If you ever wanted a reason NOT to believe in a loving God,
you might consider reading Exodus 12.
But if you ever wanted a reason TO believe in Him,
you might want to read this very same chapter……again.
I’ll never understand His ways.
Scripture confirms this in Isaiah 55:8-9.
So when I read in Exodus 12:30 that
“There was a loud wailing throughout Egypt because there wasn’t a house without someone dead,”
How does perfect love cause anyone to wail?
If I stopped here,
I’d be done.
I’d walk away from this Book, this Story, and this God.
But an image still haunts me from a decade ago.
I didn’t snap a picture.
It would have been rude.
But I did allow what I witnessed to sink deep into my heart and soul.
I never wanted to forget what I saw.
A wailing mom in India,
bending low with her tiny baby,
letting his little head touch the concrete statue.
“That is the god of death,”
I was told by the one leading our group.
Only five short months had gone by since losing Nick
and in that moment,
I felt my whole grieving body ache along with hers.
He must have been a very sick baby,
and she must have been a very desperate mommy.
I remembered this feeling all too well myself.
I, like her, had tried everything I could to save my son.
I wanted to reach out and touch her that day.
I wanted to wrap my arms around her and speak her language.
I wanted to tell her there was Hope.
Hope for her baby even in death.
But a concrete god wasn’t going to lead her there.
Only a Living God could offer Hope.
That’s what I’m believing the Israelites were able to tell the wailing Egyptians.
Having marked their own doors with blood dripping from a hyssop branch,
an everyday plant that symbolized faith,
the Israelites had been spared.
Literally “passed over.”
Death had not been allowed into their homes.
But the sound of wailing had surely shaken their walls,
sent them running with hugs and tears to a people whom they had grown to love.
430 years is too long to be neighbors without getting somewhat emotionally attached.
So I read this story both as someone who has wailed
and as someone who has sat with others in the same depth of pain.
I read this story as a mom who has felt the agony of what felt like unanswered prayer.
But I also read this story as a mom who has chosen to believe I don’t always know what “answered prayer” means.
I believe the Israelites did for the Egyptians the exact thing I longed to do for the woman in India.
I believe they ran to them with Hope.
Offered the hyssop branch of faith as a peace offering.
Shared the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Introduced hurting moms and dads to more than a statue.
Somehow broke through their pain and helped them see that while none of us are exempt from death,
all of us are offered Hope.
Because later in the same chapter it says,