Saturday, August 12, 2023

August 12, 2023

We can compare ourselves to the Israelites living in Egypt to those living in a country where evil rules. Thank goodness God knows the difference and can see our hearts. In all these plagues, Israel was protected and set apart as an example to Pharaoh so he could see how differently they were treated compared to the Egyptians. 

The eighth and ninth plagues brought about darkness. 

The eighth was the locusts God brought to devastate whatever green was left after the hail. There were so many it darkened the sky. Pharaoh asked Moses to pray for God to take them away. I find it funny that his so-called gods couldn't help him. I'll bet they tried to get their help with no avail because how can something that only exists through magic do them any good?

The ninth plague was total darkness for three days, with no light of any kind. God darkened the sky and put out all their fires so no light could be seen. They didn't get up to move. It was the kind of darkness that will be seen and felt by those who reject Jesus and end up in hell. However, the Israelites had light within their homes and only watched the devastation. 

Throughout the Bible, there is a significant distinction between those who trust God and those who don't. God's protection over his people is incredible. We may go through rough times, but God uses them to train us to trust him, but after all is said and done, we will end up in his presence, full of light.

And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. Exodus 10:22-23

Friday, August 11, 2023

August 11, 2023

The plagues God thrust upon the Egyptians were significant in that they had meaning beyond the destruction of people, animals, and property. The Egyptians worshipped the river, animals, and other things, so when God destroyed them, the power of their so-called gods showed they were void of control and revealed to them that God was the most powerful. 

In the fifth plague, God killed all their horses, donkeys, camels, oxen, and sheep. They worshipped gods representing the ox, cow, and ram. He struck them in their idolatry. 

In the sixth plague, God had Moses throw ashes in the air. This particular act focuses their attention on their human sacrifices, which during certain times of the year, they would burn people alive and then throw their ashes in the air as a blessing. However, when Moses threw the ashes in the air, God caused boils on the Egyptian's skin. The burning feeling they received was significant to their heinous act of sacrificing humans!

The seventh plague hit them particularly hard because it was something that they had never experienced since they became a nation; rain, hail, and lightning. Their water supply came from the dew and the overflow of the Nile. God destroyed all of their crops and burned their cattle with lightning. This plague affected them mentally. 

For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. Exodus 9:14

While destroying the Egyptians, God protected Israel. The main point of today's devotional is that God protects his people. God will soon bring his vengeance upon the people of the earth for their worship of other gods and their heinous sacrifices; however, his children will not experience his wrath; that is for the unbelievers. 

Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. Exodus 9:26

Thursday, August 10, 2023

August 10, 2023

How quickly we forget how consuming our troubles were when after praying, God removes them. As a freshly washed pig returns to the muddy wallow, we often return to our sins. 

In a show of force, God sent frogs, gnats, and flies to overwhelm Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and each time, Pharaoh promised to let Israel’s children go to make sacrifices to God. Once Moses prayed and God killed the plagues, he went back on his word and wouldn’t let them go. He was relieved each time and quickly forgot his promise. In the Plagues of the Gnats and the Flies, scripture points out the distinction between Israel and the Egyptians; Israel wasn’t bothered by these nuisances; still, Pharaoh didn’t relent. 

I don’t know how they could stand it! Imagine slimy frogs in your food. I’m not fond of a gnat; their constant buzzing around my face is intolerable. Flies are disgusting. Out of sight, out of mind. Each time, Moses asked God to relieve them of the nuisance, and each time Pharaoh went back on his word. God will not be mocked. He has forgiven us so much; don’t disappoint him by sinning again. Walk away from sin, turn around, and look toward God so you don’t have to deal with the consequences of your behavior. 

And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will intreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD. Exodus 8:29

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

August 9, 2023

When the enemy performs their counterfeit miracles, it hardens the hearts of those we try to convince to accept Jesus as Savior. The comforts of this world are too cozy, and sin seems more attractive. Their only hope beyond this world when someone dies is the saying, "They are in a better place." Death is not a better place for those without Jesus. They are dead until they accept Jesus and are given a new life in him. Jesus saw them that way, too; in Luke 9:60, "Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." Jesus wants people to choose him over everything else, and when they don't, he considers them dead.

Moses and Aaron tried to convince Pharaoh to let the children of Israel leave Egypt. God gave them the power of miracles to show that they had heard from God and that their ability was from him. Aaron threw down the rod, and it became a snake. However, the enemy duplicated that power through the magicians and sorcerers. God caused Aaron's snake to eat all the others in a show of superiority. God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Then on a different occasion, God turned all the water into blood at the hand of Moses and Aaron, but the magicians and sorcerers performed the same miracle, so it didn't pierce Pharaoh's heart to let the people go. Remember, when trying to help people come to know Jesus, we face the same enemy that Moses and Aaron faced when trying to free the children of Israel. They didn't give up. Keep praying. God will eventually open a door when the timing is right.

And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said. Exodus 7:22

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

August 8, 2023

We can rest from striving; God has given us good news, but because we are so wrapped up in our troubles, we fail to hear it. The US corporation is bankrupt; we are a republic again. Biden is president of the bankrupt corporation. We are no longer at the mercy of the British monarchy and are a sovereign nation. All our gold has been returned; it took 650 airplanes to get it back. President Trump confirmed that it is true. I heard this news Sunday night and have been on cloud nine ever since. There are essential things that the national media are not telling the American people. The truth slips out occasionally, but we are so caught up in the lies that we can't hear it. This story should be in the national headlines to give us hope, yet it was obscured on local television in England. God has told us that he has released us from our captivity, but we are so pressed down that we can't hear him or see his actions.

We are no different than the Israelites; they were so burdened by the oppressors that they didn't believe Moses and Aaron when they told them what God was doing. Even Moses, who heard God's voice telling him the truth, had difficulty moving forward with what he told him because of fear. 

My point today is to get on with your life and stop believing the lies of the national media. Our country was founded on Christian values, and we believe in the same God as Israel, the one and only God Almighty. He has rescued us from our oppressors; we just don't know it yet. 

That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I am the LORD: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee. And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me? Exodus 6:29-30

Monday, August 7, 2023

August 7, 2023

The road to freedom can be rough. God hears our cries for help, but sometimes things get worse when we move toward Jesus. Then, because we don't see immediate progress, we often give up in frustration, quitting before the real work begins and pointing our finger at God for not helping when it was the devil causing the resistance. The enemy comes on strong when we try to turn our life around. He is especially hard on new believers. 

The leaders of the Israelites agreed that the Lord had spoken to Moses and sent him and Aaron to ask Pharaoh to let them go into the wilderness to worship God. Pharoah didn't believe them and clarified that he didn't know their God and had no reason to release them to worship him. What made things worse is he stopped providing the straw for making bricks and made them gather it themselves without decreasing their quota. Though it seemed God had left them to handle the situation alone, he needed to see that they were willing to participate in their release. They needed to make the first move. It's comparable to accepting Jesus as our Savior. We make our move toward Jesus, receive his gift of salvation, and he gives us the Holy Spirit and frees us from the penalty of sin. Then he teaches us how to live in that freedom. 

And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? Exodus 5:21-22

Sunday, August 6, 2023

August 6, 2023

God commissions Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand that he let his people go to the mountain of God and worship him, but even though he is standing before the burning bush, he came up with objections. How many of us argue with God? God overcame his objections with truth and signs and wonders. He didn’t think they would believe that God sent him, so God gave him signs to convince them. He was a thinker and didn’t believe he could speak quickly enough, so God gave him Aaron as a spokesperson.

Moses’s excuses irritated God, but even though he finally did as God told him, he nearly lost his son’s life to His wrath on the way back to Egypt because he had ignored the command to Israel to circumcise his son by the eighth day. Thankfully, Moses’s wife, Zipporah, quickly cut off the foreskin before God unleashed his wrath. 

Moses and Aaron convinced the children of Israel that God saw their affliction, and they were grateful and bowed their heads and worshipped Him. Moses and Aaron were a powerhouse! Moses knew the Egyptian culture, and Aaron understood the culture of the Israelites. God used a partnership to bring about change and further his plan. It was a pairing similar to what Jesus did with the disciples by sending them out two by two. What one lacks, the other can overcome. God shows us that there is power in a three-stranded cord, with one being him!

And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. Exodus 4:30-31