A Vigil in Heaven

The Sign on the Door








Exodus 12: 42

 It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.” (KJV)

“Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lordfor the generations to come. (NIV)


These verses refer to the Passover.  What really stood out to me was the NIV’s use of “the Lord kept vigil”.  According to Merriam-Webster, a vigil is “an event or a period of time when a person or group stays in a place and quietly waits, prays, etc., especially at night”, a candlelight vigil and a bedside vigil being used as examples.  I think this shows how much God cares about His people, and on such a personal level.  This is only one of the definitions, but I think it applies to this the best.  Can’t you just picture it?  God sitting quietly, watching this sea of nearly ONE MILLION people march out of Egypt…I don’t suppose Heaven is usually a very quiet place, but I wonder if God found a spot to be alone, to keep a watchful eye on His people as they left behind their captivity.  I wonder how He felt as He thought about what their journey would be like – the grumbling and complaining – the *regret* of leaving their captors – despite His daily provisions.  Let us not be like the Israelites.  Instead, let us collect our morning manna with thanks, be grateful for freedom, and be awed that our “clothes did not wear out” and “our feet did not swell” on our journey.


Tori Gay


Painting by James Tissot “The Sign on the Door” in Public Domain