shew! bet you thought I wasn't going to make it today, huh?! :) It won't always be posted at 5:00am!!! Let's hope! :)
Exodus chapter 7-8 The plagues are coming! The plagues are coming! The plagues are coming!!! But today......only blood in the Nile River, frogs on their faces, and flies everywhere, death of the livestock, boils and hail! How Pharaoh hears of the plagues coming is like a game of "Telephone" or "Gossip." You know...where you whisper something in your neighbors ear and they pass it to the next and to the next....this is like that....but the original story does not get mixed up here.
God tells Moses, Moses tells Aaron, Aaron tells Pharoah of the impending and coming destruction of God's power. This entire story is a struggle between Pharaoh and God-- over power, control and sovereignty. The plagues are promised, they arrive, Pharaoh hardens his heart.....every single time....even after he says, "fine....okay....go pray to your God and I'll let the people go." And every single time, he changes his mind. He does NOT let them go....he hardens his heart. He CHOOSES to harden his heart. Can you imagine the nerve that Moses and Aaron must have to stand up to Pharaoh each time? They must have faith the size of the plagues to know that God is with them and that they aren't crazy. Their human courage is supported only by the power of God Almighty! And so it is with us too, is it not? Draw upon God to have courage to do what God's will is for us. Draw upon God to take action where needed. Draw upon God. Period.
By the middle of chapter 8, after the blood and the frogs, Pharaoh calls in his own magicians to help out. They try to turn the dust into gnats, but fail. Pharaoh starts to realize that Moses is empowered by a God....not an Egyptian god. Oh! And I love the part where God starts to set His own people apart......the blood was everywhere, the frogs were everywhere, but now, the plagues are NOT in Goshen on the Israelites....God has set them apart to prove: 1) that He is God 2) that those are His people and 3) that is God's land! Not the empire's. God seperated the Iraelites livestock from that of the Egyptians.....all of the Egyptian's livestock died. Not one Israelite cow, donkey, or camel was even sick! God was not so much out to devastate Pharaoh, but rather to show off His power! Like us, God gives Pharaoh chances to repent...and God even saves Pharaoh through the first 6 plagues...but he misses every opportunity to repent. I don't think he's wanting to save his own slaves at this point....Pharaoh is just wanting to show off his power....and with each devastating plague he is losing his authority little by little in his own mind.
Chapter 9....the livestock of the Israelites are saved, then comes the boils and hail. The hail storm was the worst ever. Don't tell State Farm that! It says that God warned the Egyptians to put the livestock in the barns....I though they were all dead? I'm confused on that one?! But it does show God's kindness and compassion in the midst of plagues. Ironic?! I have sermon notes that I've written in the margin of my Bible. It says, What happened to Pharaoh because he refused God: This will all last how long: 1) until there is devastation; 2) until there is darkness; 3) and until there is death. Those are the plagues and threats to come.
Lessons learned: repeated, stubborn disobedience to God is never a good thing....it is irreversible even! Don't let God use that against you in His judgment. God sets His people apart to live a lifestyle different than the rest of society....He blesses and protects us. We will bow our knees and hearts to God in endless worship....and to no one else...ever. We are called to salvation with God through Jesus....keep your relationship with Him holy and righteous...and above all...active!
Come, Holy Spirit, Come!