(March 1, 2014)
I had two thoughts as I read through this chapter. The first was how often we look at miracles as a naturalistic or mechanical result of our inspired actions – for some reason it is easier to believe that the Lord told us what to do (some aspect of our lives that we didn’t understand), but when we did that thing the natural, mechanical result of that action was the blessing that we sought out. Thus the miracle becomes the inspiration rather than the Passover.
I think that this is a wrong way to look at the world. God has countless hosts of angels ready to intervene in any way that He needs them to. He can speak, and the world and the matter thereof obeys. The dust of the Earth (and that would include our physical bodies) is wholly obedient to His will. While He typically works through mortal hands, or naturalistic means (as we understand them), He is not exclusively confined to those means. We do a disservice to Him to attempt to explain away the Passover as a virus for which the blood provided some mechanism for resistance. We do show proper gratitude, and we do not learn the lesson that we should.
The second thought was on putting leaven out of our house. I doubt think that I am the only person who has ever accidentally eaten something in the middle of a fast without thinking – recognizing my mistake about midway through my first swallow. Now I am not advocating putting all of our food out of our house on Fast Sunday, but it does show that there is a valuable lesson to be learned by the people of Israel being instructed to put all leaven out of the houses. Not only were they to resist temptation and obey, they were to put up artificial barriers that would assist them in avoiding temptation. Whenever we are struggling with a vice or habit, resisting the leaven is good but putting it out of our house (where we cannot reach it without effort) is even better.