Exodus 11:1 – 12:30. Egypt is in shambles, but Pharaoh just won’t give up.
“Papa’s Bible Stories” brings the Bible to life for your kids. For each episode, I pick a Bible story to talk to my very own kids about. The stories are entirely Bible-based,...
Exodus 11:1 – 12:30. Egypt is in shambles, but Pharaoh just won’t give up.
“Papa’s Bible Stories” brings the Bible to life for your kids. For each episode, I pick a Bible story to talk to my very own kids about. The stories are entirely Bible-based, scripture is quoted at every opportunity, and the kids are always pointed to the Bible as the authority. And we’re not afraid of having a little fun too! It is my hope and prayer that your kids will be excited to explore God’s Word for themselves after hearing each and every episode. #bible #stories #kids #children #adventist #sda
Where we left off last time, nine plagues had ravaged Egypt – blood water, frogs, lice, flies, dead livestock, boils, hail, locusts, and finally darkness. Egypt had been a beautiful land, full of lush green pastures, crops, and with a picturesque Nile River flowing through it. Now Egypt was a land of brown, with stinking carcasses everywhere, broken trees, dead crops, burning wrecks, and with a polluted river running through it. Egypt was in shambles. Before just about every plague, God had warned Pharaoh (through Moses) to let His people go. But no matter how bad things got, and no matter how much pressure that God applied, Pharaoh just refused to let God’s people go. But…a tenth and final plague was coming…a plague so terrible and so unthinkable that not only would Pharaoh let the Israelites go…but he would be almost happy do so.
And so, for the last time, Moses went to see Pharaoh to warn him about this final plague, and Moses said to Pharaoh, “(4)Thus says the LORD: 'About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; (5) and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant whoisbehind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. (6) Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like itbefore,nor shall be like it again. … (8) And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, 'Get out, and all the people who follow you!' After that I will go out.” (Ex. 11:4-8)
God was going to kill all the firstborn children in all of Egypt. All the way from Pharaoh’s firstborn, all the way down to the servants’ firstborn, even all the way down to the firstborn of the animals. As I’ve said a few times already kidzos, as a parent, losing your child is almost unthinkable…I can’t even imagine it. But on top of this, in ancient times, the firstborn was the most important child in the family. Because the firstborn would get the birthright, the parents often paid extra special attention to their firstborn. And this was the specific child…the firstborn…that would die in each family. And if Pharaoh didn’t let the Israelites go, the pride of joy of each family would die.
Now Pharaoh must have noticed by now that each time that Moses said something was going to happen…that that something did indeed happen. When Moses had said that the river would turn to blood…it had indeed turned to blood. When Moses had said that frogs would invade Egypt…frogs had indeed invaded Egypt. When Moses had said that lice would infest the Egyptians…lice had indeed infested the Egyptians. The same with the flies, the dead livestock, the boils, the hail, the locusts, and even the darkness. And this time, Moses was saying that all the firstborn of Egypt would die…and so Pharaoh must have known that it was going to happen. And with the stakes so high…with so much at risk…and with Moses’ proven track record…of course Pharaoh immediately let the Israelites go…right? There was no way that Pharaoh was going to risk the countless Egyptian lives, including the life of his very own son…right? Well, no. No unfortunately kidzos that’s not what Pharaoh was going to do. And the Bible says that Pharaoh, “did not let the children of Israel go out of his land.” (11:10)
Now, for reasons that are a bit difficult to explain, unlike many of the previous plagues, the Israelites weren’t entirely off the hook for this plague. The Bible says that what was happening here is that God was “executing judgement” on the land of Egypt. And because the Israelites were also in the land of Egypt, that meant that the Israelites would get judged too. And you know kidzos when God just simply executes judgement…ya know without any mercy…well…then we all get what we deserve. And since we are sinners…what we deserve is the punishment that was promised to Adam & Eve all those years ago when they ate the fruit of the tree…when God said “in the day that you shall eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17)…the punishment of death. But…just like with Adam and Eve, the merciful God that we serve provided the Israelites with a way out.
And what was this way out? Well, Moses called all the elders of Israel together and explained it to them, saying, “(21) Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passoverlamb. (22) And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dipitin the blood thatisin the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood thatisin the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. (23) For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strikeyou.” (12:21-23) So each Israelite family was to kill a lamb, take the lamb’s blood, and put it on the door frame of their home…on the top and on the sides of the door frame. And if they did that, and if they stayed inside their home all that night, then God promised that He would pass over their home and not pass judgement on their home. The blood of the lamb was their way out. And after hearing this, the Bible says that the Israelites, “bowed their heads and worshiped. (28) Then the children of Israel went away and didso;just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.” (12:27-28)
And after each family had made their preparations for the night, I can imagine that they would have huddled together as they thought about what was about to happen. It was scary times for sure. And I’m sure that not a few children decided to sleep in their parents’ bed that night, right kidzos? But even though it was scary, they didn’t have to worry. They were protected by the blood of the lamb. And at midnight that very same night, the Bible says that, “the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive whowasin the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. (30) So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, forthere wasnot a house wherethere wasnot one dead. ” (12:29) All the firstborn of all the Egyptians died. From the firstborn of the prisoner in the dungeon, all the way to the firstborn of Pharaoh himself. And even though the Egyptians had had every chance to avoid this terrible thing, it was still very very sad. As each family found their loved ones dead, they started to cry. And so many families cried that night that it seemed that all of Egypt was crying.
As the Israelites listened to the cries of the Egyptians, many families must have had extra thankful hearts. They had been spared God’s judgement. And they would have known that this was some kind of extra special moment in history. In fact, God had already set aside some time in every year to remember what had happened that day. God had already said to the Israelites, “And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. (25) It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. (26) And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?' (27) that you shall say, 'Itisthe Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.'” (12:24-27) Once they arrived in the promised land, every year there would be a Passover celebration to remember the day that God spared them from judgement.
But not only would the yearly Passover celebration be there to remember what had happened in the past, but it was also there to think about the future. To remind the Israelites that some day an innocent being would come and sacrifice his life for them, so that they all could have a way out…so that they all could escape what they deserve. And kidzos, even though this all happened a long time ago, and to a people that we don’t know, and in a world that we wouldn’t recognize…the blood of the lamb is still saving us even today. We too deserve judgement…we all have sinned…and we all…whether we like to think about it or not…deserve to die, and it’s only because of the blood the lamb…the blood of an innocent being who willingly lays down his life for each of us…that you and me and everyone can have a way out.
With this final terrible plague, Pharaoh had had enough. And that same night Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said to them, “Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said. (32) Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” (12:31-32) Pharaoh’s stubbornness had finally been broken. Pharaoh’s pride and arrogance had been destroyed. He could not fight with Moses anymore. He could not fight with God anymore. And with this word from Pharaoh, the Israelites were finally…and at last…free.