Ralph's Daily Devotional - Thursday, June 28

Targeting the firstborn, as seen in Exodus 12:29,30, brings forth a swift, complete, sudden and virulent act upon Egypt.  The angelic strike is precise; there are no accidental, random casualties.  Scripture is silent as to the exact nature and cause of this lethal and devastating  judgment.  Humbled and humiliated, pharaoh must now allow the Hebrews to be released.

Ancient custom and law afforded the firstborn a higher status of responsibility and blessing.  Israel herself is often called God's firstborn.  By striking the firstborn, pharaoh's own initial killing of all firstborns in Exodus' opening story is now reversed upon himself.

The release of the Hebrews from the world's greatest power of that time is an act requiring real effort on the part of God.  Many pastors and even theologians rarely consider this.  While God is omnipotent (meaning all-powerful), nevertheless the Exodus as revealed here requires real time and energy on God's part.  Certainly, it by no means is an exhaustive act to the One, who simply by His Word creates and sustains the universe.  Yet, it would be an overstatement to conclude that for God everything is but a drop in the bucket. 

True, His power and purpose is beyond comprehension and nothing can overcome Him.  Nevertheless, the Biblical story of God's acting in human history supplies enough warranted examples demonstrating how we puny humans can at times be quite a handful, outdistancing in trial and effort even God's sovereign hold on the very stars themselves.

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