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Exodus 11 English Standard Version (ESV)
A Final Plague Threatened
1 The Lord said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely. 2 Speak now in the hearing of the people, that they ask, every man of his neighbor and every woman of her neighbor, for silver and gold jewelry.” 3 And the Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.
4 So Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, 5 and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle.6 There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. 7 But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’ 8 And all these your servants shall come down to me and bow down to me, saying, ‘Get out, you and all the people who follow you.’ And after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger. 9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.
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- In the Biblical world the firstborn son was special. He was expected to guide the family in the next generation, and he was the one through whom the family name would be preserved. Inheritance laws reflect the importance of the firstborn son: he received at least twice the portion of the other sons in the family.
- Thus the death of every firstborn in Egypt was a stunning loss. Only this final devastating plague would at last force Pharaoh to release his slaves.
- The plagues on Egypt may be viewed as a series of increasingly painful punishments. If Pharaoh had relented at any stage, he could have avoided the more serious troubles that followed. Because Pharaoh remained hard, however, the ultimate penalty was finally imposed.
- God’s judgments are often gracious in exactly this way. They become more severe only as we continue to resist Him. When we sense the disciplining hand of God, it’s wise to surrender immediately. Otherwise, God might have to strike what is dearest to us before we respond.
In what areas are you resisting God right now? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you. Pray for a trust and obedience. Sing this hymn “Trust and Obey” slowly as your prayer today.
- When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word, what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will, he abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.
- Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share, but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross, but is blest if we trust and obey.
- But we never can prove the delights of his love until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows, for the joy he bestows, are for them who will trust and obey.
- Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at his feet, or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do, where he sends we will go; never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.