The Plague Death of the Firstborn

Welcome back to today’s Time in the Word. I am finding it hard to finish this last devotion. The Death of the Firstborn is the hardest plague- people die. That is an attention-getter!

I know some folks may still struggle with God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. I tussle that around in my mind as well. I continued to read more and stumbled upon an article from Rabbi Markovitz, you can read that here.

Rabbi Markovitz explained, and I pray I will relay this correctly, that while we all have free will if we continue to make bad decisions, we lose the ability TO make the right choices. It’s an erosion of moral capabilities to make Godly choices. Maybe God gives you over to your desires for making bad decisions? Making good choices becomes a habit until it is natural, and the reverse is true of bad decisions.

Plague Number Ten: Death of the Firstborn

Scripture: Exodus 11-12:1-36, NIV

We left Exodus 10 with Pharaoh telling Moses NEVER to return. In Exodus 11, God shares with Moses one last plague, the Death of the Firstborn. Pharaoh will finally let Moses, the Israelites, and all that belongs to them, go. Moses also instructed the Israelites to go to all their Egyptian neighbors and ask for articles of silver and gold.

Moses goes to Pharaoh and gives him the bad news that around midnight, every first-born Egyptian, whether slave, free, or animal will die. There will be great wailing and anguish, unlike anything the Egyptians have ever known.

Moses makes the distinction that in all Israelite homes, it would be silent- not a dog will bark. God reveals to Moses that Pharaoh and his officials will come to him and tell them to go.

Moving on to Exodus 12, God instructs Moses on how to conduct the Passover and the Festival of Unleaved Bread. Applying lamb’s blood upon the door posts was a sign to the Angel of Death to pass by.

As we read, we can see the preparations for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread took about 4 days. Pharaoh had ample time to think and repent.

Midnight fell and death came calling. Pharaoh, his officials, and all the Egyptian people came to Moses and asked for all of Israel to leave.

All the gods

This last and final plague was a judgment on every single Egyptian god. This judgment included Pharaoh as well, as he thought himself a god. God keeps good accounts and repaid Pharaoh for the evil slaughter of the Israelite firstborn. Mocking God has serious consequences. Especially killing innocent babies and children.

Interesting Notes and Insights

  • Moses and Aaron continued to be obedient to God.
  • The Israelites were to ask for gold and silver from their Egyptian neighbors, thus returning to them what the Egyptians originally stole when they enslaved them.
  • The Passover became an excellent sign of Israel’s active obedience to God.
  • God alone delivered this plague.
  • God provided the Israelites salvation from death by the blood of a lamb.
  • We can be given over to our rebellion and bad decisions.
  • When God gives us direction, like the Passover directions, we must follow them.
  • God never fails at doing his part.

I wanted to share another chart with you. You can pick that up here,

Sharing bits of insight about the Ten Plagues has been a fun journey. God is so patient with us, he wants no one to perish. God gives us free will to choose to follow him or the world. Our decisions influence other decisions throughout our life. Choose wisely, friends!

Thank you for joining me here, today in Time in the Word.

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