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Today in Exodus chapters 8 & 9 we read about many of the plagues! I've got to say, for some reason the plague of frogs really resonated with me in today's reading. I'm not sure why - but for some reason I could really envision frogs being everywhere... and how disgusting this would truly be...
An interesting thing I read in a commentary today is that the plagues in some ways were direct attacks on the Egyptian "gods". For example, the Egyptians had a god named Hopi, who was god of the Nile river. Hopi couldn't stop the river from turning to blood. They had a cow-goddess named Hathor, who couldn't stop the livestock from dying. They had a sun-god named Amon-Re who couldn't stop darkness from coming over the land. (in tomorrow's readings). God's plagues were going after these false gods - and showing to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and the Hebrews too I think, who the one true living God is, was, and forever shall be. Did you ever stop and wonder if there were masks out there that depicted the various plagues of the Exodus? Me neither. But they exist! :)
Chapter 8 verses 18 & 19 stand out: "Pharaoh's magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered all the people and animals. "This is the finger of God!" the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh." The magicians tricks were beginning to fail! They realized that God was creating the plagues with their exclamation, "This is the finger of God!" God's name & fame was becoming known. Have you seen or experienced the finger of God in your life? Below is a super-sized image that will give you an idea of the grossness of the plague of gnats:
Chapter 9 verse 16 is powerful: "But I have let you live for this reason--that you might see my power and that my fame might spread throughout the earth." In the New Testament, Paul quotes this verse in Romans 9:17, which we'll view in context here from Romans 9:14-18 - "What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden." Wow... great stuff in this Roman's verse... it does not depend on our desire or effort, but on God's mercy. Do you believe in God's mercy? Will you relinquish any of your own desire or efforts over to God's mercy? As you probably have seen by now, I'm trying to cover many of the plagues in today's readings with images... so now I give you pharaoh and the flies! :)
Exodus chapter 9 verse 20 is also powerful, as we read about some Egyptians beginning to believe in God: "Some of Pharaoh's officials believed what the LORD said. They immediately brought their livestock and servants in from the fields." How about us today? Do we believe what the Lord says? Like these Egyptians in this instance, do we then also immediately do what the Lord says? In verse 27 Pharaoh finally confesses his sin: "Then Pharaoh urgently sent for Moses and Aaron. "I finally admit my fault," he confessed. "The LORD is right, and my people and I are wrong." Though he doesn't stay repentant for long. How about us - do we confess our sins to God - and then not stay repentant for long? Can we instead confess our sins to God and make a complete U-turn - go completely in the other direction and not look back? Below we have the plague of hail - and I guess that fire is from the lightning strikes.
Bible.org's commentary on the plagues of Exodus titled "The Finger of God" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today's readings in Exodus reminded me of Kristian Stanfill's song "Day after Day:"
Do you know our faithful God? Click here and get to know Him Day after Day!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the LORD. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the LORD’s." Exodus 9:29 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you know that the earth is the LORD's, and everything in it.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
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