Maybe you’ve already done that a few times. You know that you will be moving soon. The new place is ready, the moving truck is scheduled. It’s time to go through all your belongings and decide what is most important to take with you. Are there things you can donate, recycle, throw out? Any extra items that you can get rid of will make the packing and the move easier.
You plan ahead which goes into what box, what can wait until the day before. If you are really blessed, a friend or two will stop by during the process to give moral support and keep the process moving forward.
Then the day arrives. The moving truck is here! As total strangers grab boxes of your life, and stack them in the truck, you realize that you forgot about one closet, or there is a load of laundry still in the washer. You still have a half-drunk cup of coffee, and a bite of bagel in your mouth. You’re not as ready as you thought you were! Sometimes all you can do is throw stuff into Hefty bags and throw it on the truck.
According to the book of Exodus, we know that although the children of Israel knew that they would be leaving Egypt, they did not know exactly when. Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and told them, “Get out!”
Exo 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, to the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle.
Exo 12:30 And Pharaoh rose in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt: for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Exo 12:31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Arise, and depart from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel: and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
Exo 12:32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone: and bless me also.
Exo 12:33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We are all dead men.
Exo 12:34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
Exo 12:35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses: and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment.
All the Egyptians were wide awake that night. The Angel of Death had killed all the first born in Egypt who did not have the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. Get out, take your family, take your flocks and herds, and by the way, take our silver, gold and raiment (fancy clothes), just get out.
The Israelites dough was not yet leavened; they had packed up the kneading troughs in their clothes and slung them over their shoulders. (Kind of the hefty bag practice of that day.) Grab your stuff, the wagon is here, don’t miss your ride.
This reminds me also of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Everyone knew there was going to be a wedding, and the Bridegroom would be arriving to tell them the exact time. The wise virgins had taken extra oil for their lamps while they went out to wait for the Bridegroom. They were ready to move. The foolish had only the oil that the lamp itself held. They all fell asleep while waiting. They were human. The announcement, “The Bridegroom is coming! Come and meet him!” woke them up in the middle of the night, and the wise were ready to go. The foolish had to go into town to buy more oil. The Bridegroom arrived, and took those who were ready into the wedding and shut the door. (Matt 25:1-13)
This is another picture of being ready for Messiah–the return of Jesus to the earth. We don’t know the exact time but we know the season so we need to be ready!