Celebrating our National Birthday
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
In the 12th chapter of Genesis, God made a promise to Abraham that He would make of his descendants a great nation. It did not happen overnight, but instead required centuries to accomplish. Never-the-less, in time the nation God promised arose.
After Abraham’s descendants, now known as the Hebrews or the Israelites, spent many generations as slaves in Egypt, God raised up Moses to take them to a new land and a new way of life. In the process of doing so, God rained down 10 plagues on Egypt in an effort to convince Pharaoh he needed to cooperate. Of these 10, the last was the most severe. This event is now referred to as the “Passover”, due to the fact the Death Angel “passed over” the homes of the Israelites while claiming the lives of the first born in each Egyptian family (Exodus 11:5). Pharaoh now let the Israelites go, but even then, not without one more fight. Once the Israelites were across the Red Sea and free from the bondage of Pharaoh, God commanded them to remember the passing over of the angel every year so future generations would know what He had done to free His people many years before.
Founding Father Elias Boudinot saw a strong parallel between the events of Exodus 13 and the birth of the United States of America. In the case of the United States, he considered July 4, 1776 to be her “passover”, with the Declaration of Independence serving as the Death Angel and the American Revolution the Red Sea crossing, delivering the country from the bondage of England. In 1798, Boudinot delivered a speech in which he detailed the numerous parallels these two events share.
The deliverance of the children of Israel from a state of bondage to an unreasonable tyrant was perpetuated by the Paschal [Passover] Lamb; and enjoining it on their posterity as an annual festival forever, with a “remember this day in which ye came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” [Exodus 13:3]
Let us then, my friends and fellow citizens, unite all our endeavors this day to remember with reverential gratitude to our Supreme Benefactor all the wonderful things He has done for us in our miraculous deliverance from a second Egypt – another house of bondage. “And thou shalt show thy son on this day saying, this day is kept as a day of joy and gladness because of the great things the Lord hath done for us, when we were delivered from the threatening power of an invading foe.” Elias Boudinot