Day 16 – September 22, 2023: Exodus 7-13

This is probably the longest of all of our readings.  But it is important to keep this reading intact and to read all of it.  Here we find all 10 of the plagues that God brought upon Egypt.  I have read this Scripture many times before, but this time what stuck out to me was the specificity of the days and the timing.  There are a number of times that we read that Pharaoh asks Moses when are you going to bring this to an end, and Moses responds by saying today, or at this time.  Now, of course, we know that Pharaoh never keeps his end of the bargain and goes back on his word, but this specificity was meant to tie in God’s actions that brought about disaster and Moses’ prayers to God which brought about an end to that disaster, so that Pharaoh could know that it was God and not by chance.

The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart time after time is a bit hard to swallow, but we do see in 10:1-2 that this was for the sole purpose of setting a historical precedent that people would come to understand that God is in control and that God is in charge.  God and God alone is able to make these disasters come and go, in case someone else wanted to take credit for it.  This providence and power of God was meant to be passed down from generation to generation.  To this day in the Passover meal we remember what God did in Egypt.

What did God do in Egypt?  Well, the most powerful act, and the act that is given the most writing, is the killing of the oldest child and animal.  The killing of the innocents took place long before Herod killed the innocents in Matthew.  Again, this is a shock to our system and to our understanding of how God works.  But we have to see the hand of God always through the lens of Christ who is God and who is gracious.  If we just focus on the Old Testament acts of God we would see a God who seems very different from the God that we see in our Savior Jesus Christ.  We leave this reading thinking that finally the Israelites are able to leave Egypt and make their way back to the promised land that had been promised to Abraham with Moses leading the way.  Well, that quickly changes.

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