The secret sauce.

Exodus 12:7-13 (NKJV)

“‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.

‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.’ ”

Two things are made especially clear in this passage. First, the Hebrew noun that’s translated as plague literally means blow or stroke. But this is the first time since Exodus 3:20 that God uses the Hebrew verb for “to strike” to describe His own actions – and He uses it twice.

He won’t just “bring” this plague; He will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. Also, the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Second, he makes explicit that against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. This plague won’t just strike the Egyptians and their livestock, it will strike their gods. The LORD is making his attack on the Egyptian religion explicit.

That has been the point all along – to show that YHVH is the one true God. Here’s one more, longer reference on YHVH’s takedown of the Egyptian gods.

The LORD gives great priority to His being the only object of worship. We’ll see this again, when The Ten Commandments gives priority to the ones about Him by listing them first.

People are so hungry for a relationship with God that they invent false ones. This offends the LORD, even as it makes people want to know the real thing. That’s a curious combination, but one of the secrets to evangelism. In Acts 17:22b-23 Paul applies some judo to the Athenians’ hunger for the real thing.

 “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:” (NKJV)

Never forget that we know what they’re looking for – even if they don’t.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.