By Jenny Beer, director of counseling at Goshen College
Reprinted from Lenten Devotions
What strikes me most about the 12 plagues inflicted on the Egyptians is God’s unswerving commitment to set the Israelites free. In spite of God’s anger at the Egyptians for their cruel treatment of the Israelites, God gave them chance after chance after chance to respond to his request. Each plague intensified the Egyptians’ misery until at last, in a final act of persuasion, God enacted the Passover, not because he wanted to take the lives of the firstborn sons, but because it was the only way. God demonstrated he was willing to do whatever it would take to free the Israelites from the Egyptians.
Many years later when Jesus was sacrificed as the Passover Lamb, God demonstrated his unswerving commitment to us again, showing he was willing to do whatever it would take to free us from our sin and bring us into a right eternal relationship with him.
Today, God is still prepared to do whatever it takes for you, with the same unswerving love and devotion. Know this – the Israelites weren’t protected from the tyranny of slavery – but they were delivered from it. Many of us know pain – pain that couldn’t be prevented because free will prohibits God from judging us for what we haven’t done yet –but also know the God of the universe is a God of justice and love, and is prepared to do what it takes to deliver you from your pain and suffering into a life of joy.
We remember because it reminds us of an enduring quality of God – that God is devoted to us, and in return wants our worship, our love and our time.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14 (NRSV)