January 30 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 7-9 and Psalms 30
Plagues! Wow this is really intense. Did you ever wonder why all this stuff was happening in Egypt?
Yes, yes – I know – God wanted to deliver His people – but aside from that, I think God wanted to speak to Egypt (and the then-know world as well). He was also ready to pass judgement on all the nations living in the land of Palestine. Think about it. How was the Lord going to get the attention of the Egyptians and give them a revelation that an all-powerful and all-knowing “Living God” was able to set people free?
He first had to confront their “gods”, bring down their economy and radically alter the sinful culture that epitomized this super-power. Most scholars believe that Egypt was one of the strongest nations on earth at the time of the Exodus. They were self-sufficient, proud and very powerful. God literally set it up so that all Egyptians from the greatest to the least would see the glory of God and come to a knowledge of God.
So – though God had a plan for Israel, He also had a plan to reveal Himself to Egypt – so that all the nations would hear of the miracles that had taken place at the hands of Aaron and Moses.
He still confronts people and nations with hard hearts and lets them know that there is a God to be reckoned with. In our day and hour, God usually reveals Himself through His loving servants – but I’ve know people who were “smacked with a two by four” so that God could get their attention. We often believe that everything is about us. We interpret all the happenings around us as though God is doing something for us alone. Ponder this – half the World lives in near-complete economic disaster and all we can think about is whether we will purchase a Kia or a Ford! Perhaps God uses things like hard economic times to get people to quit relying only on their own wisdom. Maybe He uses “hard times” to draw individuals to Himself. This is not to say that God creates hard times only that He uses opportunities including hard times to reach a people with love and grace. I don’t know about you, but I would gladly suffer hard times if it meant that lost souls would be drawn to God because of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we became so sensitive to God’s voice that we would respond the instant He speaks? There is no need for us to be “confronted” by the Lordthe way Egypt was if we have our spiritual ears open. May we be guided by the slightest glance of His eye today! I don’t want to have any “plague” experiences because of the hardness of my heart.
1. Has God ever used a “difficult thing” to get your attention? Tell us about it!
2. Give an example of how “hard times” have drawn you closer to God.