by Fylvia Fowler Kline
If the family is too small for a lamb, then share it with a close neighbor. Exodus 12:4, The Message
As it is with most things, it’s the sensational side of God that makes the headlines. Like when He parted the Red Sea, or when He asked little David to fight Goliath, or when He sent down a chariot to whisk Elijah into heaven. It’s not that I don’t like these stories, but sometimes these stories shroud my God in an awesome, holy glow that makes me feel unworthy and hesitant in His presence.
That’s why my favorite stories are the obscure ones, the ones that take just a verse or two to tell, those that make the back page and not the headlines. These brief stories speak to me of a Father God, someone who is sensitive, understanding and extremely reasonable. Such is the story told in the first few verses of Exodus 12–It’s time for the last plague, the death of the firstborn. The only way to escape death is to sacrifice a lamb and smear its blood on the doorpost.
I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single Hebrew family that was going to risk losing a child. Every family was determined to get a lamb, no matter the cost. One lamb per family was not much to ask on the eve of their freedom.
Here’s the scene: No one is questioning the cost of the goat or the demands of God. They are willing to do whatever it takes. But God makes a concession– God takes into account that one lamb per family may be too expensive for some, that a whole roasted lamb may result in wasted food. So this mighty, awesome God of mine—who is in a time crunch and in the middle of the major project of delivering an entire nation out of slavery—takes the time to pay attention to something comparatively insignificant. And He tells the people to share a lamb if needed.
God makes time for the little things. He’s concerned about my food budget, my dying garden and my bulging waist. I love that my God doesn’t expect me to just suck it up and look forward to the Second Coming. No, He sends His Holy Spirit to help me with mundane human activities too.