God’s Presence

Something occurred to me last night as we were reading the Exodus story as a family. For some reason I never noticed this before, but it was tremendous.

In Exodus 12, YHWH comes down into the midst of Egypt and he slays the firstborn of every household in the land, both Jew and Egyptian.

In Exodus 13 and 14, YHWH’s presence continues as a column of fire by night and a cloud by day. It is also divides the children of Israel from the oncoming Egyptian armies.

YHWH never leaves. During the Passover night, he brings death to Egypt and during the day he provides both guidance and protection to Israel. It is the same manifestation.

The same manifestation of YHWH produces very different effects. God arrives to destroy, but stays to guide and protect. What is death in one moment to one group is life to another.

God does not change. It is the people who determine what happens to them. Any Egyptian who had followed Moses’ instructions was spared from destruction during the Passover. Those who chose not to obey suffered a condemnation that they knew was coming. Those who did obey received additional guidance and protection as they went into the wilderness.

Same God. Very different things happening in his presence.

Just something to think about this afternoon.

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