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Loving God and the Plagues?

One of my friends had asked why a loving God would kill innocent children in the 10th plague in Exodus. I wasn’t sure exactly how to respond. I’ve heard RZIM speakers answer questions about the Canaanites, but I wasn’t sure how to answer about the plagues. What are your guys’ thoughts?

Thank you so much! :slight_smile:


Nathan, I love your question. If you were the one asking why God would kill innocent children if he is a loving God then I would ask you what you would do if you were God. So, what would you do if you were God?

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That’s a really good question. After giving multiple warnings and opportunities for Pharaoh to repent, in order to save my chosen people I honestly might have done something a lot worse :sweat_smile:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Israelites were only passed over because they were obedient, right? Suppose if one Israelite family didn’t obey and put the blood on the doorpost, they would have received the same judgement as Egypt?

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I do not see any out for anyone, Israelite or not, who did not spread the lamb’s blood around the door and stay inside on that night. (You can take a look at Exodus 12 and see if you see anything that I missed.) There is no evidence that any Israelite did not do as told, however. On the other hand Exodus 12:38 says that a “mixed multitude” (ESV) went with them when they left. Maybe some Egyptians followed the protocol. We cannot be sure. So that is one small point in support of a loving and merciful God who welcomes riff-raff into his household. Another point, which is more to the point, is that the Passover lamb of the Exodus preshadows the Passover Lamb almost two thousand years later. If this is not an act of love, then I do not know what love is.

P.S. maybe you can ask your friend what he would do if God were to tell him that all he needs to do is kill a lamb in order to save his first-born son. Would he shake his fist at God then?

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@natedawg119 I think it helps to keep in mind the context in which these events are occurring. The Egyptians slaughtered the Israelite children and Moses’ sister saved him from that event (Shiphrah and Puah saved many more), so we are not dealing with an innocent nation. This nation had the blood of God’s people on its hands.

In addition, God did not start with the killing of the firstborn. First, God asked nicely for Pharaoh to let His people go. God even provided a miracle that should have served as a warning to Pharaoh (the staff turning into a snake and the leprous hand). God then progressively demonstrated His power over the pagan gods, who did not exist, and yet Pharaoh still persisted in holding God’s people captive and persecuting them. Only at the very end did God resort to the slaying of the firstborn.

The Egyptians killed the Israelite children in order to ensure their future enslavement. God killed the firstborn of the Egyptians in order to deliver His firstborn from bondage. There is a historical context we should not forget. It’s not as if God just randomly decided one day to slaughter the Egyptian firstborn.

What is more, you asked what would happen to an Israelite who did not put the blood over their door. But let’s ask a different question - what would happen to an Egyptian who did? I guarantee you God would spare anyone who showed faith and trust in Him. God is merciful.

Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:


I’ve been digging a bit for an answer to that question, but not specifically about the last plague, my current conclusion is along the lines of delegated ownership; we all have trouble understanding ownership, and even more trouble understanding sovereign ownership, we’re stewards of God’s creation. If God acknowledged slave ownership in the old testament, how much more would He acknowledge father to son inheritance, have you read how the Lord protected the Israelites from the plagues in Egypt? I believe what our children sometimes have to experience is in part the result of what we’ve given them in inheritance, from parents, from families, from communities, etc, there are many more layers to this, including their own free will when they grow into that capacity, but I want to leave you with a very interesting verse that I just found (while looking for another one, but don’t want to complicate the subject), the verse is a segway to understand God’s Sovereign ownership a little more, remember that these were the BEGINNINGS of the Law: Exodus 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

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