Reading this morning into Exodus 13, we come to another of the stories in the Old Testament that I understand but at one level I just don’t like. I understand the Pharaoh’s unwilligness to let the Hebrew people go. I understand the the need to show Pharaoh who is ultimately the one in charge. I get all that. But what really breaks my heart about this story is the fact that the people of Egypt (who were just powerless people compared to the Pharaoh) were made to suffer in unspeakable ways to get the Pharaoh to relent. And it is the story here today where the first born of Egypt were killed in order to make the Pharaoh relent. The pain, the suffering, the sorrow is hard to even fathom. Yet this also is taking place in the context of hundreds of thousands of Hebrews who were forced slaves under an oppressive power and who also were crying out for relief and for hope. Makes me think of the world today where there are so many situations where there isn’t a clear cut right and a clear cut wrong or places where innocents are caught in the crossfire of conflicts far beyond their ordinary lives.
Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.