Exodus 11: Undeserved Freedom

Exodus 11 is a tiny chapter of only ten verses but it’s pivotal because of how it marks the turning point for Israel — captivity to freedom — they can almost taste the milk and honey! This is the first time Moses hears these glorious words from God, “yet one plague more … afterward, he will let you go from here”. 

Pharaoh is told of the imminent death of every Egyptian firstborn, and along with Moses, we can hardly believe Pharaoh’s stubbornness. We’re told Moses leaves in “hot anger,” undoubtedly distraught that Pharaoh’s rebellion has led to this kind of tragedy. His heart must have been heavy as he realized this to be the only thing that would end the battle between these two leaders and their rival nations.

As I think about this chapter, I realize the natural tendency we have to label ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys.’ I can’t help but picture Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt animation with Pharaoh and his menacing brow, contrasted with the gentle and innocent faces of the Israelites. Even vs. 7 seems to fit this idea when it says that “the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.” 

What I often forget, however, is that God’s favour on Israel is not conditional. Israel is every bit as incapable as Egypt at following God and doing what pleases Him. He didn’t free the Israelites because they were better people than the Egyptians. They had not earned freedom, nor could they. The only difference between the two groups is that God had made a promise to save Israel as an example of his grace. This promise that began with Abraham hundreds of years earlier continues through many more centuries of Israel’s rebellion and is ultimately fulfilled when Jesus dies and comes back to life to save us from sin.  

To His unfaithful people, God proves faithful. 

— Morgan

Application Questions

Who in your heart do you tend to label as the ‘bad guys’? How can you ask God to change your attitude towards them?

How do our lives change when we go from feeling entitled to God’s grace to believing that it’s entirely undeserved?