He was our first-born son, a young man destined for great things. My husband carries him in his arms. He is but a child. As we walk to the burial preparation sight, I see thousands of Israelites streaming out of the city carrying their possessions. I am unsure exactly where they are headed, but glad to see them depart. They have wrecked havoc on our land, destroyed so much of our livelihood. It seemed none of our gods could stop them. On top of that, we are losing so much of the labor we need to build and work our land.
My husband stops a moment to gaze at the mass of Israelites in the distance departing us. “What is it about their God?” He ponders as he watches. “A God so powerful, yet one who provides for them in such a tangible way.” I step next to him and gaze at the body of our boy. “If Pharaoh had only listened we wouldn’t have had to suffer like this,” I add. My husband just nods in agreement. We both take a moment to look at our dead child, our first born.
Tears stream down my cheeks, then waves of grief overtake me. I fall to the ground and sob. I feel the hand of my husband on my shoulder. He is now crouching next to me, cradling the body of our son in his lap. Everything in this land of ours seems pointless. This Israelite God has revealed how temporal everything is here. I begin to wonder what will happen when I die like my son.
I want to know what they have; I want to know more about their God. How could there only be one God? How could one God be so powerful over all things, yet demonstrate a care for a people, a protection? He judged our land and us. The facade masking the truth has been ripped from us. Suddenly everything we built our life around lays in ruins. I wipe the tears with my arm and look at the Israelites again. I am not sure where they are going, but I suddenly feel drawn to go with them.
#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is from the perspective of a couple mourning the loss of their child as the Israelites leave Egypt, based on Number 33:3-4
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He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave over their life to the plague, And smote all the firstborn in Egypt, The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham. – Psalm 78:50-51 (NASB)