Exodus Devotional | Escaping the Troubles of This Life - The Plagues: Part 1, Day 4
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
Exodus The Plagues, Part 1, Day 4
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go. Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. Now therefore send, get your livestock and all that you have in the field into safe shelter, for every man and beast that is in the field and is not brought home will die when the hail falls on them.” Then whoever feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses, but whoever did not pay attention to the word of the Lord left his slaves and his livestock in the field.”
The first six plagues God sent upon the people of Egypt were bad--things are about to take a seriously hard turn for the worse. In order, plagues seven through nine are as follows:
The plague of hail: the first plague in which God offers the Egyptians a way to escape, or at least, mitigate the damage that will be done (bring in any of your [leftover!] livestock and animals; from Nut (a sky goddess) to Tefnut (a primeval goddess of water, rain, and dew), to Renenutet (a cobra-goddess of grains and harvest), the Lord cast doubt upon several Egyptian deities; flax (for linen) and barley (for beer and other commodities) was destroyed, further crippling the economy.
The plague of locusts: God sends enough locusts that the sky is darkened and everything the hail didn’t destroy, the locusts would devour; this is the first plague in which Pharaoh’s own servants will plead with him to relent and obey God; the god of grain and harvests, Nepri, stood (apparently) silently by, letting it all happen on his watch.
The plague of darkness: no warning from God to Pharaoh--a blackness so deep settled upon the land that people couldn’t see each other; this lasted for three days; Egypt's most prestigious and honored god, Amun-Ra, was disarmed--he was the god of the sun and light, the Egyptians’ supreme creator-god...and he stood defeated and shamed.
Meanwhile, through all of this, God’s people--the Hebrews--are in the land of Goshen, spared from the direct results of these plagues. The wrong takeaway of this would be: belong to God, become a Christian, and you’ll escape the troubles of this life! No. Not at all.
God had not spared his people four hundred years of captivity, slavery, torture, and murder. He will not spare them forty years, wandering in the desert. He will not spare John the Baptizer in his prison cell (a thousand years later) and he does not spare his own Son. I want to draw you back to a point I’ve been trying to get across for the last week or two: we will all face the trials, troubles, and tribulations of this life. Which god will you belong to? The ones who have no control and no effect (and, therefore, no salvation to offer)? Or, will you go through those things, belonging to the God who brings them about and brings you through them?
Jesus says, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Will you spend your life, facing plagues, car wrecks, accidents, violent people, and every other pain, fearing that which can only kill your body...trusting in false gods who can’t even do anything for you in this life and have no power over what’s to come? Or, will you fear, trust, and obey the God who is sovereign over this life and the next?
There is a false sense of invincibility we’re tempted to find when our security system is installed, a newer, better paying job is secured, or the numbers in our bank account get bigger. All it takes for any of us to have our lives turned upside is a phone call or a text message and those things can go away. Is our trust and security in the God who brings those things about and saves our lives into eternity? If so, then we can truly find a proper sense of “invincibility.”
What are you most afraid of in this season of life? What’s the nightmare scenario you’re wringing your hands over? What if God let you go through that? Would you leave him? Abandon him? Reject him? This question, serious and somber as it is, is meant to show you just how important it is to discipline yourself in faith to the Lord.
Pray for those who don’t have the Lord. They don’t have anything, really, to cling to or find purchase in for their hope today. Everyone’s wearing a mask of courage or belief in something--but unless your life and soul are safe in the hands of the Lord, you may be spared of some bad things in this life, but you’ll be spared nothing in the next. Pray for the lost today.