Passover: God's Mercy at Work
Over the past month or so, we’ve been studying the people and events surrounding the Ten Plagues of Egypt—everything from the great and powerful to the small and slightly hilarious. We’ve seen magic men try to replicate God and simply fall short and make the situation worse, and we’ve watched Moses’ rise from outlawry to greatness. But most of all, we’ve witnessed God’s awesome power and glory, His intense judgment on the people of Egypt, and His goodness and kindness towards His chosen people.
As we near the end of the plagues of Egypt, we come to one of the most beautiful pictures in the Old Testament—the Passover. Its institution was in the land of Egypt before the Israelites were free, and it has been carried on over the past six thousand years. One of the most important events in the Jewish year, thousands continue gather to celebrate the Passover to this day.
Moses' Rise to Greatness
Moses. So far, his life has been one epic drama, full of highs and lows. However, all these things were molding him into the man God needed him to be for the task ahead. And eventually, when he was completely following the Lord and carrying out his mission, Moses rose to greatness among all the people, Egyptian and Israelite alike.
Israel's Three Plagues
“Let my people go, that they may serve me. Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.”
Egypt was afflicted with ten plagues, and while you may think that Israel got away scot-free, they didn’t. They had a few plagues to deal with too. It wasn’t until the fourth plague—flies—that God began to spare His people the suffering to come. Therefore, the Israelites had to deal with the water turning to blood, frogs, and gnats.
As with all stories and dramas there are the good guys and the bad guys—the protagonist and the antagonist. For the drama of the Exodus the good guys are easy to find, Moses and Aaron, and the antagonist is obvious, Pharaoh. However, there are a few other bad guys that are not so easy to pick out. But that’s their mode of operation. They prefer being secretive, hidden, and under the radar. Their craft was magic and their methods were top secret. Some might say they were powerful, however, before the power of God their actions became pathetic. These men were the magicians of Egypt.
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