This morning I read Exodus 10-12. It contains the final few plagues God strikes Egypt with before Pharaoh finally relents and lets God’s people go. The final plague, the death of the firstborn, where God passes over the Israelites because of the lamb’s blood on their doors, is the origin of the Passover and presages the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God Who takes away our sin. That alone is so beautiful. As I read these verses in Exodus 12 I all of a sudden found tears in my eyes:
“The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the LORD by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.”Exodus 12:40-42
The verses paint this image of God’s people bundled up, families, children, livestock, a multitude without even provisions for themselves. As they are thrust out of Egypt, that very night God is watching over them, it’s “a night of watching by the LORD.” It made me picture the Father caring so personally and kindly for His children, watching over them to make sure they’re safe as they head out not knowing what’s next. He wasn’t a Father waiting up to chastise His kid for breaking curfew, or coming home angry because they’d broken something. He watched over them to keep them safe, He got them out of a bad place, He’d meticulously planned it (430 years to the day, they were leaving). What an incredible God, and what a personal, caring, kind Father.
I don’t have anything profound to say, I just wanted to share that these words struck me this morning. It was as if God was reminding me how much He watches over His children, He is above all the unknowns of day-to-day and year-to-year life, and He is watching with care, working in ways we don’t know to bring His children to Him. The people I love, my family, my friends, He loves more and watches over them. My heart breaks over my children, I want them to find hope and peace and strength in Him as their Father. My friends, so many who know Jesus and who don’t, I yearn for them to experience the personal lovingkindness of God through everything. I believe that this morning God reminded me He is watching over them all day and all night, that He will bring His children (including me and the people I love and worry over) home. I can (and must) trust Him. I’m ultimately powerless but He has all power, He has more love than I can fathom. He chases us down to save us, no matter how much we run from and reject Him. I’d be lost without this Father for whom every night is a night of watching, to bring me out of darkness into His light. I’m praying for myself, the people I love, and whoever read this to experience His love and grace and power in very real ways that cause us to turn to Him in trust and gratitude.