Pharaoh’s hardened heart reads more like insanity than simply being hard-headed. His officials urge him to comply, “How long will this man be a snare to us? …Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?” (Exodus 10:7). Pharaoh’s response to Moses’ threat of an eighth plague is: No! Moses and Aaron are driven out from his presence.
The ultimate penalty for Pharaoh, the Destroyer passes through Egypt and kills every firstborn that is not part of God’s people. If there ever were any doubt, it is now erased, “for there was not a house without someone dead” (Exodus 12:30).
Six hundred thousand men, plus women and children and many other people with livestock, gold and silver, all left Egypt.
After 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt.
The masses leaving Egypt is hard to imagine. Movies have tried to capture the moment, but it’s really hard to wrap my mind around the concept. Over a million people packed up and walked out. Egypt’s entire brick-making industry: Gone! (my guess of course).
One thing I’ve noticed this time around is the detailed instructions for every step. Later on, when Moses strikes the rock in anger, this comes into play. God is very explicit in giving instructions to Moses so there’s little room for misunderstanding.
The danger for us is to decide that we must all live in such a way as to establish rigid rules that must be followed as part of our walk with Christ. If we read Psalm 15 all by itself, we could come to the conclusion that we have a checklist to complete each day. Again, this is the trap of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Jesus came as the Christ, the Messiah, to set us free from this kind of thinking. Not that we shouldn’t create and obey rules, such structure provides a framework within which we may live in peace, but that we should not worship the rules or hold on so tight as to miss the point of the entire story. Even in the Exodus, it was all about an opportunity to worship the One true God. Sure, the Israelites wanted to be free from slavery, but that was simply what they were being freed from–they were being freed to worship God.