My early attempts at making bread were not too successful. In part, that was because I did not allow enough time for the dough to rise properly. When working with yeast, you have to plan ahead. You cannot just mix the dough and then bake it unless you want to have flat bread!
Interestingly, God told the Children of Israel to eat unleavened bread, or bread made without yeast, on the night He delivered them out of Egypt. Several characteristics of the unleavened bread held a symbolic meaning for the Israelites, and still have meaning for us today.
In Jewish culture, normally a portion of dough would have been saved to start the next batch. The yeast in the starter dough would spread through the entire mass and cause it to rise. This makes yeast a picture of sin; a corrupting influence. Because unleavened bread does not call for yeast, it does not need to be mixed with dough from the past. Therefore, unleavened bread was representative of a break with a sinful past. Also, with no rising agent there is no kneading, waiting for the dough to rise, then punching it down and waiting again. Rather, unleavened bread can be made quickly with little work. Thus, this type of bread also represented ease and simplicity. Lastly, unleavened bread is very flat because it has no power to rise up, so it can also represent powerlessness.
As the Children of Israel observed the feast of unleavened bread after their deliverance from Egypt, God used the bread as an illustration to remind them of several important facets of their deliverance. He wanted them to have a break from their past of slavery in Egypt, and to remember the weakened condition that they were in when He delivered them. It was not through their own efforts or labor that they were able to spoil the Egyptians; they were weak and powerless. Their victory came only through God’s power.
God’s power has been manifested in my life, too, at times when I found myself in a very weak state. When I felt as though I had no strength, God became my strength. When there was no hope, He became my hope and carried me through to victory.
God instituted the feast of the unleavened bread for the Children of Israel to commemorate God’s strength and deliverance. He wanted them to remember the Egyptian bondage, but more than that, He wanted them to remember that He had delivered them with a strong and mighty hand. If you are saved, then God has already delivered you from the bondage of sin, and if you have been serving the Lord for very long, He has probably undertaken many more times on your behalf. We do not have annual feasts to remind us of God’s might on these particular occasions, but God still wants us to remember what He has done for us. When He gives us victory in a matter, let’s not forget that it was God who did it, not ourselves, and let’s give Him thanks.