Blood dripped down the side of his face as he entered the house. The sight of him made Eliana cringe as she waited for impending doom. She struggled for a deep breath as the pressure of the situation smothered her words. The night air was humid and hot but she could not lay her newborn son down, clinging to him a little longer. Only faith in Jehovah would prevail.
“Is it done?” Her dark eyes searched her husband’s face for the answers she needed.
“It is finished.” He turned to wash away the blood from his stained fingers and she saw his shoulders began to shake.
“What is the matter? I thought you did as the leaders instructed.”
He kept his back to her.
“Answer me, Malachi!” She laid the baby in the cradle and crossed the room to him.
“My eyes have seen so much in these days. Amazing things, frightening things but this is almost too much for any man to bear. What if it doesn’t work? What if our precious son is taken too?”
He turned to her for comfort pulling her into an embrace, his soul longing for her words of strength.
“We must believe. He has protected us before…Jehovah will protect us now. Come, sit and let us eat.”
Her forced words sounded stronger than she felt and the roasted meat, herbs and unleavened bread did little to bring her comfort. They ate in haste and gathered their few belongings into a sack.
The sounds of screams interrupted their tasks and they turned to look out the small, square window. A young boy ran down the street toward the palace. His lantern light cast a glow on the blood covered doorframes.
“He is here.” Malachi’s voice shook with fear. “The angel of death is here.”
He walked over and knelt by his son’s bed and began to pray.
“Father God in heaven, hold true to your promise. Protect my son and my family. We have been faithful to You and beg for Your mercy as Pharaoh’s hand has grown heavy upon us. Free us from this bondage, tonight.”
Tears stained Eliana’s face as she joined her husband. She thought of the Egyptian women, dressed in their fine garments, bathed in fragrance and adorned in jewels, their children playing in the courtyards and streets. Tonight, the ache in her heart intensified with the wails of their grief.
Why do young children have to die because of man’s stubbornness? Couldn’t Pharaoh just do what God required?
A loud knock at the door broke her thoughts.
“Malachi! It is time!” The Jewish leader pushed the door open, waiting for no one’s permission. “Get your things and meet outside!” His exit stirred the dust on the floor.
“Gather the baby and do not linger.” Her husband grabbed the sack and followed the leader into the street.
Eliana scooped up her son and stopped under the entryway. The moist liquid had sealed the wood frame and the salvation of her family. Never again would she doubt her God.
“Thank you Father, for your salvation, for protecting my family. Thank you for hearing our prayers and being faithful.”
The light from the moon illumined her way like a spotlight on stage…time to enter the journey to the Promised Land.
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