I can feel the sweat beads trickle down my forehead and make their way off my chin and onto the sand. Once more I bend down and pick up a brick, careful to make sure the placement lines up with the others.
Looking at my brothers to the left and right, it seems as though we’ve synchronized our movements: bend, lift, place, straighten, wipe brow, and repeat, until the foreman tells us were done for the day.
The heat was extra excruciating today, and I was growing wearier with each passing moment.
I drank too much water during my short lunch break, and now I will not be able to quench this thirst until supper time. You would think after all this time enslaved I would’ve known how to better ration out what little I had.
Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.
My family and I have been slaves here in Egypt for as long as I can remember and in fact, if my memory serves me correct, today is the last day of our 429th year.
Generation after generation after generation my family has grown up, lived life, and died, while never experiencing freedom.
There was a meeting held that my grandfather was a part of a few weeks ago. He is one of the elders of the people of Israel, and during this meeting they met with Moses and Aaron and listened as they explained all that the Lord had sent them to do to get us out of slavery.
Moses even showed them a miraculous sign with his staff, turning it into a serpent, and then back again. When my grandfather heard and saw these things, he knew it had to have been from The Lord, the I AM, as Moses called Him.
That night, my grandfather bowed down and worshipped Yahweh for the first time.
Hearing what all had taken place in this meeting, I wasn’t sure what to think. My family all seemed elated, but in the back of my mind I knew that this couldn’t actually be happening. The Lord saying that He heard our cries? Could this really be true? And what about Pharaoh? There was no way after all this time he was going to let us go. What would get done around here with us gone?
Now, it seemed as if things were only getting worse. We were no longer supplied straw to help make bricks, but we were told we had to get it ourselves and still do our normal work load. This was a time consuming and tedious task, and slowed us down tremendously, which only made our foremen angry. The beatings were worsening by each passing day.
Not too long after this, the plagues began. Each day the Lord did something different in Egypt to show Pharaoh that He was real and held all power.
The Nile River was turned into blood.
Frogs invaded every part of the country.
Gnats rose up from the dust.
There were swarms of flies.
All the livestock died.
The Egyptians were covered in boils.
Hail rained down and destroyed all the trees.
Locusts ate everything green in sight.
Darkness covered the country.
And finally tonight, the death of the first born in every household.
Tonight, my family has instructions on what we are to do, as a people of Israel, to be saved from this plague, this Angel of Death. Moses called it The Passover. Death will literally “pass over” us tonight.
The Lord told Moses that each family was to follow specific instructions, which I must hurry now to help my father with. I’m leaving the brick fields tonight as a slave, but something lurches inside me as my feet carry me quickly home. Something strange deep inside.
For 430 years tomorrow, we have been slaves.
But the I AM has promised freedom.
Yet, for tonight, we wait, sweating with hearts pounding as death wafts above us.
That’s what slavery has been, Death. I truly never imagined being free. Again, the spark of hope twinges inside. To be free of death, free of slavery, free of fear, F R E E.
Oh Yahweh, what glory You are to call us out and away!
It’s twilight now and we’ve killed the perfect, spotless lamb from our fold. My father and brothers and I are covering our doorposts with its blood. The fresh red trickles down our arms and the scent of it sticks in my nostrils. It’s as if we ourselves are covered with lamb’s blood.
Curious, the blood of an innocent, gentle lamb will be the salvation of all of us against the Angel of Death. When Death sees the blood, it will “pass over” us, leaving us alive and ready to walk into the hope of tomorrow.
Yahweh is who He says He is, and tomorrow awaits holding hope, and life, like we’ve never known. Pharaoh will let us go this time, I’m sure of it. Yahweh will prove Himself Victor over even Death itself. But for tonight, we will worship and pray with great anticipation, for this is the Eve of our freedom.
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