Pay particular attention to Exodus 12:42– ‘It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt…'(ESV). This passage describes the horrors of the ten plagues, all due to the stubbornness and sinfulness of Pharaoh. He was supreme ruler, considered to be a god himself. He loved big work projects with abundant slave-labor. But God was leading His chosen people to their own land. Pharaoh would not let them go.
Since God broaches no competition, He unleashes an ever-increasing barrage of destruction and death. Pharaoh has the hardest of hard hearts. As if to pay back Pharaoh for his order to drown all Jewish baby boys, the final plague involves the death of the first-born. Circumstances are so bad in Egypt, beyond anything ever experienced, that the Israelites are begged to leave.
To the Promised Land! They must go in haste. No time even for bread to rise. Grab what you can, take whatever the Egyptians offer you. Head for the desert. Read again Exodus 12: 42. Isn’t that remarkable? During this dangerous escape, God’s people are never out of His sight. This is the night of watching by the Lord. To bring them out. In safety. Provided for.
When my boys were young, they both had paper routes. Jonathan had an apartment building. Dave a few blocks from home. Some of the fondest memories I have of their growing up years involve delivering papers with them. I would arrange my schedule almost every day, and off we’d go delivering the local newspaper. We’d pick up some of their friends and always made it as fun as fun could be. Often, we’d wind up at a local grocery store purchasing a dozen donuts to consume after deliveries were complete. What are Dads for anyway?
Let me tell you something. I was watching over those boys like a hawk. The poor person who tried to cheat Dave out of his subscription money regretted that move big-time! The dog that almost bit one of us had a field day chasing the Sunday morning paper all over the front lawn as I refused to let one of my boys(me neither!)get near that underfed mongrel! I doubt my boys had any idea what my larger game-plan was.
Like the Israelites, fleeing for their lives, all the time watched over by their God. Whatever desert we find ourselves in, we never go alone. He’s watching. He’s caring. I love this verse in Exodus. A night of watching by the Lord!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for watching over us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.