Read Exodus 8 -- 10
In Today's Reading:
Plagues of frogs, lice, flies, death of cattle, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness.
While God was in the process of delivering the Israelites, the Egyptians suffered through each of the ten plagues which did not affect the Hebrews. Even Pharaoh's magicians recognized who was in control of the plagues. They said to Pharaoh: This is the finger of God . . . But Pharaoh's heart was hard, and he would not listen to them (Exodus 8:19). Following the hail that destroyed everything in the field, both man and beast . . . Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron. I have sinned. . . . The LORD is the righteous One, and I and my people are the guilty ones (9:25,27).
Pharaoh assured Moses that the Israelites could go free the moment the hail ceased. But, again Pharaoh changed his mind and hardened his heart against the will of God. Without a doubt, Pharaoh's heart was hard each time he decided to reject the word of God (7:13-14,22; 8:15,19,32; 9: 7). But, the time arrived when the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart (9:12).
Eventually, Pharaoh agreed to Moses' request, saying: Go, worship the LORD your God . . . but . . . who will be going? Moses replied, We will go with our young and our old; we will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds because we must hold the LORD's festival (10:8-9) — meaning that everyone from the youngest child to the most elderly person must worship the Lord. However, Pharaoh insisted that the Israelite slaves must worship on his terms. His own advisers withstood him, saying: Let the men go, that they may worship the LORD their God. Don't you realize yet that Egypt is devastated?(10:7). Disregarding his advisers, Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh's presence (10:8-11).
The person who is most deceived is the one who believes he can worship the Lord on his own terms. Others who are equally deceived say they will live for Jesus later in life and, like Pharaoh, refuse to give up control of their lives. But there comes a day when the time for repentance is past. God alone decides how long He will be insulted.
Depart from evil, and do good, and dwell there forever. For the LORD loves justice, and will not abandon His faithful ones (Psalms 37:27-28).
As a Light to His people. There was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt . . . but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings (Exodus 10:22-23). Jesus said: I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness (John 8:12). The Lord will lighten my darkness (II Samuel 22:29)
Government Official: Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV) · Country: Mali (10 million) in West Africa · Major languages: French and Bambara · Religious freedom despite Muslim majority · 81% Muslim; 17% animism and spirit worship; 2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will keep you from speaking evil (Psalms 34:13).
Optional Reading: Matthew 20
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:5