“People housed up when the death angel arose in Egypt. “Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”
Exodus 12:7, 12-13 NIV
We continue, in this season of trial and challenge related to the coronavirus, in this series on walking by faith and wisdom. In this very familiar biblical narrative, God directed his people to take blood, place it on their doorposts and trust that the death angel would Passover. God’s people would house themselves against a coming danger, wise in housing themselves from the coming death, faithful in following God’s directions and trusting his promises.
In this text, we see several themes that connect with today’s context:
Jeremiah Wright. Some years ago, when Barack Obama became president, Jeremiah Wright was deeply criticized for a prophetic word about an unrepentant nation. We find ourselves in a similar situation. Similar to pharaoh in this biblical narrative, our national leadership has not yet repented and humbled itself and himself to the love for the people and the honoring of God’s power. As a result, people are dying.
We, as the church have to walk by faith in this crisis situation. We cannot a walk by fear. We cannot walk in foolishness. We must walk by faith and wisdom like God’s people in the text.
Jesus in the Text. Jesus is in the narrative. We know that the blood of the Lamb was spread out on the doors of the people as a sign that the death angel should overlook those doors. We, as believers in Christ, have confidence in the blood of the Lamb of God, Christ, the perfect sacrifice without blemish or wrinkle that was sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins because of God’s love for the world. Our confidence, our faith, our testimony and the promises of our Lord help us to walk by faith in the middle of Christ.
Faith and wisdom. Here in this narrative are a people that survived profound plague. We are profoundly confused if we do not see the correlation in the nature of plague on the globe but in this county. In a short span of time – a little more than a week – America has become the Number 1 country on the planet for coronavirus cases. Hospitals are overrun. People are dying. The plague is real. Coronavirus is real. However, we continue to walk by faith and by wisdom.
• By faith means that the people in this narrative believed that the Lord their God would be their protector. They were confident in the message they received from the Lord about what He would do for them, and that the death angel would pass over. We have to identify what it is that God has said He would do for us, and move not in fear but in faith, because of God’s direction. Faith means trusting the promises and direction of God.
• Wisdom. But not just by faith, but by wisdom. The death angel (after the plagues) were coming to God’s people. The danger was on the way. Just like last week when we looked at Jesus, and the Gospel of John, Chapter 11, Verses 53 and 54 – Jesus hid from the danger – in the same way, God’s people operate in the spirit of wisdom and quarantined themselves. They pulled themselves away from the danger, in their homes, under the direction and faith of God. We must do the same.
Therefore, we must see these elements along our Christian journey. We must understand the reality of what it means to have an unrepentant nation, unrepentant leadership and sometimes an unrepentant church. We must pray for our leaders. We must pray that God soften the heart of the leader and turn and incline that heart towards the people. We must also pray for wisdom, that it would make itself manifest even where it has not made itself manifest before. If these things happen, death will diminish. We also must be reminded to walk by faith. This should not shake our faith, but strengthen our faith. We must stand on what the Lord has told us to stand on. Not as fools, but as wise men and women. The death angel is indeed on the way. And we must be wise and heed the warnings of public health officials, and quarantine ourselves, and pray for the death angel to pass over. We shall come out on the other side.
And, last but not least, it was not nothing that was placed on those doorposts, but the blood of the Lamb. We, as believers in Jesus Christ, are empowered by, emboldened by, saved by, redeemed by, strengthened by, encouraged by, edified by, uplifted by, saved by the blood of the Lamb, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us never forget where our salvation and our power reside. Let us never be concerned about the truth of our faith journey. Let us be reminded that our faith was not won in a pretty circumstance, neat, and tidy, nor pristine. No, our faith was won through death on an old rugged cross. This body of believers, these that we call the church of Jesus Christ, we are not unfamiliar with death and sorrow. But we are familiar with the truth that weeping endures for a night, but that joy does return in the morning.
Saints, we’ve not yet reached the night of this particular trial and particular plague, but we know through our testimony and our God that joy shall come in the morning. Stand strong. Stand fast. Stand encouraged. Stand up. Stay home. But continue to share the truth of our Risen Savior who has conquered death, hell, and the grave. We arise victorious with Him, and we share our victory and our hope with all who are struggling in this moment. We lift this prayer now, this sermon now, this word now, in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.