Today I continued on in my reading of Exodus, starting with chapter 5 and going about half way through chapter 12 (intentionally stopping right before the parting of the Red Sea, such an event I want to focus on a little longer). The events that unfolded demonstrate to me how patient our God really is! Here are some points:
~ Throughout all of Moses’ interactions with Pharoah, he is saying what God told him to say….God gave him the words just as He said He would.
~ God gave Pharaoh a chance to free Israel before placing any plagues against Egypt. Pharaoh was a hard-headed man and instead of freeing Israel, he made their work more difficult. Although, Pharaoh did not recognize our God as The One True Living God, so I can see why He wasn’t quick to comply.
~ At the beginning of chapter 6, God tells Moses that not only will Pharaoh let Israel go, but he will drive them out.
~ God promises to take them out of Egypt into the promised land – the land flowing with milk and honey (not at all making light of this, but to me, this would be like the land flowing with chocolate and ice cream….and chocolate ice cream). Israel didn’t listen though because they were so discouraged. Do you ever stop hearing God because of your own discouragement?
~ Moses gives one last plea to God to not use him for this mission because of his faltering words.
God performed 11 miracles through Moses’ hand. Know that God did not need Moses to perform a single miracle here, but He used him for a purpose and all these miracles and plagues, they too were for a divine purpose. I will list the 11 miracles below. Over the course of these miracles, Pharaoh tried 5 times to free Israel, or portions of Israel, but once a plague was lifted, Pharaoh hardened his heart. What a stubborn man! After the 9th plague, Pharaoh’s own people recognize that his stubbornness led to their own destruction.
The Miracles and Plagues:
1. Moses turned his staff to a snake.
2. Moses turned the Nile to blood.
3. Plague of frogs.
4. Plague of gnats.
5. Plague of flies.
6. Plague on livestock.
7. Plague of boils.
8. Plague of hail.
9. Plague of locusts.
10. Plague of darkness.
11. Plague of firstborn.
As I spent time reading this portion of Scripture, all I can think as Moses is going back and forth with messages from God to Pharaoh, is how hard-headed is this man, and how very patient is God? Seriously. Turning a staff to a snake, while something I cannot do, it’s not quite being plagued with frogs, gnats, and flies. Can you imagine swarms of them?
Lord Jesus, please, do not allow me to be hard-headed like that. Please help me to always be receptive to your ways, for they are perfect. Though I might not always understand, I know you will only do what is best for me.