Exodus – God’s Way Out
Last night the order to “stay home” was extended to the end of next month. We thought this was a very temporary situation. Now it will last a lot longer than we first thought. Are we grumbling a bit about someone telling us to be safe?
In our country, someone telling us what to do when it comes to our personal lifestyle is new to us. Very new. Most of us are trying to obey because the spreading virus is all over the news with the affects it is having here and all over the world. We don’t want to get it so we stay home. We obey. We should first be thinking about trying to help others not succumb to it by staying home and stopping the rapid spread. The decision to obey is NOT just about us personally. It is for everyone.
But some are stubborn. When some are stubborn, we all have to pay the cost.
Today, as we read our next passage, I think of the Egyptians. Their very selfish leader, who is a god to them, does not have their best interest at heart. He is chief god to them among their others gods. Their leader is hanging on to this form of self-made and people driven power as long as possible with everything in him.
Pharaoh is refusing to obey the LORD God of Creation to let God’s people go, come back to Him and worship Him alone. Why? Because Pharaoh will lose his control over a people called Hebrews, who are his slaves and slaves to his people. He will be seen as weak in the eyes of his people if he does not stand firm, or so he believes. He is afraid of losing the respect of the Egyptians all because of his arrogance and selfish pride.
And what is the result of a god versus THE GOD? Suffering. The Egyptians will suffer greatly because of the decisions of their leader. The suffering will take it’s toll. In the suffering, they will finally see the power of the real, one and only God and some will bow down to Him.
Seeing the miraculous power of God will be always be remembered by God’s people. The Story of God will be told over and over through all generations.
When Corona virus “passes over” us and dissipates, what will we tell our children? What will our children and grandchildren tell their children? THIS, too, is the story of God in us in our generation.
What will be said of God’s power, His miracles, the good He did around us, in us and through us in a bad situation around the world?
“…you’ll tell them the stories of the signs that I brought down on them, so that you’ll all know that I am God.”
Think about it…I am.
Exodus 10, The Message
1-2 God said to Moses: “Go to Pharaoh. I’ve made him stubborn, him and his servants, so that I can force him to look at these signs and so you’ll be able to tell your children and grandchildren how I toyed with the Egyptians, like a cat with a mouse; you’ll tell them the stories of the signs that I brought down on them, so that you’ll all know that I am God.”
3-6 Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “God, the God of the Hebrews, says, ‘How long are you going to refuse to knuckle under? Release my people so that they can worship me. If you refuse to release my people, watch out; tomorrow I’m bringing locusts into your country. They’ll cover every square inch of ground; no one will be able to see the ground. They’ll devour everything left over from the hailstorm, even the saplings out in the fields—they’ll clear-cut the trees. And they’ll invade your houses, filling the houses of your servants, filling every house in Egypt. Nobody will have ever seen anything like this, from the time your ancestors first set foot on this soil until today.’”
Then he turned on his heel and left Pharaoh.
7 Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long are you going to let this man harass us? Let these people go and worship their God. Can’t you see that Egypt is on its last legs?”
8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. He said to them, “Go ahead then. Go worship your God. But just who exactly is going with you?”
9 Moses said, “We’re taking young and old, sons and daughters, flocks and herds—this is our worship-celebration of God.”
10-11 He said, “I’d sooner send you off with God’s blessings than let you go with your children. Look, you’re up to no good—it’s written all over your faces. Nothing doing. Just the men are going—go ahead and worship God. That’s what you want so badly.” And they were thrown out of Pharaoh’s presence.
12 God said to Moses: “Stretch your hand over Egypt and signal the locusts to cover the land of Egypt, devouring every blade of grass in the country, everything that the hail didn’t get.”
13 Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt. God let loose an east wind. It blew that day and night. By morning the east wind had brought in the locusts.
14-15 The locusts covered the country of Egypt, settling over every square inch of Egypt; the place was thick with locusts. There never was an invasion of locusts like it in the past, and never will be again. The ground was completely covered, black with locusts. They ate everything, every blade of grass, every piece of fruit, anything that the hail didn’t get. Nothing left but bare trees and bare fields—not a sign of green in the whole land of Egypt.
16-17 Pharaoh had Moses and Aaron back in no time. He said, “I’ve sinned against your God and against you. Overlook my sin one more time. Pray to your God to get me out of this—get death out of here!”
18-19 Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to God. God reversed the wind—a powerful west wind took the locusts and dumped them into the Red Sea. There wasn’t a single locust left in the whole country of Egypt.
20 But God made Pharaoh stubborn as ever. He still didn’t release the Israelites.
Strike Nine: Darkness
21 God said to Moses: “Stretch your hand to the skies. Let darkness descend on the land of Egypt—a darkness so dark you can touch it.”
22-23 Moses stretched out his hand to the skies. Thick darkness descended on the land of Egypt for three days. Nobody could see anybody. For three days no one could so much as move.
Except for the Israelites: they had light where they were living.
24 Pharaoh called in Moses: “Go and worship God. Leave your flocks and herds behind. But go ahead and take your children.”
25-26 But Moses said, “You have to let us take our sacrificial animals and offerings with us so we can sacrifice them in worship to our God. Our livestock has to go with us with not a hoof left behind; they are part of the worship of our God. And we don’t know just what will be needed until we get there.”
27 But God kept Pharaoh stubborn as ever. He wouldn’t agree to release them.
28 Pharaoh said to Moses: “Get out of my sight! And watch your step. I don’t want to ever see you again. If I lay eyes on you again, you’re dead.”
29 Moses said, “Have it your way. You won’t see my face again.”
God does not judge the world in this way anymore. He doesn’t need to send plagues. Nature takes care of that. Bad decisions of humans cause some things to go terribly wrong. God did not cause this virus to cover the world. But, God will USE the virus to bring people back to Himself in personal relationship with Him. (That is actually my prayer each day!)
God wants the best for us and that best for us is Jesus. Jesus, God’s Son, settled our sin debt once and for all. He took all our sin and the affects of sin’s self indulgences to a cruel cross and left them there to die. Jesus was buried in a tomb in a cave. God then raised His Son up after three days as a display for many to see and believe in His power and might. God is in control. Jesus conquered sin and death for us. We who believe are saved forever and more than conquerors until we see Him face to face in all His glory! Amen! Yes!
Be assured of God’s power. Be assured of His love for us who suffered and died for our sin. Believe and be saved.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are in the midst of a plague we have never encountered in the history of our lives and in the lives of our previous generations. They experienced bad times and stay true to you and told us about it. We lean on you and their example of tenacious faith. So we know YOU will help us through it because we believe. We believe that you saved us and will raise us up from this present circumstance. You are our hope and stay.
We pray that lost people without you will be found and begin following you. Explode man’s creativity in technology, medicine and in all other ways that guide others to Your power, might and The Way out of their present misery. YOU are THE WAY OUT indeed. I believe. The grave is empty. Hallelujah!
In Jesus Name, Amen