Scripture Read: Exodus 10 - 11
Title: The Final Three Plagues
(H) Highlight verse: "Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.'"" Ex. 11:9
(E) Explain: Moses continues to meet with God and with Pharaoh. Three more times Moses approaches Pharaoh and three times he denies him the opportunity to take the Israelites out to celebrate and worship the LORD. Two times, we are given a glimpse of hope as Pharaoh initially agrees to let them go, but eventually hardens his heart and changes his mind. The final plague, as we will see, is the straw that breaks the camel;s back and we read that it is a horrendous plague where the firstborn males of all Egyptians, slaves and cattle die.
At first glance, the final judgment or plague seems a bit harsh, but I think it is important to note that can be seen as an attack on Pharaoh's power. If you remember, back in the beginning of Exodus Pharaoh demands that all male children be murdered. Moses escaped this genocide and ended up living in the house of Pharaoh's daughter. This can be seen as retribution for Pharaoh's attempt to kill all the male children. God took this personally, this was not just an attack on the people of Israel, this was an attack on God's chosen children, This horrific plague is a sign of God's power over Pharaoh (who is considered godlike) and it is a display of his authority over life and death. Pharaoh is being used by God so His plan and eventual freeing of Israel will be accomplished.
(A) Application: Again, these are hard passages to apply personally and today. There is a lot of death, darkness and destruction going on and it is hard to pull anything positive in this passage. However, we must look past the plague accounts of these chapters. We must ask ourselves, what is going on here and what is the author (and ultimately God) trying to show us in this plague narrative?
What I see in all of this a sign of God's power and plan. We have seen this multiple times in Genesis where there is a situation that looks bleak and hopeless, but God and his chosen people emerge victorious. Like Joseph who lived a life of slavery and betrayal, he comes out fine in the end. We see that God never left him, and He certainly did not leave his people in Egypt. God, has a plan and this plan will be crafted and executed all according to his purpose.
This should give us all hope today. No matter what obstacles or hardships you are facing this morning, afternoon or evening God is with you. Your experiences and hardships may give you a bleak outlook for today, and maybe even tomorrow, but know God is with you, He has a purpose and it may not feel like it now (or even way down the road), eventually God will rescue you and give you freedom from that which is holding you captive today. Stay strong my friends, God IS for YOU.
(R) Respond: God, help me to stay focused on you and not on my current circumstances. Sometimes I feel that I am being held captive by my fears, situations and hardships, but I know you have a plan of redemption and a plan of victory. May I take comfort in your plan? May I take my eyes off of that which is holding me captive and put my focus on you.
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