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Exodus 7-8

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, AUGUST 21

SCRIPTURE:  EXODUS 7-8

BY: Jeremy Witt

Remember the excuse of Moses in Exodus 6:30 as we begin today’s reading.  The LORD heard Moses and responded in verse 1 by saying that Moses would be like or seem like God to Pharaoh and that Aaron would be Moses’ prophet.  Why did God do this?  We see in chapter 6 that Pharaoh had not heard of the LORD, the God of Israel and was not impressed.  Through Moses, God would demonstrate His power to the Egyptians so that they would know who God is and of His power. 

It should be noted that the Israelites were viewed as slaves at this point.  No one feared the Israelites.  No one feared the LORD, the God of Israel.  God would use the events forthcoming to shape how the people and God Himself were viewed by the nations.  God took a small group of people who were viewed as slaves and as nothing by the nations to become His priests’ and to share His saving power to the nations.  Israel’s purpose has always been to show who God is and to build relationships with people. 

Verse 3 is important.  Pharaoh worshipped other gods.  He was a powerful man whose pride was in himself.  He was viewed as a god by his people.  His heart was hardened by this, and would not listen, and God used these things to demonstrate His power.  Notice verse 5 too.  All of these things were not just for Pharaoh but also for the people of Egypt.  They will know the power of the one God, not their Pharaoh.  They will see God’s power shown to them and they will recognize who is the Almighty.

How old was Moses when all this happened and how old was Aaron?  Do you see it?  They were not young!  God wants us to be obedient regardless of age.  As long as we are breathing and alive, God has a plan for us for His glory in every stage of life.  Let us not use an excuse of age to keep us from teaching, serving, giving, and being faithful to what God calls us to do.

Verses 8-13 begin this display of God’s power to Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  Notice after Aaron’s staff becomes a serpent; the Egyptian sorcerers accomplish the same feat.  How did they do this?  Illusion, sorcery, or just plain satanic power as they worshipped all types of gods are possible answers, but notice in verse 12 how Aaron’s staff ate theirs up.  Any attempt of duplicating God’s power is futile, and God will display His power over anything else.  This is true throughout Scripture all the way to the new heaven and new earth.  Satan tries to mimic God’s power and lead people astray.  He is the great deceiver, but ultimately Satan simply fails.

Notice verses 13-14 and the hardness of heart by Pharaoh.  We see the same thing as we read Revelation.  Despite God’s power and the judgments, people’s hearts are hardened and they choose not to repent and believe. We see similar plagues appear again in the end as well. 

Our first plague is blood (verses 14-25) Notice that the Egyptians’ magicians are able to turn the water red as well.  Side note:  Read Revelation11:6 and 16:4. 

Chapter 8 begins with the plague of frogs in verses 1-15.  Can you imagine seeing all those frogs?  They were everywhere because their Nile River home was now blood, so they went inland.  Again the magicians are able to duplicate this as we read in verse 7, but this time Pharaoh begs Moses to get rid of the frogs by praying to the LORD God.  I find it funny that when Moses asks Pharaoh when he would like for this to happen, Pharaoh says, “tomorrow” (verse 10).  Why not today?  Why would you want to wait until the next day? 

The plague of gnats comes next in verses 16-19 after Pharaoh refused to let the people go and worship God.  Notice that this plague was not able to be reproduced by the Egyptians’ magicians. Even the magicians’ claim this is the hand of God in verse 19, but Pharaoh again refuses to believe or to let the people go.

The plague of flies comes in verses 20-32, but this plague will only affect the Egyptians.  God protects the Israelites who live in Goshen from this plague.  This shows God’s power by limiting who is affected as verses 22-23 state.

Verses 25-28 are an interesting dialogue as Pharaoh gives in but puts his spin on things.  After Moses points out that the Egyptians won’t like it, Pharaoh says to go but hurry back.  This time he wants relief immediately instead of waiting till tomorrow.  Moses warns Pharaoh not to lie to him again in 29.  Yet that is exactly what Pharaoh does. 

Have you ever done the same thing as Pharaoh?  Have you ever promised God something and didn’t follow through?  Maybe God answered your prayers specifically and once you got what you wanted, you didn’t do as you promised.  One of the things about Scripture that speaks to me is that we can learn a lot about others (humanity) as well as ourselves.  Clearly we need help and clearly we need a Savior!  Thank You LORD for not being like me or us!

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Exodus 5,6

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, AUGUST 20

SCRIPTURE:  EXODUS 5-6

BY: Jeremy Witt

Today’s devotion will cover two chapters.  Chapter 5 takes Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt in verse 1.  Pharaoh was aware of and worshipped many gods and idols, but until Moses and Aaron came, Pharaoh was not aware of God, the Great I AM.  The God of Israel was not on his radar as we see in verse 2.  Pharaoh asks a very good question, “who is the Lord, the God of Israel that I should obey His voice?”  Pharaoh has not heard nor seen the power of God yet, so he is not impressed based off what Moses said.  This is still true of people today who have not met nor seen God’s power.  We are called to be the Moses and Aaron to them.  This is our role in the salvation plan.  Our job is to go and tell.  It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, to draw the people to the LORD, to reveal God’s truths, and to lead them towards a personal relationship with the LORD, and it is not our job.  Our job is simple because simple is what we need.  Our role is to go and tell the hope of the LORD in the best manner possible that can be heard with those we share.  The rest is up to the LORD God.

Keep reading and understand that despite the circumstances in which we are in, we must stay the course of pointing people to discover God and His saving power.  The circumstances for Moses and Aaron were not ideal as we will read.  Pharaoh didn’t care for this interruption and viewed this as a way from keeping his slaves or workers from doing their job, so Pharaoh turns up the heat as we see in 6-9.  As Pharaoh intended, this caused the workers to become upset with Moses and Aaron as we read in verses 10-23.  (Sidenote:  I can understand Pharaoh’s position a little.  My kids, ages 13 and 11, love to procrastinate on their chores or find ways out of them altogether.  I think Pharaoh may have thought that Moses and Aaron were doing this, so his response was to keep any more work stoppages from happening.  But unlike my children, this purpose was not of man but from God.)

Notice verse 21.  The people of Israel were naturally angry.  They were consumed with their day to day tasks, and now it was made much harder, even nearly impossible.  Their work day was now much longer as they now had to search for hay and straw.  Were the people unhappy before this?  Absolutely they were!  Were they unhappy after Pharaoh’s first visit with Moses and Aaron?  You already know the answer. 

Today as we read this, we have the benefit of looking back and seeing the final outcome, but they did not have this luxury.  Just as we don’t have the luxury in the circumstances we face or the people with whom we are trying to share Jesus.  Do you see where I am going?  Despite our circumstances, despite our understanding or their understanding, there is a bigger picture that we may not see at the moment.  Moses goes to the LORD after he is confronted and rejected by the people in verse 22. 

Can you imagine how Moses felt?  He is doing what God said to do and is facing adversity.  The people are not wanting to follow him.  He will face this throughout his lifetime.  Leading people is not easy and we can see this from the life of Moses.  We can also learn that being obedient to God does not mean that the journey will be easy. 

We start to see this in chapter six which is why are reading two chapter today.   God responds to Moses in verses 1-13.  Small problems need small fixes, but big problems require bigger answers, and God takes this gigantic obstacle to display His power to the people.  God’s power will be shown and will be shared throughout history through these people throughout all generations.  When God demonstrates His power, it speaks far louder than man could do in his own power.

Verse 2 we see God speak, “I am the LORD (Yahweh or Jehovah as the Jews would say because they would not speak the actual name of God)”  This God was personal and known by the patriarchs, and God reminded Moses of this and of the covenant made with his forefathers.  God promised that He would rescue them in verse 6 and promises to be their personal God as we read in verses 7 and 8.  But notice verse 9.  The people allowed their circumstances to keep them from hearing and believing the word from God.  Do we do this too?  Are we so focused on our circumstances that I (we) miss hearing from God?

After the heads of the 12 tribes are listed in verses 14-27, read verse 30.  Moses focused on his own personal weaknesses.  His self-confidence was shot after the people didn’t listen.  Moses was unsure of himself and maybe even in God Himself, but we know Moses used an excuse.  We do the same thing at times, don’t we!  I wonder what more God might have done in Moses himself had he simply trusted God.  I wonder what more God might do through me or you if I (we) would simply trust God.  Something to think about.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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