April 23, 2016

A Lesson From the Sidelines

Exodus 12:29-30

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt.

—  Exodus 12:29

Sometimes we learn by doing. Other times we learn by watching. Long ago Israel watched God do something unspeakably terrible to the Egyptians. He slaughtered all the firstborn children of Egypt. It was the last of ten plagues that God sent to persuade Pharaoh that keeping Israel in slavery was not good for Egypt’s future. 

Moses and the Israelites must have learned many things as they watched the plagues afflict Egypt. They saw God batter the Egyptian gods, shatter Pharaoh’s claims to power, and dismantle the Egyptians’ worldview. They obeyed God by putting blood on the doorframes of their homes so that they would be spared.

I think that God wanted Israel, not just Egypt, to know that there is no God but him, that other gods are only worthless idols, and that he is willing to go extraordinary lengths to rescue his loved ones. These are lessons that Israel would need to remember as they arrived in the promised land to begin their mission of pointing the nations to God.

God is at work today too. Are you watching? What are you learning? Have you learned from what God did long ago too? Remember, he arranged to have Jesus Christ, his own firstborn son, killed in order to rescue you from slavery to sin and death. He has gone to extraordinary lengths out of his love for you!

Teach us, Lord, to have our eyes and ears open. Teach us what you would have us know for the joy of our hearts and the blessing of our world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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