“Exposing the Exodus”
The Plague of Death – (Chapter 11 Verse 10 & 12:29-30)
We have recapitulation, review along with the prediction of and the fulfilment of the plague of death (12:29-30). This signifies the coming to an end of the plagues which is a good place to summarise the great lessons that the plagues teach us. They affirm the attributes of God, that he is indeed the Almighty. Creation reveals this of course, but the exodus reaffirms that he is still Lord of it. He does with it as he pleases, it serves him and his purposes. He can reverse the created order at will and then reverses it again at will. God is a jealous God and will not share his glory with any other, especially so idols. God hates idolatry, i.e., false religion (Romans 1:21-23). God is just. The king, Pharaoh is a tyrant, cruel, and wicked despot who has enslaved and slaughtered his own people. God deals with him in righteousness. God is merciful, he hears and answers the prayers of his oppressed people (2:23-24). God is sovereign in electing grace, he loves his people. This is the darkest point of the night in Egypt, a visitor from God, the grim reaper (12:29). He is searching for something, everywhere, in cities, towns and villages. He is looking for blood on doorposts and where there is none, death is the result. The distinction is one of faith and unbelief. The power is in the blood of the lamb slain. Egypt did not believe, they had no faith in the blood of the Lamb. They had religion but no sacrifice for sin. Just like the millions of Muslims worldwide today. So, so religious. But no blood sacrifice, no atonement, and death, eternal death will be the final result. They say they believe the prophet Moses, but if they believed Moses they would believe Jesus. The prophet Moses said without the shedding of blood there could be no forgiveness of sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). God himself has provided the necessary blood sacrifice, his Lamb who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). There is no atonement in Islam’s religion and there was none in Egypt’s either. And so, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
There is death in the palace too. The grim reaper knows no respect of person, age, status or wealth. We are told that in the last day this is how it shall be, “and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12). There will be no special treatment for the celebrity, the rich or the poor, the politician or the priest. One thing and one thing only will be looked for, the covering of the Lamb’s blood. It is only the blood of God’s Jesus Christ that will make a difference and faith in his sacrificial work of atonement. A great cry arose in Egypt just as God predicted there would be (12:30). Such as never was before or since. This shadows the end of the age, read and meditate on the words of the apocalypse. “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: the merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her” (Revelation 18:8-20). All of these plagues are a preview of the end-time judgment of God upon a world that lies in wickedness. In that day, the most squeamish believer will praise and rejoice at the wonder of God’s justice. He will be vindicated to the utmost. God has provided a Lamb, his own Son. You can only escape the final judgment of God through faith in his blood. When he sees the blood of his lamb upon the doorpost of your heart, he passes over.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)