Let’s read Exodus 11:4-7 to get the background for this question. It reads, “And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharoah that sitteth upon the throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it anymore. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” We learn in this passage that the Lord “put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” Whatever it was that caused this difference resulted in God sparing the firstborn in the house of every Israelite.

I can think of at least two major reasons that made the difference. The first reason is that ISRAEL WAS GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE WITH WHOM HE HAD MADE A COVENANT. When God sent Moses to Egypt to lead His people out, He said this to Moses in Exodus 6:2-7, “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacoband I have established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaanand I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenantand I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptiansand I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God.” God then sent plague after plague upon the land of Egypt and with each plague God told Pharaoh through Moses, “Let my people go.” Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let them go; he hardened his heart in rebellion against God and finally God determined to break his will by smiting his firstborn and the firstborn of every Egyptian household. Exodus 11:1 reads, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence.”

The second reason is that ISRAEL OBEYED GOD BY FAITH AND APPLIED THE BLOOD OF A LAMB UPON EACH OF THEIR HOMES. We read of God’s command to Israel to kill a lamb and to apply it on their door posts in Exodus 12:1-7.  If they obeyed this command God made this promise to them in verse 13, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” Here is what made the biggest difference between the Egyptians and Israel: THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB! The Egyptians and Israelites were ALL SINNERS, and thus the firstborn deserved to die in every house, but God chose to show mercy to Israel by providing a lamb as a substitute for each firstborn son. By faith in God’s word the Israelites killed a lamb, applied the blood of the lamb to each of their homes, and their firstborn was spared.

In both of these reasons I’ve given we see God’s wonderful GRACE shown to Israel. In grace He chose them to be His people. We see this in Deuteronomy 7:6-7, “The LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people ; for ye were the fewest of all people; But because the LORD loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand.” That same grace which caused God to choose Israel caused Him to provide a lamb to die in place of their firstborn son.

GRACE, my friend, is what really made the difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites. And if you have been redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, then it is grace that has made the difference between you and those who reject Christ and who are going on to judgment. Let us never forget that we owe every blessing we have to the matchless GRACE OF GOD! (164.10) (DO)