Not long ago, a woman asked me a hard question:
Why did God have to kill all the firstborn children in Egypt. After all, he is God. He is sovereign. He can do anything he wants. Wasn’t there a better way of getting them out of there than killing innocent children? I thought it was a fair question and it deserved a better answer than she had previously received.
The question raises the issue of the nature of God. God is all-powerful, merciful, kind, and gracious. He is forgiving and gentle. But there is a quality of the divine nature that is often overlooked. God is also just—that is, he is a God of Justice.
Mercy is the quality we all desire of God, but if there is no justice, then there is no mercy. If there is no justice, then one pattern of conduct is as good as any other. In fact, it is out of a sense of justice that this question arises in the first place. Was it just for God to kill all the firstborn of Egypt? That is a question we must answer. And, oddly enough, it is closely related to this series of programs on Christian holidays. This is the story of the Book of Exodus.