Exodus 12:15 (ESV) “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.”
The cleaning out of leaven from the homes of the Israelites is one of the most intriguing concepts from the Old Testament. What is really going on here? And to be honest, theories abound. The most popular (perhaps) being that leaven (yeast) is a type or picture of sin. It seeps in, infects the whole and puffs up. However Jesus uses the picture of leaven more positively in Matthew 13:33 as one of the ways to understand the Kingdom. Its not all just one way.
The question I would like to consider here is; how is it being used in this particular text? And I think we see the shades of at least one answer in two following verses – 12:34 (ESV) “So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders.” And 12:39 (ESV) “And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.”
The simple thought I would like us to consider here is this: Leavening bread takes time – and they were to expect to be leaving right away. The Israelites were to be thinking about their readiness to respond when God led them out, and they were to have nothing which delayed them in their obedience.
Let me then extend this idea to us. Beloved, what area of obedience in your life are you still lagging behind in? What are you waiting for? There is to be no delay in our serving God. He has called, and we must go – now.
Oh, that our hearts and minds would be in a constant state of readiness to follow Him everywhere and at all times.
Father – forgive our tendency to cling to this present world, rather than to abandon it and its values at the sound of your sweet voice in the Gospel. It is the voice of deliverance.