EXODUS 11: DEATH ANGEL
4 Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out through Egypt. 5 Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the hand mill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 6 Then there will be a loud cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as has never been or will ever be again. 7 But not a dog shall growl at any of the Israelites—not at people, not at animals—so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 Then all these officials of yours shall come down to me, and bow low to me, saying, ‘Leave us, you and all the people who follow you.’ After that I will leave.” And in hot anger he left Pharaoh. Exodus 11:4-8 (IEB)
The last plague is death to every firstborn Egyptian human and animal. This story is where the Passover celebration of Israel gets its name.
God hardens Pharaoh’s heart one last time, and the death angel “passes over” the houses of Israel but visited death on Egyptian households, killing male and female firstborn children and animals.
God of the Passover, this story raises so many questions in our minds, emotions in our hearts. Justice is your right, but we tend to think love means you have no right to judge and destroy life.
Would a God of love allow people to escape justice when they do evil? It seems you allow evil on the earth at times, but will you do justice at some point for all who sin so stubbornly like Pharaoh?
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.