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Mrs. Meyer is a wife and mother in Hope Protestant Reformed Church of Walker, Michigan.

There is a lie about which we as parents must warn our children. It is a lie that is increasingly and blatantly set before us in a myriad of tantalizing, appealing, and high-pressured ways. It is the fundamental lie of the Antichristian kingdom, the threat of which continues to increase against us both in time and magnitude. In these last days it is imperative that we see the difference, and that our children know, from little on, of which kingdom they are citizens.

The picture was vividly painted for the children of Israel, literally so. Some 430 years had passed in Egypt. The bondage and slavery they endured was terrible. The groan of the people was clearly audible, especially to their covenant God. From a human point of view, unless something miraculous would happen, the people would perish in their plight—which was exactly the design of the Egyptians. But the miracle was sure to come. Already from the beginning, that Israel was seen as a reproach to the Egyptians exactly spelled their preservation. The sheepherders remained a separate people in the land of Goshen. Though there was a certain “mixed multitude,” and though the Israelites worked for the Egyptians day in and day out, their generations were not swallowed up by mingling with the generations of the Egyptians. God was working His division even then.

But the difference between Israel and Egypt became increasingly apparent as their deliverance drew near. God brought His ten plagues upon Egypt (complete destruction), hardening Pharaoh’s heart with each one. But only the first three plagues were upon the whole land. With the fourth plague, there would be a glaring difference set forth: “And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be” (Ex. 8:23). Swarms of flies flooded the Egyptians’ houses and lands, their pots and pans, their eyes, their ears, and their noses. But not one buzz bothered the Israelites. The difference continued. Darkness was in Egypt—darkness that could be felt. But light shone in Israel’s camp. Locusts devoured every green and growing square inch of vegetation—whatever little was left after fireballs and hail. But the pastures of Goshen flourished. The difference would further be made conspicuously and abundantly clear to all: “And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel” (Ex. 11:6, 7). That ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. God intends for us to see the difference. God’s love and grace was for Israel alone.

But what exactly was the basis for this division? The final plague, unleashed in all its horror and woe, revealed what it was that came between Israel and her enemies, even between Israel and death. It was blood. Blood brushed upon the doorposts and lintels of Israel’s houses. Blood of a freshly killed, unblemished kid or lamb. Blood that sealed the promises made to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. What a picture. Blood that atoned for the sins of His people, drawing them out of the slavery and bondage of sin. That was the real Egypt they were saved out of.

It was a picture painted with poignantly precise detail and strikingly astonishing contrast. They knew who was who and who was where. But now we are tempted to align ourselves with this Egypt. Blur the lines. Smear the contrast. Make things muddy and gray. Israel was tempted to go back, and so are we. Oh, for the leeks and onions of that land!

There’s some good in everyone, you know. The world is not so bad. Look at the value of culture. A little grace is there. There is a little bit of truth in it all. There is some truth in all religions. Who dares to say that only one monopolizes the truth? We are all brothers on this earth. We are all created in the image of God. We are, in fact, all one.

That is the lie. We are, in fact, all two. We either possess the image of God or the image of the devil (Lord’s Day 3, Q. & A. 6; John 8:44). It’s a world of two seeds set apart by an irrevocable enmity that God established already in Eden (Gen. 3:15). It’s a world nourished by two different trees that grew already in that perfect garden. It’s a world to which some belong as citizens, and to which others are pilgrims and strangers.

Our children must know that they are not of this world. In it, yes, but not of it. As real as the parting of the Red Sea was for the children of Israel (just think of what that must have been like to walk between those walls of water!), just as real is the sprinkling of water in baptism for us. The deliverance is the same. So when the questions come—”why mayn’t I go here, why mayn’t I go there, why mayn’t I do this or that?”—the answer is clear. God brought you through the Red Sea. You are a citizen of heaven and you are not of this world. We must act, and do, and live, therefore, as the holy, peculiar, set-apart people that we are. God has done this. He has separated us and made the division. And He does so for our salvation. Do not wish to be part of Egypt. “But it’s so hard to be holy and different!” Yes, it’s hard. It’s hard as being broken upon a rock. “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Matt. 21:44). But it’s nothing compared to the utter destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts—and of the world.

“It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt…” (Ex. 12:42).

 

God Divides

 

Against the night, the black of night,

A white horse rides

In measured strides

And He divides

The dark apart from light,

The day apart from night,

Two seeds by enmity,

The tiller from the tree,

And He divides

The killer’s head by mark,

All flesh not in the ark,

The nations from among

The sting of Babel’s tongue,

And He divides

The house of Abram’s kin,

And Jacob from his twin,

The foreskin ripped in stress—

Zipporah’s bloody mess,

And He divides

By Red Sea water walls,

The children whom He calls,

By crevice Korah’s clans,

The children whom He damns,

And He divides

The rock to quench the dearth,

The Son

From heav’n and earth,

His fellowship unmeshed,

His soul from His own flesh,

And He divides

The grave an open door,

The veil in two He tore,

The new man from the old,

No more in sin to hold,

And He divides

Each layer of the lie,

Revealing truth as high,

For when His work is done,

Then all things

Shall be

One.

Against the night, the black of night,

A white horse rides

In measured strides

And He divides.

C.L. Meyer