Gracious Lord, how wonderful You are! How much You have so generously given to me and all Your children.
Read EXODUS 10:7–29
7 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”
8 Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the Lord your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going.”
9 Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.”
10 Pharaoh said, “The Lord be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil.[a] 11 No! Have only the men go and worship the Lord, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence.
12 And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over Egypt so that locusts swarm over the land and devour everything growing in the fields, everything left by the hail.”
13 So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the Lord made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; 14 they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. 15 They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.
16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”
18 Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 19 And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea.[b] Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
The Plague of Darkness
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. 23 No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”
25 But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”
27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”
29 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Lighten our darkness, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and by Thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of Thy only Son’.1
Threads of darkness and light criss-cross throughout the Bible. As in art and literature, in human thought and language, light stands for goodness, knowledge, and understanding, whereas darkness symbolizes evil, ignorance, despair, and death. Salvation is likened to being ‘rescued … from the dominion of darkness and brought … into the kingdom of the Son’.2 When God spoke creation into being, His first command was ‘Let there be light’ and He ‘separated the light from the darkness’.3 Now, as Moses stretches out his hand, he causes a separation that leaves all of Egypt in darkness (v 22), while ‘the Israelites had light in the in the places where they lived’ (v 23). While not protected from the consequences of Pharaoh’s wrath, the Israelites were shielded from God’s wrath.
Pharaoh is in darkness but not ‘in the dark’ – he is not uninformed as he once claimed.4 Through Moses, through repeated signs, God ensured that Pharaoh could know that He is the Lord; even Pharaoh’s magicians acknowledged the ‘finger of God’ at work5 and his own officials warned of Egypt’s ruin if he remained stubborn (v 7). Pharaoh is not ignorant – but he chooses to ignore God. ‘All those who do evil hate the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.’6 Although God’s intention is always to save, His interventions confront us with a choice: remain in darkness or embrace the light. Willfully and persistently to choose darkness is to close ourselves to the light. When Judas walked out of the Last Supper, he wasn’t acting in ignorance: by ignoring repeated opportunities to repent, Judas had allowed Satan a foothold. ‘And it was night’ is John’s chilling commentary.7
Does laziness keep you in ignorance of God’s ways and God’s Word? Is stubbornness causing you to ignore God’s promptings? Both situations are dangerous.
Holy Spirit of God, You are with me today and I thank You. Let me see new possibilities and grant me the strength to bring them into reality.
1 Book of Common Prayer 2 Col 1:13 3 Gen 1:3,4 4 Exod 5:2 5 Exod 8:19 6 John 3:20, TNIV 7 John 13:30
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