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Exodus 7 – Signs

What do you do when God does a miracle in your presence?  How do you respond when He sends a message with power?  What does it take to convince you to change your mind and to do the right thing when you are set on the wrong thing?

Pharaoh comes face to face with Moses, and YHWH makes a move.  Pharaoh has a choice to make.  Obey this “God” of the Israelites, and lose all of the cheap labor that has helped to grow cities and his empire?  Or, not?  Moses and Aaron can do these amazing wonders, but so can his magicians.  Now granted, Moses & Aaron’s staff / snake devours his magician’s staff / snakes, but that’s their problems not his.  Why should he be concerned?

Then Moses & Aaron turn the Nile into blood.  That’s a little bit more of an inconvenience, after all, the kingdom relies on the Nile river.  Then again, the magicians can do the same thing.  So what does Pharaoh do next?  He goes back to his house with no real concern for the situation.  However, seven days later, the magicians have not yet figured out how to change the Nile back to water.  I’m sure that that may have become a little disconcerting.

What about us?  Is God / YHWH trying to speak to us?  Does He give us signs day after day that He is real and we need to look to Him?  Do we ignore Him, considering His miracles no more than coincidences and conveniences or inconveniences?  Do we ignore the little things, because they are little, and don’t take seriously where those signs are pointing?

Pharaoh ignored the little things.  As a result, he takes that mentality with him when YHWH begins to do much bigger things.  What will it take for us to come to the point where we cease ignoring the signs pointing at God.  The more we ignore the little things, the more likely it is we will ignore and reject the big things.  We need to open our eyes and see the truth of who God / YHWH is in the little things as well as the big.

LORD, open my eyes and the eyes of the readers.  Help us to see the signs and understand where they are pointing.  Help us to do more than that.  Help us to pursue the God that is pursuing us.  In the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.

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Exodus – Introduction

It’s amazing to me  to consider that Genesis is done.  I have made a personal copy of one of the most powerful and influential books ever written.  All 50 chapters word-for-word.  Now we enter a new era.  It is a time of re-revelation; a time of hope, struggle, inspiration, and new life (revival).

Four-Hundred years have passed since the close of Genesis.  The Israelites have gone from blessed and honored guests to mistreated and abused slaves.  The Pharaoh who knew and loved Joseph and insisted that the Israelites had to stay there has long since died and been forgotten.  Since then the Egyptians have become concerned with how blessed the Israelites have been, and how quickly they are growing.

The Israelites are here residing on their land and overrunning them like rats in the sewer.  The Egyptians realize that if they don’t do something about this “Hebrew problem” soon, it’ll be too late.  So a “wise” Pharaoh decides that it’s time to turn the table on these Israelite invaders.  He begins by hiring them.  He uses them for cheap labor.  Pharaoh even goes down to help work in the trenches.  He takes his clean robe off and becomes one of the men; doing the work of the masses.

However, what has started out as hard work for a decent wage becomes sweatshop work, then eventually slavery under whips and cruel taskmasters.  The Israelites are toiling and dying under the abuse and under the expectation of their daily quota.  So, they begin crying out for help from the God of their fathers.

This is the God that they know only from their history; the stories passed down of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob / Israel and their covenants with Him.  The Israelites are surrounded by the many gods of the Egyptians, each one with a name, a face, and a purpose.  Yet their God seems to have none of those things.  Yet in order to worship Him properly, the Israelites need to know these things.  Is He one of the gods of the Egyptians?  How about one of the Baals from a neighboring nation?  Maybe he’s Moloch of the Ammonites?

How do you serve a God that you do not know?  How do you cry out to Him?  How do you appease Him when He is angry at you for some unknown transgression and therefore allowing you to be mistreated, beaten, and killed, and He doesn’t appear to be doing anything about it?  What do you do!?!

That’s the backdrop of this book.  The Israelites don’t realize that this is part of a plan much bigger than they are.  A plan with a story that is about to play out for all of history to see.  Their Exodus is about to begin…

In the meantime, what does this say about us?  How are we treating those who are sojourning in our land?  …those who have left their homes due to famine, troubles, and a desire for a better life?  Do we treat them with contempt because they don’t speak very good English?  Do we kick  them out and tell them “We don’t want your kind here”?  Do we put them into sweatshops, one step above slavery; sometimes not even a step above?  Do we fear  them like the Egyptians did, or do we embrace them?  What is God’s plan?

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Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Exodus, Genesis, Old Testament, Process, Purpose, Torah