“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13)
Have you ever wondered what would have happened if some among the Hebrews had opted not to carry out the command to put blood upon their door? We have to consider that such an instruction would be considered an affront to the Egyptians considering how they felt about sheep and shepherds — sheep were worshiped and shepherds were abhorred. My point is this could have been considered as a provocative move on the Hebrews part and would have certainly indicated they were no longer bowing to the whims of Pharaoh. To not do it would essentially be telling God we cannot bow to you which would have meant the death of their firstborn.
As Bob Dylan wrote years ago, whoever you are, you are going to have to serve somebody. So, if we are going to put a premium upon things eternal, that “somebody” we serve must be the Eternal One. Among other things, this ancient event demonstrates that obedience to our Father is crucial and almost always determines the difference between life and death. Before sparing their firstborn, He first looked to see who was obedient.
There are other such situations where obedience or disobedience determined who would live and who would die. If Noah had not moved with Godly fear and prepared an ark for the salvation of His family, theoretically, the entire human race would have been annihilated. When you really stop and think about it, all who are living owe a debt of gratitude to Noah — his obedience to God meant life to him, his family and future generations.
We are told that we should not fear the man who can destroy our body but not our soul; instead we are to fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28). However, we also need to realize that the One who, alone, has that authority does not wish to destroy us — He wants us to live and live abundantly,. He is not God of the dead but of the living. Therefore, we should always seek to obey His commands because they are life; He instructs us to walk in the ways that lead to life. As Solomon advised his son, so too does our Heavenly Father counsel us:
“For the commandment is a lamp and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” (Proverbs 6:23)
Blessings and Shalom,