Exodus 13

Talks for Growing Christians

Dedicating Children to the Lord; The Pillar of Cloud and Fire

Exodus 13

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Lesson Number 15

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s people should dedicate their children to the Lord.
  2. God’s people should follow the direction of the Lord.

Practical Application

  1. Remember the shortest way is not always the best way.


  1. .Were the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread one-time events?
  2. What is a phylactery?
  3. Why did God request that the firstborn of children and animals be given to Him?
  4. What was actually done with these firstborn?
  5. How are the unclean animals a picture of us as sinners?
  6. How did the Lord lead His people through the wilderness?


  1. No, they were to be kept every year once the Children of Israel were brought into the Promised Land.
  2. A phylactery is a small, hard leather pouch containing Scripture, particularly Deuteronomy 6:4. Some Jews wear phylacteries on their foreheads and forearms to this day based on this chapter and chapters in Deuteronomy.
  3. Because He had saved the firstborn of the Children of Israel from death in Egypt.
  4. The firstborn animals were sacrificed to the Lord. The firstborn children were redeemed or bought back by giving 5 shekels of silver to the Lord’s work (Numbers 18). The firstborn of unclean animals, such as the donkey, were either redeemed or put to death.
  5. As sinners we are unclean people. We must either be redeemed or put to death – eternal death.
  6. With a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.


  1. Discuss how this lesson lays the foundation for the conflict in the Middle East today. Who has the right to the land? When will there be peace in the Middle East?
  2. Parents have the incredible privilege of explaining God’s plan of redemption to their children. Discuss how you can start a conversation with your children about Christmas, Easter, or the Lord’s Supper. Did someone tell you about the Lord when you were a child?


  1. The Lord did not lead His people in a straight line from Goshen to Canaan. Does He seem to be doing this in your life too? Perhaps God has valuable lessons to teach you about Himself and about life. Remember, the shortest way is not always the best way

Key Verses

  • “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn.” Exodus 13:2
  • “When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’” Exodus 13:14
  • “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.” Exodus 13:21

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