During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.” Exodus 12:31-32 (NIV)
Last year my brother and his wife were in the Independence Day parade in California. My grandson and I were also in a parade in Maryland. Even though we were miles apart, we shared in the Fourth of July celebration.
It took a war with England to win our independence. In biblical times, it took several plagues to give the Israelites their independence from Egypt. As they gather their belongings, it was like a parade of the people, animals and carts. Six hundred thousand men with their wives and children made the journey.
They were led by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. Along with these miracles, there were many sacrifices. While I watch the fireworks light up our skies, I can only imagine the wonders of these miracles.
Our country sacrificed many lives to win our freedom. The Israelites sacrificed an old way of living to start a new life in the Promise Land. Some did not give up on their faith. There were many hardships and many did not get to see the Promise Land, including Moses.
God blessed the Israelites. He blesses us today. As we watch the parades and fireworks of the Fourth of July celebration, let us remember all the sacrifices that give us our freedom to live and worship the one and only God: the God of Israel and the God of our country.
Lord, help me to remember both our country’s independence and the independence of Israel.