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4. The Tenth Plague and The Passover (Exodus 11-13)

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Main Point: God provides a way to escape the punishment of sin, and His way is the only way.


Key Verse:

He (God) wants everyone to be saved. He wants them to come to know the truth. - 1 Timothy 2:4

Props: any “plague” props from last week; branch with leaves


Say: God was going to set His people free from being slaves in the land of Egypt. He sent Moses and Aaron to speak to Pharaoh. They demanded that all of God’s people be set free to worship Him. Each time, what did Pharaoh say? “NO”!

God sent plagues upon the land of Egypt. He did this to show the people that they should worship the Creator, not the creation. God was teaching the Israelites and the Egyptians that He alone is God.

Note to teacher: Quickly review these first 9 plagues; use your props from last week. Remember, the point isn’t for the children to memorize these plaques in order. This is not an academic study. The point is for kids to understand that God is ALWAYS speaking; they need to be listening! God said His people were going to be free, and He meant it. God ALWAYS keeps His promises!

  • Turned the Nile River into blood
  • Filled the land with frogs
  • Sent gnats
  • Flies swarmed all over the people
  • Disease on the farm animals
  • The people broke out in boils (blisters)
  • The worst storm ever in Egypt
  • So many locusts that the sky looked black
  • Darkness for 3 days

In all of these plagues, God gave people the opportunity to LISTEN to Him; to trust and believe in Him. After the plague of darkness, Pharaoh had these harsh words for Moses:

Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you don’t come to see me again! If you do, you will die.”

“I’ll do just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never come to see you again.” - Exodus 10:28-29

Ask: Did Pharaoh listen to God? No Did the Egyptian people listen to God? Some did Did the Israelites, the Hebrew people, listen to God? Yes

The Last Plague

Say: Everyone living in Egypt at that time saw these plagues, but not everyone listened to God. It is possible to see what God is doing and still not trust and believe in God (James 2:19). It is VERY important to always listen to God!

God gave these people MANY opportunities to LISTEN, and now He is going to send the most dreadful plague of all.

The Lord had spoken to Moses. He had said, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you and your people go. When he does, he will drive you completely away. Tell the men and women alike to ask their neighbors for articles made out of silver and gold.”

The Lord caused the Egyptians to treat the Israelites in a kind way. Pharaoh’s officials and the people had great respect for Moses. - Exodus 11:1-3

For 400 years, the Israelites had been slaves in Egypt. They worked hard, and they were not paid. God told them to go to their Egyptian neighbors and ask them for anything that was made from silver or gold. The Bible says the Egyptian people were happy to give their things away because God caused the Egyptians to like the Israelites. They had great respect for Moses.

Before Moses left Pharaoh, Moses gave him a final warning:

Moses said, “The Lord says, ‘About midnight I will go through every part of Egypt. Every oldest son in Egypt will die. The oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, will die. The oldest son of the female slave, who works at her hand mill, will die. All of the male animals that were born first to their mothers among the cattle will also die. There will be loud crying all over Egypt. It will be worse than it’s ever been before. And nothing like it will ever be heard again.

But among the people of Israel not even one dog will bark at any man or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord treats Egypt differently from us.

All of your officials will come and bow down to Me. They will say, ‘Go, you and all of the people who follow you!’ After that, I will leave.” - Exodus 11:4-8

Of all the plagues that God sent to Egypt, this was by far the worse. Every firstborn son and every firstborn male animal would die. The Bible says that there would be a loud crying all over Egypt. This is truly VERY SAD. Sin always spoils things. Because Pharaoh and the people in Egypt did not listen to God, they were going to suffer terribly! Remember – God had given them MANY opportunities to put their trust in Him. But they refused. Their choice to disobey God was going to have a terrible consequence.

At the same time God was going to judge the Egyptians, He would show mercy to the Israelites. God gave Moses VERY important instructions for the Israelites.

Speak to the whole community of Israel. Tell them that on the tenth day of this month each man must get a lamb from his flock. A lamb should be chosen for each family and home.

The animals you choose must be males that are a year old. They must not have any flaws. You may choose either sheep or goats. Take care of them until the 14th day of the month. Then the whole community of Israel must kill them when the sun goes down. Take some of the blood. Put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where you eat the lambs. - Exodus 12:3, 5-7

God is just (2 Chronicles 12:6). Let’s look at the word just for a minute. The dictionary defines just as “guided by truth, based on what is right and deserved.” Teacher: you may want to act this out by calling up two adult leaders to be the bank robbers. You play the judge. Let’s say there was a judge in a courtroom, and he had two criminals in front of him. Each man had robbed a bank. Both men were guilty. The law said the punishment for robbing a bank was 10 years in jail. What if the judge sent one man to jail for 10 years, and one man to jail for one year. Ask: Would that be fair? No. Both men were guilty and deserved 10 years in jail. Ask: What if the judge decided to let both men go free? Would this be fair? No, because the law said the punishment was 10 years in jail. (If he let them go, it would not be fair to all the people who did not rob a bank.) If the judge was a just judge, he would send both men to jail for 10 years. In the same way, God is just and He MUST punish sin. If God did not punish sin, He would no longer be just. Amazingly, God is also love, and He mercifully provides a way to escape punishment (Psalm 33:5).

These are the instructions that the Lord gave:

Then Moses sent for all of the elders of Israel. He said to them, “Go at once. Choose the animals for your families. Each family must kill a Passover lamb. Get a branch of a hyssop plant. Dip it into the blood in the bowl. Put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you can go out the door of your house until morning.

The Lord will go through the land to strike the Egyptians down. He’ll see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe. He will pass over that house. He won’t let the destroying angel enter your homes to kill you.

Obey all of these directions.” - Exodus 12:21-24a

Note to Teacher: Use a branch with leaves to demonstrate the painting of blood on the door to show the children that the blood on the door is actually a foreshadowing of the CROSS.

  • Take a lamb (Exodus 12:1,3)
  • A male, without any flaws (Exodus 12:5)
  • Kill the lamb on the 14th day (Exodus 12:6)
  • Put the blood on the door of the house where you eat the lamb. (Exodus 12:7)
  • Eat the lamb. The animal was to be roasted whole with bitter herbs over an open fire, not boiled and not eaten raw. Extra food should not be kept as leftovers but should be burned.(Exodus 12:8-10)
  • Stay inside your house until morning (Exodus 12:22)
  • Do not break any bones of the lamb (Exodus 12:46)
  • I will pass over (Exodus 12:12,13

Say: When God came in judgment to kill the firstborn, He would PASS OVER every house where the blood was applied. Anyone who obeyed God showed that he trusted God and believed that what He said was true. Anyone could choose to obey God.

“God had been gracious with Pharaoh. He had given him many opportunities to let the Israelites go, but Pharaoh refused every time. God said that He would judge the Egyptians, and He did just that. God is not like us. We may threaten to discipline our children, but often we never follow through. God always keeps His Word. The Egyptians were judged.

On the other hand, the Israelites experienced the Lord’s kindness because they believed in Him. When He came in judgment, wherever He saw the blood applied, He passed over. The firstborn lived - but only because the lamb died. The Passover lamb died in the place of the firstborn.” (John Cross Stranger on the Road to Emmaus p. 123)

Midnight came. What did God do? He did exactly what He said He would do. God ALWAYS keeps His promises!

At midnight the Lord struck down every oldest son in Egypt. He killed the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne. He killed all of the oldest sons of prisoners, who were in prison. He also killed all of the male animals that were born first to their mothers among the livestock.

Pharaoh and all of his officials got up during the night. So did all of the Egyptians. There was loud crying in Egypt because someone had died in every home. - Exodus 12: 29-30

During the night, Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and told them to get out of Egypt. Pharaoh told them to take their flocks and herds and every person. The Egyptian people BEGGED the Israelites to hurry up and leave their country. What a difference! Just days before, Pharaoh had many opportunities to listen to God and to let His people go, but he would not. Now he was begging them to leave!

For Older Children: After the death of their firstborn sons, the Egyptians did not want to have to look at the Israelites and be reminded of their sin. Remember this - it was the Egyptians who had first killed the Israelite baby boys by throwing them into the Nile River. Now it was their turn to feel the terrible pain of losing a child.

The Israelites left in such a hurry that they took their bread dough before the yeast was added to it. Have you ever had to eat quickly then run somewhere? This is how their Passover dinner was. They ate their meal, and then had to get out quickly. Remember, the Lord caused the Egyptians to act kindly to the Israelites, so they left with gold, silver, and clothing.

All together, there were about 600,000 men plus women and children. There were probably around three million people. Do you remember the promise that God made to Abraham? In Genesis 15:5, The Lord took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky. Count the stars, if you can.” Then he said to him, “That is how many children you will have.”

The Bible also says that many “other people” went with them. Ask: Who do you think these “other people” could have been? The Egyptians who trusted God.

The Bible says that the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years – to the very day! God’s timing is always perfect! When they left, they marched out like an army.

But guess who changed his mind again?! Pharaoh Come back next week to hear what happens next!


Main Point: God provides a way to escape the punishment of sin, and His way is the only way.

© 2007  All rights reserved worldwide. May be reproduced for personal, nonprofit, and non-commercial uses only. 

Unless otherwise noted the Scriptures taken from: Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version, (NIrV®)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society  /  Used by permission of IBS-STL.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Special thanks to John R. Cross, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, GoodSeed International.

Related Topics: Children, Children's Curriculum

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