GOD HAS OUR BACKS!

As we study the account of the plagues of Egypt, we need to keep in mind the purposes God was fulfilling through these momentous events. First of all, He was showing His great power to Pharaoh and his officials and proving to them that He alone is the true and living God. At the same time, the Lord was also exposing the futility of the Egyptian religion and the vanity of the many gods they worshiped, including Pharaoh himself.  

Do we really believe what God says is really real?  The depth of our belief will affect our behaviors.

All that God did to Egypt was a reminder to His people that their God was fighting for them and they didn’t have to worry or be afraid.  When get overwhelmed with life is usually when we are trying to control life and do it all our way.  Let go of that notion and let God do what He does best!  Watch what God will do—even today!

Exodus 9, The Message

Strike Five: Animals

1-4 God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, says: Release my people so they can worship me. If you refuse to release them and continue to hold on to them, I’m giving you fair warning: God will come down hard on your livestock out in the fields—horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep—striking them with a severe disease. God will draw a sharp line between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. Not one animal that belongs to the Israelites will die.’”

Then God set the time: “Tomorrow God will do this thing.”

6-7 And the next day God did it. All the livestock of Egypt died, but not one animal of the Israelites died. Pharaoh sent men to find out what had happened and there it was: none of the livestock of the Israelites had died—not one death. But Pharaoh stayed stubborn. He wouldn’t release the people.

Strike Six: Boils

8-11 God said to Moses and Aaron, “Take fistfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses throw it into the air right before Pharaoh’s eyes; it will become a film of fine dust all over Egypt and cause sores, an eruption of boils on people and animals throughout Egypt.” So they took soot from a furnace, stood in front of Pharaoh, and threw it up into the air. It caused boils to erupt on people and animals. The magicians weren’t able to compete with Moses this time because of the boils—they were covered with boils just like everyone else in Egypt.

12 God hardened Pharaoh in his stubbornness. He wouldn’t listen, just as God had said to Moses.

Strike Seven: Hail

13-19 God said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, says: Release my people so they can worship me. This time I am going to strike you and your servants and your people with the full force of my power so you’ll get it into your head that there’s no one like me anywhere in all the Earth. You know that by now I could have struck you and your people with deadly disease and there would be nothing left of you, not a trace. But for one reason only I’ve kept you on your feet: To make you recognize my power so that my reputation spreads in all the Earth. You are still building yourself up at my people’s expense. You are not letting them go. So here’s what’s going to happen: At this time tomorrow I’m sending a terrific hailstorm—there’s never been a storm like this in Egypt from the day of its founding until now. So get your livestock under roof—everything exposed in the open fields, people and animals, will die when the hail comes down.’”

20-21 All of Pharaoh’s servants who had respect for God’s word got their workers and animals under cover as fast as they could, but those who didn’t take God’s word seriously left their workers and animals out in the field.

22 God said to Moses: “Stretch your hands to the skies. Signal the hail to fall all over Egypt on people and animals and crops exposed in the fields of Egypt.”

23-26 Moses lifted his staff to the skies and God sent cracks of thunder and hail shot through with lightning strikes. God rained hail down on the land of Egypt. The hail came, hail and lightning—a fierce hailstorm. There had been nothing like it in Egypt in its entire history. The hail hit hard all over Egypt. Everything exposed out in the fields, people and animals and crops, was smashed. Even the trees in the fields were shattered. Except for Goshen where the Israelites lived; there was no hail in Goshen.

27-28 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. He said, “I’ve sinned for sure this time—God is in the right and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to God. We’ve had enough of God’s thunder and hail. I’ll let you go. The sooner you’re out of here the better.”

29-30 Moses said, “As soon as I’m out of the city, I’ll stretch out my arms to God. The thunder will stop and the hail end so you’ll know that the land is God’s land. Still, I know that you and your servants have no respect for God.”

31-32 (The flax and the barley were ruined, for they were just ripening, but the wheat and spelt weren’t hurt—they ripen later.)

33 Moses left Pharaoh and the city and stretched out his arms to God. The thunder and hail stopped; the storm cleared.

34-35 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he kept right on sinning, stubborn as ever, both he and his servants. Pharaoh’s heart turned rock-hard. He refused to release the Israelites, as God had ordered through Moses.

WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?

May we live our lives truly believing God and what He says.  When we do “all fear is gone”, as our favorite hymn states.  Fear and worry dissipate when doubts disappear.  Jesus taught this Truth and later His disciples writing down all He said, consistently came back to these tenants of our faith. 

True belief with “as a child” faith in God brings to higher thinking and understanding about who God is.  God is for us not against us, God loved us before we knew we could love Him back.  God sent His Son to take our punishment for sins.  God IS the One and Only God, the God who can do the impossible.  There is NO ONE like our God!  So—

Believe and be saved—”And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:13

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Romans 8:31

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  1 John 4:18

God will take care of His people.  God “drew a sharp line” between His People and their oppressor.  God will always take care of us.  God cannot lie, never turns back on His promises and loves always without conditions!

God never changes. God’s unfailing love for us drives Him to care for us through good times and challenging times on earth.  He is God—we are not.

“Take courage”, says Jesus, I have overcome the world!”

And closing with a Psalm of praise; “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

Lord,

Thank you for encouragement today.  You are with me right now as I write this and meditate on your words.  Now, help me to live what I say I believe!

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

(By Bill & Gloria Gaither)

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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