Exodus 12:29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the 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 livestock. 30 Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his officials and all the Egyptians; and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. 31 Then he summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, “Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord, as you said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And bring a blessing on me too!”
This passage continues the story of God liberating the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt under the leadership of Moses and his brother Aaron. This is the final, and most devastating, of the plagues God inflicted on the Egyptians who would not let God’s people go. This morning I’m thinking about the extent of “the firstborn in the land of Egypt”. How would this have impacted me and my family had we been Egyptians in the time of the Exodus?
I am a firstborn so I would be dead. My own firstborn is Victoria so she would be gone. My mother was a firstborn so she would be gone as well. Not sure about my household pets (two dogs, three cats) but since animals were included in this awful plague, it’s possible one or more of them would be dead.
“there was not a house without someone dead”
From my perspective, reading this story thousands of years after it happened, the results sound excessively harsh. But I’m not sure the Hebrews would have thought it so. They probably felt that Egypt had it coming. It is one of many illustrations in scripture that sometimes awful things are required for God’s will to be accomplished.
Lord have mercy on all who read this post today. Amen.