Exodus 12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.
33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.
God had given instructions to Moses and Aaron regarding the Passover. Moses had faithfully taught that to the elders. The elders had shown the people of their tribes the importance of following the instructions given to them. Pharaoh was told that the firstborn of cattle and people would die. Now we read that God did exactly as He declared He would do. Pharaoh could not protect his firstborn son. He thought he was the final authority. He should have known better but his wicked heart would not allow him to submit to the truth. He was so blinded by his pride that he would not accept the council of his advisers; thus he lost his firstborn son that night. All the firstborn in Egypt died that night. All the firstborn among their cattle also died. This was quite the shock to the nation.
In verse 30 we read that Pharaoh rose up at night and all his servants and they all discovered that their firstborn were dead. God had warned them this was coming. Pharaoh and the entire nation knew what was coming. Yet, Pharaoh led the nation once again in defiance against the true God. We know that they were all aware of what the LORD had said. They got up at midnight to see if what they were told was true. What a foolish way to live. Rather than heed the warning and ask what they needed to do to avoid this judgment, they waited until the time appointed and then went to see if the LORD actually did what He said He would do. They already knew from the last nine plagues that the LORD keeps His Word. He not only sent nine other plagues. He also removed those plagues according to His Word. This plague hit close to home the hardest. What a tragic loss the nation of Egypt faced.
We read that there was a great cry in Egypt. There was not a house where there was not one dead. God had the people’s attention for the moment. They had suffered through the other nine plagues. They had seen how God separated the land of Goshen from the rest of Egypt, yet they did nothing to prepare for this judgment.
Verse 31 tells us that Pharaoh did not wait for the morning. This was urgent. The LORD knew this would happen. That is why He had instructed the nation of Israel to eat the Passover in haste. They were to eat it with their shoes shod upon their feet and everything ready to go. Now we see that Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and demanded that they rise up and get out of Egypt. We know this would be a short lived remorse on Pharaoh’s part. He was acting on his emotions, but not from the heart.
This time there was no negotiation. There was no restriction placed on the children of Israel. Pharaoh also knew that Israel needed to go because the LORD had said so. He was a defeated man for the moment.
Sadly, the pattern that Pharaoh set has been repeated over and over again. People get into a bind and they cry out to God. They might even attend church for a time, but soon that wears off. They do not get what they expect from church so they lose interest. When you do not pursue the truth and you do not humbly submit to the truth, you will not be satisfied with the truth. The truth is an offence to those who are lost and do not want to know the truth. Many choose false religion as a substitute, however, false religion cannot satisfy the soul of man.
In verse 32 Pharaoh urged Moses and Aaron to take their flocks and their herds with them. He wanted them out, but he also wanted them to bless him. It is not possible to bless wicked people. They would not receive the LORD’s blessing anyway. The LORD does not throw His pearls to the swine. Pharaoh would discover a greater disaster yet than this.
Verse 33 tells us that the people of Egypt urged the people to leave as well. They understood they were in a very fragile position. This is important for every person to understand. Our very breath is in God’s hand. He can stop the heart from beating or stop the breathing. He can cause a deadly disease. Pharaoh did not want to believe this. Most people today do not want to believe this either. People have been running to get the shots in the hope of being protected from the virus. Yet more people are facing severe side effects and even death from the shots than from the virus.
Many people across the world have been in a panic mode over the past 2+ years over a man-made threat. The governments have fudged the figures to make it seem as if this has been far more deadly than it actually is. Over the past year people have died as a result of the shots that they were deceived into getting. More are dying. Pregnant women are miscarrying. Young couples are unable to have children. Others are facing neurological conditions for which the medical field has no answer.
Yet few are addressing the real need in their hearts. Few are turning to the LORD for salvation. The government is going to steal more tax-payer money to promote boosters that they know do not work.
The Egyptians were not asking Moses and Aaron how they could know the true God. They were urging the Hebrews to leave. Getting rid of those who had the answers they needed was not the right response. It is true that Israel needed to leave. It is also true that God wanted the Egyptians to be saved.
Jeremiah 27:5 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.
The Egyptians would have been wise to reconsider their rebellious hearts. They certainly had enough evidence to know that their false gods were just that, they were false gods. They also had enough evidence to know that their Pharaoh was a fool and he did not care about the people. Yet, they foolishly urged the children of Israel to leave their land. They still thought they were better off with their wicked ruler than they would be in turning to the true God.
In our text, Israel was leaving. Egypt would have a mess to clean up. However, Egypt was in just as hopeless a state through all of this as they were when God began to deal with them about letting Israel leave. They failed to learn anything of value from this all. That is sad. They were given all the opportunity they needed but they chose to reject it all.
Israel would have some things to remember. They could use these things to trust in the true God. Sadly, even though they left Egypt physically, they did not leave Egypt spiritually. They did not turn to the LORD. They too were very stubborn. God has given us this history that we might learn the importance of knowing the LORD and of trusting Him. Let us take the opportunity to know Him and be sure we are not squandering the opportunity given to us to trust in Him.