As Christians read these stories in Exodus, they see parallels to the Christian life. We think of Canaan, the land to which they’re headed, as being a picture of heaven, and the passage through the wilderness representing the pilgrimage of this life. The parallels are not always exact, but certainly they are in this respect: the people were not mature; they had to learn to trust the Lord and see His provision for them. And seeing how God provided for them during those years of wandering is very instructive for us as we go through life as Christians.

After all that had happened—the trauma of the night of the Passover, the march early the next morning, the deliverance by the passing through the Red Sea—what did the people do? They burst into song, led by Moses and his sister Miriam (Ex. 15:1-18).

In our own day, the requirement of faith seems absurd to those who are unbelievers. You talk about salvation through faith in the work of Jesus Christ, something that a man did two thousand years ago, and people think you’re foolish. But this is what God says. He tells us that salvation is in Him and by Him alone. If we believe in Him we are spared, and the judgment passes over us; and if we don’t, we perish. 

Yesterday, we said that the exodus teaches us important spiritual lessons. The first was that Israel was also guilty before God. Now there are reasons why the people might have been tempted to think differently. For example, even in the account of the plagues, from the fourth to the ninth plague, we are told that God made a distinction between His people who lived in the land of Goshen and the Egyptians in the rest of the land. This is why when the plagues came upon the Egyptians, it didn’t touch the Israelites. The Hebrews might have concluded that they were not harmed because they were special of themselves and that God would not do anything to judge them.

Now we come to the tenth plague itself. We’re told about the death of the firstborn at the end of chapter 12, in only two verses (vv. 29-30). They tell us that there was loud wailing in Egypt, and that there was not a house without someone dead. That is a very sober thing.