There is a spirit sometimes called “The Destroyer,” that enters homes at night, when everyone is supposed to be peacefully sleep. It enters to bring sudden deaths, and so cause great pains to homes in peaceful sleep. Often, that spirit does not kill just one or two but slays in great numbers.
When obstinate Pharaoh would not let Israel get out of his captivity despite God’s repeated appeals, God had to “pass through” his land to unleash that spirit. Meanwhile, God assured His people that He was not going to let “the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you” (Exodus 12:23). So, what smote the Egyptians in their numbers that night was The Destroyer, which usually operates in houses, enters to smite, enters houses that are in apparent peace, enters at unexpected times, and smites in numbers to cause national calamity. Usually, the actions of that spirit are never unnoticed.
In one battle between Israel and Sennacherib the king of Assyria, God deployed that spirit, and 105,000 Assyrian soldiers died overnight. That king, like Pharaoh, was forced to give up promptly and retreat (2 Kings 19:35-36).
The Destroyer is one of many spirits in God’s arsenals. It is a spirit usually released upon stubborn nations, especially because of their stubborn ruler. David identified that spirit of death as “the terror by night” (reads like ‘terrorists’ at night) and “the pestilence that walketh in darkness” (Psalm 91:5-6). He had had his unforgettable brush with that spirit when he had conducted an ill-advised national census and 70,000 were suddenly killed (2 Samuel 24:15-16). In all cases, the wicked kings lived to mourn their fate, at least for a while. It was their innocent citizens that died suddenly.
When a ruler begins to boast against God, is proud, and would not hear good counsel, his people are in danger of this mass slayer … but may the Passover Blood distinguish between Goshen and Egypt when those nights come. Amen.
From The Preacher’s diary.
September 12, 2019.