Subscribe in a reader
Back to All Events

Exodus 12:29-32, The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

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.
— Exodus 12:30

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, September 28, 2018

 pharaoh in despair

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


Finally, God got Pharaoh's attention. You might wonder why it took so much for Pharaoh to relent. But think about it -- Pharaoh's entire workforce, which he had used to build marvels in Egypt, was about to walk away. The sheer numbers of people leaving could cripple their economy and devastate their way of life.

But enough was enough. When such widespread death afflicted even his own family, he was finally ready to let them go. He released the Israelites to leave and to worship their God that had brought so much devastation to Egypt.

This story makes me think of the egotism that often comes with power. Pharaoh never could see the condition his slaves were living in. He couldn't really even see the suffering that the first nine plagues brought to his own people. But God got his attention when the suffering affected him. He released the slaves only to relieve his own suffering. Pharaoh even had the nerve to ask Israel to pray for God's blessing on him! What a different world this might be if those in power had the capacity for empathy!


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Exodus 12:29-32

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. 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. 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. Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And bring a blessing on me too!”

Related & Recent Posts

 
Earlier Event: September 27
Exodus 3:1-12, Moses at the Burning Bush