Here it is folks. Exodus 12 is arguably the most important and significant chapter in the Bible so far. I had this grand plan to write a haunting first-person account of the events but my study of the chapter led me in a very different direction.
Instead of a sweeping narrative of the final plague and the people’s freedom from slavery, I got a lot of information about the proper way to celebrate these events.
And that brings me to the first of three things that I learned about the Passover.
1) The Understatement of the Year!
The final plague, the death of the firstborn of Egypt, gets exactly one verse. Two if you count the loud cry that goes up because of it.
Two verses? Really?!
For some perspective, here are some less important events we’ve seen and how many verses they got:
- Esau’s annoying wives: 7 verses
- Noah’s drunkenness: 8 verses
- Lot’s freaky daughters: 9 verses
Thousands of Egyptians breathe their last.
Cries of mourning and wailing echo through the night.
History itself shudders under the weight of God’s judgment and all we get are two measly verses.
This book is weird.
2) The Beginning of Time
“This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you.”
This is the first month. And not in the “January is the first month” way. This is the first month ever.
The Hebrews didn’t have time while they were slaves. Every day was exactly the same as the one before. Every day was about making bricks. Days probably just bled into each other in a meaningless and hopeless slog.
But not anymore.
Something new is going to happen. Tomorrow they will not make bricks. Tomorrow they will leave this place of oppression and venture out into the new world and new life God is giving them.
And every year, on this day, they are to remember when time began.
This book is awesome.
3) The Destroyer
“. . . the Lord will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down.”
In the last chapter, we learned that God was going to strike down the firstborn children of Egypt but we didn’t learn how he was going to do it.
Now we know: The Destroyer
Who or what is this mysterious “destroyer?” Is it God? Is it someone who does God’s bidding? I don’t know. Does God walk through Egypt with a three-headed polar bear on a leash? What is going on here?
This book is weird again.
Tune in tomorrow for part 2. In the meantime, answer the following question: When was a time when you experienced the “slog” of days bleeding into one another? What was it like coming out of that?