Today we continue with God’s wrath on the Egyptians for not releasing His people from captivity.
Day 33 reading: Exodus, chapters 10-12
The the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.” (10:1-2, NIV)
The Lord cares about ancestry, blood lines, family, and heritage. I don’t know about you, but I get stressed just over the doctor asking about my family medical history back through my grandparents. There are genealogist-types in my family that keep track of all the records and documentation of who crossed what ocean on what boat and when, but I am not one of them. However, reading just this small passage makes me want to learn more and hear more of the stories my parents and grandparents have shared over the years. In the times we are reading through now, people also lived longer than they do today. We get excited to get a picture with four, maybe even five, generations together, but imagine how many generations you could live to see and tell stories to if you lived to be 137 years old like Levi (Exodus 6:16), 110 years like Joseph (Genesis 50: 26), or 140 years like Job (Job 42:16).
Yesterday, I shared with you about The History Channel program my husband and I had watched, The Exodus Decoded. Today, as the plagues continue, I can’t help but think it interesting that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart over and over again so that everything in the land of the Egyptians would be destroyed, even the people themselves, before the Israelites would be allowed to leave Egypt. Through bloody water, frogs, gnats, flies, disease, and hail in yesterday’s scripture passage, then today’s locusts, darkness, and even the deaths of every Egyptian first-born son (human and animals), Pharaoh and the Egyptian peoples lost everything.
In Beth Moore’s Bible study, entitled Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent, she demonstrated how the Israelites would have painted their door posts with lamb’s blood for the Passover that we are studying today. It was interesting for me to see her take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs (12:7, NIV), as she brushed the blood onto the wood with hyssop.
Another time I have encountered delving into the Passover was when I read A.J. Jacob’s Year of Living Biblically, where he devoted a year to living as closely as he could to the laws as outlined in the Bible. Sometimes he passed, sometimes he failed, but his adventures (and mis-adventures) always made for entertaining reading. And, I must say, that although A. J. Jacobs considers himself a Jewish-born agnostic, his book proved enlightening into some of the history and facts behind hundreds of Biblical laws, like the Passover that we are reading about in today’s passage.
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt. Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for generations to come. (12:40-42, NIV)
Family. Generations. Blood lines. Divisions. We are important to our Lord, the one and only God. He keeps His promises to us and is ever faithful to us, His children. Just as He brought His chosen people out of Egyptian slavery, He will also bring you and I out of the slavery and sin we have gotten ourselves tangled up in. The Lord said, “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants.” (12:24, NIV)
Where do we learn our habits, customs, history from these days? How are we ensuring that these same stories are continuing down the line to our children and our children’s children? He performs miraculous signs in our lives every day, so that we may tell our children and grandchildren how He dealt harshly with those who keep us captive, and how He performs His signs among us, so that we may know that He is the Lord (10:1-2). Amen!
Make it a great day,
Day 34 reading: Exodus, chapters 13-15