Christianity, Holy Days

A Couple of Unleavened Lessons

English: Matzah Bread (unleavened flatbread fo...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, this year’s Unleavened Bread has come and gone! I’m actually writing this on the day before, but I’m going to set it to be published on the Last Day of Unleavened Bread.

I often like to write up some of the lessons I’ve learned during the Days of Unleavened Bread, and often these focus on the removal of leaven. But there are lessons in the eating of unleavened bread, too! The scriptures are pretty clear: “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread” (Exodus 12:15). (And Exodus 13:6.) (And Exodus 13:7.) (And Exodus 23:15.) (And Exodus 34:18, Leviticus 23:6, Numbers 28:17, Deuteronomy 16:3.) And there’s lessons from that, too. Just as leavened bread pictures sin in these days, unleavened bread pictures the righteousness we are to take in, instead.

One that came to mind this week is related to this diet I am on. It’s pretty strict about carbohydrates, and there was no room for them during the Days of Unleavened Bread, carbs and bread going, pretty much, hand-in-hand. Though the diet is going very well, and I have no interest in derailing it, of course I ate some anyway. I know I’m stating the obvious, but it was a good reminder that no matter what’s going on and whatever plans and goals we might have, we always have to make room and time for the things of God.

The other was related. As I was eating yet another plate of protein (beef in this case–very good!), I had set aside the bite of matzoh (my wife’s gluten free variety) and another unleavened cracker by the plate to eat after I was done. In the meantime, I was pushing some of the last bits of food onto my fork with my fingers (as the well-bred Texas Aggie I am), when I saw those two pieces of bread sitting there and thought, “Why am I using my fingers when I’ve got two decent little pieces of bread there?” So, I grabbed one and used it instead. Before that, they were sitting there waiting for me to finish my meal and eat them when I was done–frankly, just to make sure that I got my “unleavened bread” in. But it made me think: what’s the whole point of “taking in righteousness”? Isn’t it to put it to use in our lives? What good is it to set what we’re learning and studying aside and not incorporate it into our lives, where it is meant to make a difference? Righteousness is meant to “go to work,” as it were. “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11). God intends His word to accomplish something in us, not to sit next to our plates while the meal goes on, so to speak.

What are some things you learned this year? Feel free to let me know, below!

About Wallace G. Smith

Pastor for the Living Church of God (www.lcg.org) and a presenter on the Tomorrow's World television program (www.tomorrowsworld.org).

Discussion

20 thoughts on “A Couple of Unleavened Lessons

  1. Lesson #1: Do not sit up until 12:10 AM CDT writing in someone’s blog (either one’s own or someone else’s) when one has services at 10:30 AM the next morning. :P (I’m speaking to myself, not you.)

    Posted by John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav) | April 1, 2013, 1:11 am
  2. …though it applies to me, too! :) One sermon at 10:30AM services and then another at a different location for 2:30PM services. Have a great UB7!

    Posted by Wallace G. Smith | April 1, 2013, 1:14 am
  3. To the point as always. What is the point of taking in any lesson whether the unleavened bread and all it means for us or any other lesson we obtain from God’s truth if we do not put them to work in our lives daily.

    Posted by lindaloolookingahead | April 1, 2013, 8:06 am
  4. On the NTBMO it seemed most appropriate to sit next to a person who wasn’t my best friend or most comfortable person to chat with. Following Christ’s example isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it seemed appropriate at the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread to do the hard thing — to “kick start” throwing away sin! This NTBMO was one of the most remarkable and enjoyable I’ve experienced as I laughed and talked with this person next to me. Walls were broken down and thrown away and I now have a new friend in Christ.

    Posted by Barbie Woolley | April 1, 2013, 9:21 am
  5. One thing I was wondering is, if the Israelites were to take the uneaten lamb out and burn the rest of it the next day, what happens to the uneaten unleavened bread after Passover and also the wine left over from the service?

    Posted by Kathy Talbott | April 1, 2013, 9:51 am
  6. Generally, the wine that was blessed but not used is poured out and the remaining unleavened bread is burned.

    Posted by Wallace G. Smith | April 1, 2013, 12:32 pm
  7. There were several things I learned this year, some of which I do not remember, presently… go figure. Some that I do remember are 1) this year I did more than the usual de-leavening the fridge, oven, kitchen, vehicle and work area with a quick dust, vacuum and mop; thus, I had to really plan things out and be organized to effectively and efficiently clean the house… even so, I still ended up having to go over a couple things more than once. 2) removing sin is a lot of work, but even so, we are not self-sufficient no matter how much effort we put into it. And because it is a lot of work, I, to my chagrin, sometimes procrastinate in getting after it, like I should. 3) and I started early this year, showing that conversion, even the removal of sin out of our lives, is a process. 4) removing sin is sometimes painful – I cut myself (not bad) whilst cleaning this year.

    On the other end of things… I learned that “forgiveness towards others” is absolutely essential, if we expect to truly eat of the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth. I have a hard time forgiving others sometimes….

    One last thing that comes to mind, which may be off-topic – yet seems to tie in to the DUB somehow. Yesterday I transplanted a plant that I have, into a larger pot… the pot it was in was not able to sustain it any longer; the plant was getting root rot, and as a result many of the leaves had turned yellow. So not only did I have to transplant it, but I also had to prune it back quite a bit. The transplanting seemed significant to me as it brought to mind Psalm 1 where it talks about God planting His servant by the channels, or rivers of water. Well, that word “planted” may actually be better rendered “transplanted” from the original Hebrew, if I remember correctly. I guess it shows that even though a situation may look like it is “okay”, in reality a change is desperately needed. I’m sure more could be gleaned from the scenario with meditation, but….

    Hope you and your Family had a truly wonderful and inspiring Feast of Unleavened Bread, Mr. Smith! Thanks for your dedication and hard Work in serving God and His people!

    Deano

    Posted by gedii | April 1, 2013, 8:20 pm
  8. This year I heard a lot about not only putting sin (leaven) out, but building righteousness and trust in God–become more positive in serving God. “Sin” is a pretty amorphous word: defined as breaking God’s law in the letter, it can also mean things you shoulda woulda coulda and didn’t do, the positive things you didn’t think of because you took a negative view.

    Posted by despinne | April 1, 2013, 11:47 pm
  9. Hi Mr. Smith, your wife may already know about these, but I stopped eating wheat, and other grains for the most part, at the end of December. I made some really nice unleavened breads and desserts this year using a couple of cookbooks, The Wheat Belly Cookbook by William Davis, MD, and the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Armstrong. Low carbs, gluten free, nutritionally dense. She’s welcome to email me if she wants to compare notes.

    Posted by Teresa | April 2, 2013, 8:34 am
  10. Howdy, Teresa, and thanks! I’m familiar with the Wheat Belly Cookbook but not the other. I will be sure to pass the info on. Thanks, again!

    Posted by Wallace G. Smith | April 2, 2013, 8:48 am
  11. Here’s Elana’s webpage: http://www.elanaspantry.com/ I don’t use the agave nectar that she was really into when writing her first book, but substitute liquid stevia and a discreet amount of honey. Also, I use olive oil rather than the grapeseed that she was using. Anyway, lots of good ideas in her book and on her website. I actually never really felt a strong temptation for leavened goods this year.

    Posted by Teresa | April 2, 2013, 9:03 am
  12. Hi Mr. Smith! Thank you for sharing your excellent lessons :) I have a couple that stick out for me this year. My husband does not attend regularly with me and does not allow me to deleaven the house. So I always have to be very aware during the days of Unleavend Bread that I don’t eat leavening without thinking, because it is around. It reminds me to always be alert about what I am allowing into my thoughts and attitudes. Also, this year, I was able to bake fresh Unleavened Bread every day and everyone in our home was so busy enjoying the Unleavend Bread that they did not even pay too much attention to the other. My oldest daughter, who does not live at home, made it a point to come home twice last week to have Unleavened Bread! She misses it from when she was at home. God’s way of life is so good, that when you put it into practice in your life, everyone around you can’t help but enjoy the fruit of it! I have been baptized for 9 years, and this year, my husband actually came to the Night to Be Much Observed and the First and Last Day of Unleavend Bread. I hope it is because he has seen the fruit of God’s Way of life and how good it is in our home (and at Camp!). We were married for 10 years before God called me and I am always hopeful for him. He even came up with 2 new unleavend recipes this year: Chicken and Unleavend Dumplings and Garlic and Cheddar Unleavend Biscuits!

    Posted by Kathy Hall | April 2, 2013, 11:05 am
  13. It’s nice to see that many people benefitted greatly from this year’s Feast! On a side note: Mr. Smith, I am curious to know your thoughts regarding the accuracy of the CNN “Special Presentation” that was aired this past week entitled “After Jesus – The First Christians”? If you have yet to view it, I believe it should be posted on the Internet (most likely on YouTube).

    Posted by Steven | April 2, 2013, 12:15 pm
  14. During the last week, I was reminded that the unleavened bread is a tasteless as it always been, yet the Days of UB are seemingly more meaningful as we see the “Egypt” around us descending into more and more depravity with open hostility toward anything that is Godly. On the local scene, crime is alarmingly prevalent, on a state level the officials can’t agree on up or down, black or white, good or bad, and the national and international scene is utter chaos as economies melt down, cultures clash, false religions flourish and sabers rattle.

    As spiritual Israelites we certainly need the deliverance from “Egypt and Babylon” provided by God’s truth and His Ways.

    Posted by D. Crockett | April 2, 2013, 4:10 pm
  15. Thanks, everyone, for sharing their lessons! Kathy, sounds like a very profitable holy day season! And for the record, as I have firsthand experience with his culinary skills, I am willing to try any recipe that your husband comes up with. :) And, Mr. Crockett, you said it — every day, the need for deliverance seems to be more apparent. As for the CNN production, Steven, no I haven’t seen it and don’t anticipate doing so for a while. However, from the bit I read about it, it looks like the standard mix of truth and error; though it’s narrated by Qui-Gon Jinn, so it has that going for it.

    Posted by Wallace G. Smith | April 2, 2013, 7:35 pm
  16. Mr. Crockett: It is really a shame that Manischevitz’s Whole Wheat Passover Matzos aren’t more widely available. Not only are they far from tasteless, but put raw honey on them and they taste very much like one of the biblical descriptions of manna. I love that combination!

    Mr. Smith: Which reminds me of another lesson. (Well, two: what Mr. Rick Stafford reminded us of from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s analogy of replacing air in a glass with water in a glass, but here’s the other one.) As good as said combination is, and as good as homemade matzos can be (the ones we had for Passover were excellent), we can behave as one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture portrays:

    (Num 11:4 RSV) Now the rabble [the Gentile or else part-Israelite "mixed multitude"] that was among them had a strong craving; and the people of Israel also wept again, and said, “O that we had meat to eat!
    (Num 11:5 RSV) We remember the fish we ate in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;
    (Num 11:6 RSV) but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

    I never cease to be amazed how quickly many of us, even physically, are so eager to go back to leavened products after the DUB’s! Not that this of itself makes us radically unspiritual, but I LIKE unleavened bread and I miss it when the lesson is over. I really do. It usually takes me until the next week to fully readjust. Maybe that should tell me something, if no one else. (Like, my [physical] matzos are “tastier than thou”? LOL :D )

    Posted by John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav) | April 2, 2013, 7:49 pm
  17. Oh, please pardon one more point: When I read of Israel’s activities, I have to think, “You know, you just can’t make this stuff up. If the Bible were just a piece of propaganda for Israel, a mere national epic, stuff like that would’ve been edited out long, long ago. Nobody lies to his own discredit.” And yet skeptics of the Bible have to assume that openly or tacitly or else they can’t make their allegations against the Bible stick.

    Posted by John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav) | April 2, 2013, 8:05 pm
  18. I think one of the strongest points that impressed me this year was just how many crumbs one can find in hidden places. Why in the world would there be crumbs where no crumbs should dare to go? But there are, and it makes me wonder where and what the hidden crumbs of my heart are.
    And yes, John, my family and I LOVE the days of Unleavened Bread. I’ve made homemade unleavened bread since my first feast in the Church and it’s always been delicious. This year I adapted a beloved recipe to become gluten-free and tried several new gluten-free and unleavened recipes, so now we have a new favorite dessert to add to the repertoire. It seemed like this year’s feast went by extraordinarily fast. We were sorry to see it end.

    Posted by Teresa | April 2, 2013, 9:23 pm
  19. The first time I tried to make unleavened bread, bubbles started to spring up everywhere. In a panic I phoned the deaconess. After laughing hysterically for a couple of minutes, she informed me that I should poke holes in the dough before I baked it. It was a terrifying experience for a young man brand new in the Church.

    Posted by Steve | April 3, 2013, 12:07 am
  20. Mr. Crockett, if your unleavened bread is tasteless, you need to get different unleavened bread! When my children were home, they used to ask me to make unleavened bread even when it wasn’t the Days of Unleavened Bread. We LOVE it!

    I learned many lessons during the DUB, but one important one came the day after. I was getting my lunch at work when I realized that it was made with a flour tortilla. In a panic, I was thinking, “I can’t eat that. What should I do? Can I remove the tortilla or would there still be crumbs?” etc. etc. etc…..followed immediately by the thought – “Duh! DUB is over. I can eat this. Whew!”

    Lesson learned – while we may be able to eat leaven now, we must be ever vigilant about the sin that so easily creeps back into our lives.

    Posted by Terri Dorothy | April 4, 2013, 9:42 am

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