Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. (Exodus 12:6)
For four days, the people of Israel were to sequester this particular lamb, the one they intended to slaughter as the Passover sacrifice, and inspect for blemishes. Then at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, they took these lambs out within sight of the Egyptians and slaughtered them — and then roasted them over a fire. This would have been reprehensible to the Egyptians because these animals were venerated by their culture. In other words, the Egyptians saw their “gods” being prepared for the slaughter as they were forced to stand by powerless to intervene.
Ironically, the Egyptians thought nothing of throwing innocent Hebrew children into the Nile River, another of their gods by the way, but to kill an animal that was held in such high esteem was an abomination. How blatantly hypocritical and completely barbaric for them to think that the live of an animal was more precious than the life of a child, even if it was one not of their kind.
As far as I am concerned, this sentiment expressed by the ancient Egyptians is eerily similar to that of those people who vigorously protest for the protection of animals and for the slaughter of innocent children. It is fascinating that some who think I’m a barbarian for eating steak and chicken are almost violent in their defense of abortion even if it is as the baby is being born. It is just another validation of the fact of “That which is, has already been (Ecclesiastes 3:15).
It is therefore necessary that God’s people not be swayed by the whims and trends of culture because, as we can see, they are nonsensical and inconsistent. Culture is never to be trusted as the final arbiter on any topic that has eternal value. Only the Creator of all things has the authority to define right and wrong; what is appropriate and what is not. As a friend of mine liked to remind us all — “God is smarter than we are.” What’s more, He expects us to be smarter than the world. The only way to accomplish that goal is to heed His Word in spite of what the surrounding world may think of us.
Blessings and Shalom,