ignore your great work.Count it all as joy and keep singing your music to God. He can Hear You before you make a sound!
Making a difference in the lives of people, family, and yourself is a challenge, yet God makes it seem effortless when you follow His Flight Plan.The Angels of Air Traffic Control will assist you in takeoffs and landings with all of your travels.God’s Heavenly Planes do not Crash, Delay, Stall or Run out of Fuel.Keep your Flight Plan to make your life more enjoyable and easier and shine with God’s Speed that is Effortless.
When I began to use my own money and time for my own ministry of help, my life started to make some sense.It took me a long time to figure this out, writing books, making CDs, and sharing them in many ways.My motives became more effortless and fruitful with giving, sharing, and caring along with the balance of buying, selling, and making because God is the center of my focus.
Are you using God’s model for ministry from the Bible with wisdom, simplicity, and honor or is your bank account the center of your attention?
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11 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated? 3 Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock? 4 You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’ 5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you 6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? 8 They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? 9 Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.
10 “If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him? 11 Surely he recognizes deceivers; and when he sees evil, does he not take note? 12 But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.[a]
13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, 14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.”
“God created all things and then said, ‘ Let Us make man in our own image’, and there are almost 7 trillion images of God on His planet for you to wrap your mind around and see God!” ~ Jon Barnes
Notice how badly we can treat God, based on how badly we can treat each other. If we would love each other like we are supposed to love ourselves, then we could treat God with real love and respect to show appreciation for our blessings and take better care of our world. You don’t need me to tell you how true this is since you can see it for yourself. Truth is obvious unless you are a liar.
Notice the order of what God created first before making an image of Himself. The amount of creativity, capacity, and depth of planning and executing flawless ideas onto life-sized movable parts are unimaginable, unfathomable, and unthinkable. Yet, we use His resources as if it’s nothing, like a spoiled child born with a gold spoon. Currently, we still tend to imitate the Israelites from the Old Testament of the Bible. Complaining, dumb sheep all tend to think alike.
Notice out of all the images God has created, few stand out to do the work, faith, and love that God teaches from the studies in the bible. The stories are helpful when you read them and apply the principles on your own. The self-help studies prove your faithfulness and willingness to learn, listen, and execute God’s amazing plans. People who work together, walking with God are able to make the best decisions and reap what they have sown. There are no secrets to God, just obedience.
What is the secret to your disobedience?
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Victory over Og of Bashan
3 “Next we turned and headed for the land of Bashan, where King Og and his entire army attacked us at Edrei.2 But the Lord told me, ‘Do not be afraid of him, for I have given you victory over Og and his entire army, and I will give you all his land. Treat him just as you treated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon.’
3 “So the Lord our God handed King Og and all his people over to us, and we killed them all. Not a single person survived.4 We conquered all sixty of his towns—the entire Argob region in his kingdom of Bashan. Not a single town escaped our conquest.5 These towns were all fortified with high walls and barred gates. We also took many unwalled villages at the same time.6 We completely destroyed[a] the kingdom of Bashan, just as we had destroyed King Sihon of Heshbon. We destroyed all the people in every town we conquered—men, women, and children alike.7 But we kept all the livestock for ourselves and took plunder from all the towns.
8 “So we took the land of the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River—all the way from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon.9 (Mount Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians, and the Amorites call it Senir.)10 We had now conquered all the cities on the plateau and all Gilead and Bashan, as far as the towns of Salecah and Edrei, which were part of Og’s kingdom in Bashan.11 (King Og of Bashan was the last survivor of the giant Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide.[b] It can still be seen in the Ammonite city of Rabbah.)
Land Division East of the Jordan
12 “When we took possession of this land, I gave to the tribes of Reuben and Gad the territory beyond Aroer along the Arnon Gorge, plus half of the hill country of Gilead with its towns.13 Then I gave the rest of Gilead and all of Bashan—Og’s former kingdom—to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (This entire Argob region of Bashan used to be known as the land of the Rephaites.14 Jair, a leader from the tribe of Manasseh, conquered the whole Argob region in Bashan, all the way to the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites. Jair renamed this region after himself, calling it the Towns of Jair,[c] as it is still known today.)15 I gave Gilead to the clan of Makir.16 But I also gave part of Gilead to the tribes of Reuben and Gad. The area I gave them extended from the middle of the Arnon Gorge in the south to the Jabbok River on the Ammonite frontier.17 They also received the Jordan Valley, all the way from the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea,[d] with the Jordan River serving as the western boundary. To the east were the slopes of Pisgah.
18 “At that time I gave this command to the tribes that would live east of the Jordan: ‘Although the Lord your God has given you this land as your property, all your fighting men must cross the Jordan ahead of your Israelite relatives, armed and ready to assist them.19 Your wives, children, and numerous livestock, however, may stay behind in the towns I have given you.20 When the Lord has given security to the rest of the Israelites, as he has to you, and when they occupy the land the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan River, then you may all return here to the land I have given you.’
Moses Forbidden to Enter the Land
21 “At that time I gave Joshua this charge: ‘You have seen for yourself everything the Lordyour God has done to these two kings. He will do the same to all the kingdoms on the west side of the Jordan.22 Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.’
23 “At that time I pleaded with the Lord and said,24 ‘O Sovereign Lord, you have only begun to show your greatness and the strength of your hand to me, your servant. Is there any god in heaven or on earth who can perform such great and mighty deeds as you do?25 Please let me cross the Jordan to see the wonderful land on the other side, the beautiful hill country and the Lebanon mountains.’
26 “But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more.27 But go up to Pisgah Peak, and look over the land in every direction. Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River.28 Instead, commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead the people across the Jordan. He will give them all the land you now see before you as their possession.’29 So we stayed in the valley near Beth-peor.
“Your life will seem like a Lotto Game of wasted tickets, money, and time, when you do not practice, study, check your homework, and work faithfully at your business with God.” ~ Jon Barnes
People play games because they choose not to listen to God and sound instructions. Creativity and success are an earned process of obedience, commitment, and completion of simple tasks, God has asked you to perform. Laziness prefers playing Lotto type Games in life, hoping for an easy way, quick dollar, fast solution to avoid God’s Directions. Prove your worth!
Drugs, alcohol, lying, cheating, and stealing and other lustful ways of avoiding the truth, wasting time, and promoting poverty in your life, are dead end roads, which is empty and unsatisfying. Ask God to help you to not waste your time and energy, by completing your little quizzes and tests each day. God will not pay you for doing nothing, while you pretend to work. Do not become homeless.
Take the job God gives you, since you do not have work, and be thankful for all that He does in your life. Learning to follow directions, completing assignments, following up, and closing the deal, is better than surfing the internet, talking on the phone, gossiping, without a job to complete.
Did you know that complaining is like playing the Lotto with your time, works and ideas, which is like wasting money and resources that God gave you to complete your destiny?
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22 The Lord said to Moses,2 “Tell Aaron and his sons to be very careful with the sacred gifts that the Israelites set apart for me, so they do not bring shame on my holy name. I am the Lord.3 Give them the following instructions.
“In all future generations, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean when he approaches the sacred offerings that the people of Israel consecrate to the Lord, he must be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.
4 “If any of Aaron’s descendants has a skin disease[a] or any kind of discharge that makes him ceremonially unclean, he may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has been pronounced clean. He also becomes unclean by touching a corpse, or by having an emission of semen,5 or by touching a small animal that is unclean, or by touching someone who is ceremonially unclean for any reason.6 The man who is defiled in any of these ways will remain unclean until evening. He may not eat from the sacred offerings until he has bathed himself in water.7 When the sun goes down, he will be ceremonially clean again and may eat from the sacred offerings, for this is his food.8 He may not eat an animal that has died a natural death or has been torn apart by wild animals, for this would defile him. I am the Lord.
9 “The priests must follow my instructions carefully. Otherwise they will be punished for their sin and will die for violating my instructions. I am the Lord who makes them holy.
10 “No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offerings. Even guests and hired workers in a priest’s home are not allowed to eat them.11 However, if the priest buys a slave for himself, the slave may eat from the sacred offerings. And if his slaves have children, they also may share his food.12 If a priest’s daughter marries someone outside the priestly family, she may no longer eat the sacred offerings.13 But if she becomes a widow or is divorced and has no children to support her, and she returns to live in her father’s home as in her youth, she may eat her father’s food again. Otherwise, no one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offerings.
14 “Any such person who eats the sacred offerings without realizing it must pay the priest for the amount eaten, plus an additional 20 percent.15 The priests must not let the Israelites defile the sacred offerings brought to the Lord16 by allowing unauthorized people to eat them. This would bring guilt upon them and require them to pay compensation. I am the Lord who makes them holy.”
Worthy and Unworthy Offerings
17 And the Lord said to Moses,18 “Give Aaron and his sons and all the Israelites these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.
“If you present a gift as a burnt offering to the Lord, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering,19 you[b] will be accepted only if your offering is a male animal with no defects. It may be a bull, a ram, or a male goat.20 Do not present an animal with defects, because the Lord will not accept it on your behalf.
21 “If you present a peace offering to the Lord from the herd or the flock, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, you must offer a perfect animal. It may have no defect of any kind.22 You must not offer an animal that is blind, crippled, or injured, or that has a wart, a skin sore, or scabs. Such animals must never be offered on the altar as special gifts to the Lord.23 If a bull[c] or lamb has a leg that is too long or too short, it may be offered as a voluntary offering, but it may not be offered to fulfill a vow.24 If an animal has damaged testicles or is castrated, you may not offer it to the Lord. You must never do this in your own land,25 and you must not accept such an animal from foreigners and then offer it as a sacrifice to your God. Such animals will not be accepted on your behalf, for they are mutilated or defective.”
26 And the Lord said to Moses,27 “When a calf or lamb or goat is born, it must be left with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as a special gift to the Lord.28 But you must not slaughter a mother animal and her offspring on the same day, whether from the herd or the flock.29 When you bring a thanksgiving offering to the Lord, sacrifice it properly so you will be accepted.30 Eat the entire sacrificial animal on the day it is presented. Do not leave any of it until the next morning. I am the Lord.
31 “You must faithfully keep all my commands by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord.32 Do not bring shame on my holy name, for I will display my holiness among the people of Israel. I am the Lord who makes you holy.33 It was I who rescued you from the land of Egypt, that I might be your God. I am the Lord.”
“Study the patterns in life, which God has given us so that we may understand what will happen next from the Bible.” ~ Jon Barnes
God created Adam and Eve as an example and set of chord progressions in our musical lives that we should follow, multiply, and help people on the earth, by take care of each other, giving, and, working together in love, peace, unity, honesty, with the natural progress of order, justice, and liberty. This doesn’t mean we do the opposite of what God has commanded us to do. Creation has God’s purpose, not your purpose because you didn’t create yourself.
There is a progression, pattern, cycle, and system for everything at a time, code, and place for its purpose. You will find yourself in two types of chord progressions. The first progression is with God and the second progression is against God. Please feel free to be as creative as you like, but know where your chord progressions are going, as there is a consequence for your actions and choices!
Understand the difference between creation and creativity. God creative the chords and the chord progressions with notes, tempos, rhythms, styles, etc. We are given all things to play with according to the rules of the Creator, Composer, Author, and Finisher of Life, Faith, and Belief Progression. There can only be one correct answer, which comes from God and His Chord Progressions. Counterfeit chord progression will be rejected.
What Chord are you playing for God in your life, Heavenly Chords or hell bound chords: Should you study God’s Music Theory of personal responsibility in Life and Death?
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Holiness in Personal Conduct
19 The Lord also said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.
3 “Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest. I am the Lord your God.
4 “Do not put your trust in idols or make metal images of gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.
5 “When you sacrifice a peace offering to the Lord, offer it properly so you[a] will be accepted by God. 6 The sacrifice must be eaten on the same day you offer it or on the next day. Whatever is left over until the third day must be completely burned up. 7 If any of the sacrifice is eaten on the third day, it will be contaminated, and I will not accept it. 8 Anyone who eats it on the third day will be punished for defiling what is holy to the Lord and will be cut off from the community.
9 “When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. 10 It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.
11 “Do not steal.
“Do not deceive or cheat one another.
12 “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the Lord.
13 “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.
“Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.
14 “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.
15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.
16 “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.[b]
“Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the Lord.
17 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives.[c] Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.
18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
19 “You must obey all my decrees.
“Do not mate two different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two different kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.
20 “If a man has sex with a slave girl whose freedom has never been purchased but who is committed to become another man’s wife, he must pay full compensation to her master. But since she is not a free woman, neither the man nor the woman will be put to death. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram as a guilt offering and present it to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[d] 22 The priest will then purify him[e] before the Lord with the ram of the guilt offering, and the man’s sin will be forgiven.
23 “When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden.[f] Do not eat it. 24 In the fourth year the entire crop must be consecrated to the Lord as a celebration of praise. 25 Finally, in the fifth year you may eat the fruit. If you follow this pattern, your harvest will increase. I am the Lord your God.
26 “Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood.
“Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft.
27 “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.
28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.
29 “Do not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be filled with prostitution and wickedness.
30 “Keep my Sabbath days of rest, and show reverence toward my sanctuary. I am the Lord.
31 “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God.
32 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord.
33 “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. 34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
35 “Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume.36 Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry materials or liquids must be accurate.[g] I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
37 “You must be careful to keep all of my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice. I am the Lord.”
“When I get out of the 50-meter pool, I look like a dolphin on its belly, rolling onto its back to get into a sit up position, which makes the old lady swimmers laugh.” ~ Jon Barnes
My belly muscle is getting stronger and the fat is reducing since I am finding ways to use this section of my body strategically in my daily movements. Using God’s ways and lifestyle in your daily movements will net you the best productivity in all of the good things you would like to do. Or you can work like a slave to greed and laziness by taking the easy way out, doing whatever you want to. Have fun with your productivity and creativity or keep following the black hole.
After every 15 minutes of sitting, get up and do 5 minutes worth of Belly something stretches to give your body a chance to counter the sitting functions in your life. Apply this same concept to God, while you are belly up, doing your new movements, reflecting, praying, singing, meditation, listening, or reading the Bible, etc are good ideas. Your balanced and efficient efforts will inspire people, your personal goals, spiritual growth, and your new movement choices. Challenge yourself.
Mix up your movements and rotate your activities within your hour cycles of work, so that your body can recover from the mundane effects of sitting still. Spiritually, we have to do the same things with our approach, faith, prayer, and development, so that we can experience God’s love, power, wisdom, and understanding in many areas. Movement allows us to get out of our comfort zones to keep our mind, body, heart, spirit, and soul fit for duty, action, praise, worship, and fun. Talk less, do more belly ups!
Does your walk with God look like your belly and will you take responsibility for your actions and improvements?
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15 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.
“Any man who has a bodily discharge is ceremonially unclean.3 This defilement is caused by his discharge, whether the discharge continues or stops. In either case the man is unclean.4 Any bed on which the man with the discharge lies and anything on which he sits will be ceremonially unclean.5 So if you touch the man’s bed, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.6 If you sit where the man with the discharge has sat, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.7 If you touch the man with the discharge, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.8 If the man spits on you, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.9 Any saddle blanket on which the man rides will be ceremonially unclean.10 If you touch anything that was under the man, you will be unclean until evening. You must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.11 If the man touches you without first rinsing his hands, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.12 Any clay pot the man touches must be broken, and any wooden utensil he touches must be rinsed with water.
13 “When the man with the discharge is healed, he must count off seven days for the period of purification. Then he must wash his clothes and bathe himself in fresh water, and he will be ceremonially clean.14 On the eighth day he must get two turtledoves or two young pigeons and come before the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle[a] and give his offerings to the priest.15 The priest will offer one bird for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. Through this process, the priest will purify[b] the man before the Lord for his discharge.
16 “Whenever a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his entire body in water, and he will remain ceremonially unclean until the next evening.[c]17 Any clothing or leather with semen on it must be washed in water, and it will remain unclean until evening.18 After a man and a woman have sexual intercourse, they must each bathe in water, and they will remain unclean until the next evening.
19 “Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches her during that time will be unclean until evening.20 Anything on which the woman lies or sits during the time of her period will be unclean.21 If any of you touch her bed, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.22 If you touch any object she has sat on, you must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.23 This includes her bed or any other object she has sat on; you will be unclean until evening if you touch it.24 If a man has sexual intercourse with her and her blood touches him, her menstrual impurity will be transmitted to him. He will remain unclean for seven days, and any bed on which he lies will be unclean.
25 “If a woman has a flow of blood for many days that is unrelated to her menstrual period, or if the blood continues beyond the normal period, she is ceremonially unclean. As during her menstrual period, the woman will be unclean as long as the discharge continues.26 Any bed she lies on and any object she sits on during that time will be unclean, just as during her normal menstrual period.27 If any of you touch these things, you will be ceremonially unclean. You must wash your clothes and bathe yourself in water, and you will remain unclean until evening.
28 “When the woman’s bleeding stops, she must count off seven days. Then she will be ceremonially clean.29 On the eighth day she must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons and present them to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle.30 The priest will offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. Through this process, the priest will purify her before the Lord for the ceremonial impurity caused by her bleeding.
31 “This is how you will guard the people of Israel from ceremonial uncleanness. Otherwise they would die, for their impurity would defile my Tabernacle that stands among them.32 These are the instructions for dealing with anyone who has a bodily discharge—a man who is unclean because of an emission of semen33 or a woman during her menstrual period. It applies to any man or woman who has a bodily discharge, and to a man who has sexual intercourse with a woman who is ceremonially unclean.”
“When God gave us a free life, we didn’t respect or follow the rules, so now we must earn the free gift of eternal heaven and prove that we understand, practice, and connect with God’s loving Spirit in honesty and truth.”
Nothing is for free because everything comes from God, who created all things, with a price. The cost of all thing requires energy, time, service, good work, obedience, patience, long-suffering, kindness, meekness, gentleness, Resources, Creativity, Music, Power, Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Faith, and Charity; all of which God owns controls and monitors.
The price tag for your freedom, life, and liberty is having to study, learn, connect, know, and work for God in Spirit and in Truth, based on repentance of sin and honest love for your Father, God. It is good to master God’s lifestyle by making it your lifestyle, while you live, work, play, worship, pray, and practice your faith, before death and judgement come. It is actually fun to see the wonderful things God connects us with when following His Foot Steps!
Look at the world and the universe and who can see how creative God really is. Then look at all of the things we have created, since Adam and Eve and the beginning of time. Now imagine your life with no technology, cars, cell phones, computers, google, food production systems, farms, water systems, heating, cooling, stores, etc. God made us to be creative with a choice to love Him or to hate Him. Your future freedom depends on your present choice of action and faith if God and His acceptance of your honest character.
What fruit is your freedom producing and will you become free to worship in Heaven or free to burn in hell?
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Dedication of the Firstborn
13 Then the Lord said to Moses,2 “Dedicate to me every firstborn among the Israelites. The first offspring to be born, of both humans and animals, belongs to me.”
3 So Moses said to the people, “This is a day to remember forever—the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. Today the Lord has brought you out by the power of his mighty hand. (Remember, eat no food containing yeast.)4 On this day in early spring, in the month of Abib,[a] you have been set free.5 You must celebrate this event in this month each year after the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. (He swore to your ancestors that he would give you this land—a land flowing with milk and honey.)6 For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. Then on the seventh day, celebrate a feast to the Lord.7 Eat bread without yeast during those seven days. In fact, there must be no yeast bread or any yeast at all found within the borders of your land during this time.
8 “On the seventh day you must explain to your children, ‘I am celebrating what the Lord did for me when I left Egypt.’9 This annual festival will be a visible sign to you, like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. Let it remind you always to recite this teaching of the Lord: ‘With a strong hand, the Lord rescued you from Egypt.’[b]10 So observe the decree of this festival at the appointed time each year.
11 “This is what you must do when the Lord fulfills the promise he swore to you and to your ancestors. When he gives you the land where the Canaanites now live,12 you must present all firstborn sons and firstborn male animals to the Lord, for they belong to him.13 A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son.
14 “And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery.15 Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, so the Lord killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why I now sacrifice all the firstborn males to the Lord—except that the firstborn sons are always bought back.’16 This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of the Lord’s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.”
Israel’s Wilderness Detour
17 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.[c] Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.[d]
19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear to do this. He said, “God will certainly come to help you. When he does, you must take my bones with you from this place.”
20 The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.21 The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night.22 And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.