God’s word is true. It is now, and it was then. All firstborn children and animals perished that night. On the anniversary of the Israelites’ 430th year in Egypt, they were on their way at last. Death was the final straw. Pharaoh was not going to change his mind. Was he?
The title of this book is “Exodus” and what we see beginning in these verses is the great exodus from Egypt. It was a quick move. There wasn’t a lot of time to think and to plan. God had told them what they needed to do. God had given them favor with the Egyptians so that they left with a lot more than they had come. We hear they “stripped the wealth” of the Egyptians.
The Egyptians were so lost in their own grief and agony, they were ready for the Israelites to leave. Fear had replaced any attitude of superiority. Who would be next to die? Why had Pharaoh allowed the Israelites to stay after all the travesty they had caused. And now this? Not a house was spared. Imagine waking up and finding your loved one, your precious son, dead. Why did it have to happen?
For the Israelites, this was a night to remember. Forever. “On this night the Lord kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation.”
Have you ever sat back and truly pictured what this must have looked like. If the numbers are right, 600,000 men, plus women, children, and livestock, including a crowd of non-Israelites who were tagging along– that is a lot of commotion. That is a mind-blowing amount of people to be moving out of a community. At the same time! And all of them in a hurry lest Pharaoh changes his mind again.
What would you have been thinking? Did they know where they were going?
Have you ever been in a position where you felt God leading you someplace but you didn’t know why? Maybe you didn’t even know where! That’s the key, God was leading. Sometimes we try to break free of our struggles and past by moving forward without God. We are using our own power. How does that play out? Usually not successfully.
I can speak from experience. I’ve made some mistakes in my life when I didn’t turn to God first or rely on the counsel of folks I should have listened to before making a move. How did that turn out? I can’t say it was a disaster, but it certainly has left people hurt. Has God helped redeem the situation? Absolutely.
But why do we rely on God to fix things? Shouldn’t we be more focused on following what he wants in the first place? We’ll get where we’re supposed to go when we’re supposed to get there. God’s timing is always perfect. The trick is not being in a rush.
When we focus in on where God is leading before we move, the outcome is so much better. It’s always fun to look back and see God’s hand at work. We may not have seen it all that clearly as we were going through the muck, but looking back, the reflection is usually quite enlightening. Can you see God’s fingerprints in your life?
If you’re facing a turning point in your life, turn first to God. Listen for his voice. Be ready to move in a moment’s notice if that is how his plan is playing out for you. In the meantime, be praying for opportunities to move in his will.
Let’s pray. Lord, I thank you for how you are working in my life. Sometimes I wonder what it is you have for me. Then I remember all I need to do is ask, and you will reveal my path, little by little, as I am ready. I pray the path you have for me will be revealed so I can know without a doubt that you are guiding me. Help me keep my eyes on you. In Jesus’ name.