Midnight Violence and the Salvation of a Nation

Friday is for Heart Songs

Meditation on Exodus 11-12 and the Passover

“So Moses said, ‘Thus says the LORD;
About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt,
and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die,
from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne,
even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill,
and all the firstborn of the cattle.”
—Exodus 11:4-5

Passover LambFrightening verses. It is a discomforting thought that God is willing to work violence to effect the salvation of his people. Our God is a consuming fire and only with great violence to the gospel can you drive a wedge between the Old Testament revelation and the New Testament.

It simply can’t be done.

When Jesus says “Truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am,” he was claiming to be nothing less than the God who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and spoke these words to Moses just before the final plague was worked on the Egyptians. (cf. John 8:53-58, Ex. 3:14)

The love of God for his people is a passionate and ferocious thing.

There are many in our time who want to remake and tame our God. They want to make of him a soft-handed pacifist and run away from the reality of God as he has revealed himself in history. It won’t work.

He is gentle. He is compassionate. He is slow to anger and abounding in loviningkindness, but that is not the end of what he has revealed about himself. “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury” (Psalm 2:5)

Let us serve such a King, in light of the whole of his self-revelation, remembering that he will have no other gods before him. (Ex. 20:3)


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