The Contest Begins
Gracious Lord, I bow in worship before You. I am a holy temple, a place whereby Your Holy Spirit, You live.
Read Exodus 6:28-7:13
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Faith enables us to obey when obedience is costly and seems unreasonable to the natural mind” (Jerry Bridges). It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is essential in accomplishing God’s purposes.
This short passage is like an overture to the overwhelming music that follows; many major themes sound in these few verses. Where am I in the complex story of my ancestors, siblings, family and children (6:13-27)? How old am I (7:7) and how do I feel about my stage of life? A titanic contest is about to begin; Aaron and the magicians have a part, but the main contest is between Moses and Pharaoh. Behind these men, the real contest is between the Lord and the gods of Egypt (see 12:12). I notice that Moses and Aaron in 7:6 and 7:10 follow the Lord’s instructions (6:29) to the letter, despite Moses’ continued reticence. Am I equally scrupulous in following my Lord’s commands to the letter?
I read the passage several times, noting the key words which occur here and which I will meet again. Sometimes the events that follow have been called “plagues” or “natural disasters,” and the lands as well as the Egyptians suffer terribly from Pharaoh’s stubbornness; but I notice that in this reading the words used are “signs,” “wonders” and “miracle.” The phenomena are natural but “their terrifying intensity, their concentrative force and, above all, the shielding of the Israelites from their effects” are a sign of God’s superintending providence. The word “judgment” reminds me that God is both Judge and Savior; the word “divisions” reminds me that the Lord is “the Lord of hosts.” God lays his hand on Egypt in judgment; and he stretches his hand out to bring the Israelites to safety. Finally, the word “snake” is not your common or garden snake; the word is translated elsewhere “serpent,” “dragon,” “chaos monster.” The effects of the signs which follow are like a monstrous undoing of creation. Pharaoh’s entourage of magicians replicated the sign, but Aaron’s rod swallowed their rods like a tsunami.
When has God asked you to do something beyond your natural abilities? Was the mission accomplished? Why, or why not?
Lord of my life, help me to hear what You say and do what You command, even when I am afraid.
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