Exodus 12:37-42

My nephew turned one about a month ago. He is just beginning to walk…and boy, does he move. He crawls under chairs, pulls up on wobbly tables, walks through doorways, climbs the stairs, and attempts to fling himself off of the couch. He is a disaster waiting to happen. A very cute disaster. 

When I watch him, I must always be on high alert. If I look away for even a few moments, he pulls all the snacks out of the pantry or somehow makes it to the second floor, even though the baby gate blocks the bottom of the stairs. I have to stay vigilant to keep the little bug safe. 

When he finally goes to sleep, I peek in on him every so often. His parents use a little camera that’s mounted in his room to look at him in his crib. If I hear a cry, I monitor the situation to see if he goes back to sleep on his own or if he needs my help. 

When the Israelites finally leave Egypt, God keeps a close watch over them in what this scripture calls a night of vigil (v. 42). To keep “vigil” means to keep awake and keep watch. We associate vigils with times of prayer and remembrance. 

The God of Israel is nurturing, protective, and watchful like a mother (or aunt) watching her baby. In times of uncertainty and fear, the Lord is like a warm shelter for them, a safe place to abide. The Israelites experience this love of God as they face an uncertain future. And as we move into a future we have yet to see, our God still keeps vigil through it all, watching over us in love. 


What is causing you fear or uncertainty right now? How do you sense God’s presence?


God, as I journey through uncertainty, keep watch over me. Help me remember that you are near. Amen.

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