Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 12:29-30 (NIV)
At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.
Exodus 12:29-30 (MSG)
At midnight God struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, right down to the firstborn of the prisoner locked up in jail. Also the firstborn of the animals. Pharaoh got up that night, he and all his servants and everyone else in Egypt—what wild wailing and lament in Egypt! There wasn’t a house in which someone wasn’t dead.
“Now it happened at midnight that the Lord struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the cattle. Pharaoh got up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry [of heartache and sorrow] in Egypt, for there was no house where there was not someone dead.” -AMPLIFIED
Yesterday we saw the obedience of the Israelites in that they did exactly as God commanded them; (“The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.”)The Egyptians though were another story; they continued in their rebellion against Jehovah. We find that God was good for His word. He said that He would pass through the land of Egypt and the firstborn of the great leader, all the way down to the slave-girl; as well as all the livestock would die and it was so.
At midnight the Lord went through the land of Egypt and did exactly as He had warned He would do. He had given Pharaoh ample opportunity to change his mind and his ways, but instead of humbling himself before the Almighty One; he continued to be stiff-necked and rebellious. Scripture tells us that on this particular night there was great wailing and lamentation throughout the land of Egypt; from the palace to the dungeon.
Remember, this particular plague was a judgment on all of the Egyptian gods; including Pharaoh himself. Let us recall too, how back in Exodus 1 Pharaoh had murdered the infant sons of Israel? Now the Lord kills the firstborn sons of the Egyptians as judgement and restitution for what had been done to His people.
All of this is a reminder to us of a truth that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians, but it has been true since the beginning of time; “Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.” -Galatians 6:7-8 (MSG)
Sadly, we can once again see Pharaoh’s attitude come through in his words to Moses when he called him back to the throne room. “Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron that very night and said, “Get out of here and be done with you—you and your Israelites! Go worship God on your own terms. And yes, take your sheep and cattle as you’ve insisted, but go. And bless me.” -Exodus 12:31-32 (MSG)
The Egyptians followed suit in their attitudes as well; taking right after their great leader. “The Egyptians couldn’t wait to get rid of them; they pushed them to hurry up, saying, “We’re all as good as dead.” -Exodus 12:33 (MSG)
So the children of Israel did as they asked. “So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing…The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.” -Exodus 12:34,37-39 (NIV)
God forbid that we have an attitude like Pharaoh and the Egyptians. This rebellious, stubborn, hard-hearted stiff-neck attitude against the Almighty One caused them a whole lot of problems that they otherwise could have by-passed if only they would have been obedient from the beginning. “Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!” -Deuteronomy 6:5 (MSG)
Lord, have your way in my life. I want to be obedient and pleasing to you. At times though, that rebellious spirit rears its ugly head. I pray that you will help me to conquer that stubborn, stiff-necked attitude. Help me to be a willing, obedient servant; ready to do what you call me to do for you. I want to honor you and bring glory to your name; less of me and more of You. Have your will and way in my life, dear Lord.