Remembering the Passover & Exodus: a selection of passages & meditations
"Stretch out your hand that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt."

Reading: Exodus 10:21 - 11:10
(10) 21 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt." 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; 23 they did not see one another, nor did any rise from his place for three days; but all the people of Israel had light where they dwelt. 24 Then Pharaoh called Moses, and said, "Go, serve the LORD; your children also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind." 25 But Moses said, "You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the LORD our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the LORD until we arrive there." 27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. 28 Then Pharaoh said to him, "Get away from me; take heed to yourself; never see my face again; for in the day you see my face you shall die." 29 Moses said, "As you say! I will not see your face again."

(11) 1 The LORD said to Moses, "Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence; when he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. 2 Speak now in the hearing of the people, that they ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, jewelry of silver and of gold." 3 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.

4 And Moses said, "Thus says the LORD: About midnight I will go forth in the midst of Egypt; 5 and all the first-born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sits upon his throne, even to the first-born of the maidservant who is behind the mill; and all the first-born of the cattle. 6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever shall be again. 7 But against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, not a dog shall growl; that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel. 8 And all these your servants shall come down to me, and bow down to me, saying, `Get you out, and all the people who follow you.' And after that I will go out." And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.

9 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt." 10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh; and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.

Meditation: The plagues of God's judgment distinguish between those who belong to God and those who belong to Satan. Those who belong to God are brought to light and life. Those who belong to Satan are brought to darkness and death (see Revelations 16:10-11).

The plagues contain an important message, not only for those who oppose God, but also for those who seek the Lord They are an urgent message of the need for repentance and they are a sign of God's sovereign power and control over the forces of sin and darkness. God does not leave us to fight our battles alone. He is with us and he gives us the power to overcome sin and darkness in our lives.

In the next to last plague, the land of Egypt becomes engulfed in total darkness, a darkness so thick that it could be felt! While the Egyptians were left in total darkness, the land of Goshen where the Hebrews lived was filled with light. The withdrawal of light speaks of punishment for sin. If we drive God out of our lives we are left in spiritual darkness. Do you allow any sin to keep God's light from shining brightly in your path?

Sin leads to darkness and eventual death. In the last plague and final confrontation between Moses and Pharoah we see the ultimate judgment and victory of God. God passes through Egypt as a destroyer, killing the firstborn of man and beast, but sparing those who are sealed by the blood of the lamb. The firstborn, like the first fruits belonged to God. This was a representative action of God. In striking the firstborn of Egypt, God signified that all were guilty.

Jesus, the firsborn of all creation (Col. 1:15), and the eldest of many brothers (Romans 8:30), took the full guilt of our sins upon himself and paid the full price to set us free.

"Lord Jesus Christ, you have brought us from darkness to light. May I always live in your light and walk according to your truth. Free me from all darkness and sin that I may give you glory in the way I think, speak, and act."

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(c) 1999, 2001, 2002 Don Schwager