Exodus, chapters 11-14

Exodus 14:31~

Israel also saw the great power that Jehovah wielded against the Egyptians, and the people began to fear Jehovah and to put faith in Jehovah and in his servant Moses.

The reaction of many to the good news of Christ’s kingdom tends to be:

“I don’t need that. We already have a religion.”

Or:

“Take your message to someone who needs it.”

The above text mentions that it was not until the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea and had seen the Egyptians dead on the seashore that they began “to put faith in Jehovah.”

They had witnessed many miracles first hand, and they believed to have an acceptable form of worship.

But faith can always be stronger.

We shouldn’t passively assume we are good enough for God.

He promises to end suffering and transform this world into a paradise (Psalm 37:9-11; Rev. 21:4,5).

Although we may believe his word to a high degree, our faith has yet to grow until we see these promises materialize with our own eyes.

Faith is something we should actively build and not just take for granted.

“Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen. […] Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him,” (Heb. 11:1,6).

Israel witnesses the power of Jehovah's hand when he annihilates the Egyptian military.

Israel witnesses the power of Jehovah’s hand when he annihilates the Egyptian military.

Exodus, chapters 7-10

Exodus 10:1,2~

Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Go in to Phar′aoh, for I have allowed his heart and the hearts of his servants to become unresponsive, so that I may display these signs of mine right before him […] and you will certainly know that I am Jehovah.”

God could have saved time and just sent the tenth plague to Pharaoh right at the start.

He already knew Pharaoh was going to be unwilling to cooperate.

At Exodus chapter 4, verse 21, Jehovah God warned Moses regarding what to expect in Egypt: “I will allow his heart to become obstinate, and he will not send the people away.”

But Jehovah did not decide Pharaoh’s fate for him. He gave him at least eleven chances to change his mind about letting his People walk free.

It was Pharaoh who sealed his own fate.

“When Phar′aoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had stopped, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he as well as his servants,” (Exo. 9:34).

This bit about Pharaoh ‘hardening his heart’ happened after the seventh plague.

Even in all his power, Jehovah God did not strip Pharaoh of free will.

Nor does he strip us of our own decision-making power.

There is much suffering in the world today.

Some may wonder why God doesn’t just wipe everything clean and start over.

But he is giving us time to get to know him and change our attitude toward him.

“Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance,” (2 Pet. 3:9).

Today is a good day to ask myself: Am I allowing my heart to become unresponsive to God’s messages?

10 Plagues Against Egypt

10 Plagues Against Egypt

Exodus, chapters 1-6

When she was no longer able to conceal him, she took a papyrus basket and coated it with bitumen and pitch and put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile River.

~Exodus 2:3

Moses’ mother, Jochebed, had no idea what would happen to her baby once she placed him in the water.

The instructions given to the Egyptians were clear: “You are to throw every newborn son of the Hebrews into the Nile River […]” (Exo. 1:22).

To go against Pharaoh’s orders back then would be today’s equivalent of committing a federal felony. Only Pharaoh was considered to be a god and so he had the power to execute people at will.

Still, Jochebed took her chances and concealed her baby boy for three months.

When she had done all she could, she commended him to Jehovah God and sent his sister to watch and see what would happen to him.

I try to imagine what they must have felt. Was it resignation? Fear? Firm faith? Or a mixture of all three?

Nowadays, it may happen that we are asked by an authority figure to do something inappropriate or unethical.

In those cases, it will be wise to follow Jochebed’s example and do what is right.

What happens after that may be a matter of circumstance, or if God sees it fit, He will intervene.

As we all know, in Moses’ case, things worked out, for Pharaoh’s daughter found him, felt compassion for him, and then hired his own mother to nurse him until he was old enough to be adopted by her and live among royalty.

“She named him Moses [meaning: ‘Drawn Out,’ that is, saved out of the water] and said: ‘It is because I have drawn him out of the water,’” (Exo. 2:10).

Little did they know that 80 years later, God would use Moses to intervene and save in a much greater manner.

 

Baby Moses in Nile River found by Pharaoh's Daughter.

Baby Moses in Nile River found by Pharaoh’s Daughter.

Genesis, chapters 40-42

~Genesis 41:16

At this Joseph answered Phar′aoh: “I need not be considered! God will speak concerning Phar′aoh’s welfare.”

By the time the prisoner, Joseph, was brought before Pharaoh to interpret the meaning of his dreams, he had undergone a series of tragedies:

His mother died when he was a child (Gen. 35:16-19); growing up, his ten brothers bullied him (Gen. 37:4,5,11); they sold him as a slave when he was 17 and his father took him for dead (Gen. 37:28,33); his master’s wife falsely accused him of trying to rape her after he refused her sexual advances, which caused him to be thrown into prison (Gen. 39:12,17-20).

There, he accurately interpreted the dreams of two of Pharaoh’s servants, but he was left in prison for three more years (Gen. 40:9-14, 20-23).

Joseph was finally brought before Pharaoh at the age of 30 and received prophetic insight into the meaning of Pharaoh’s dreams (seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine) (Gen. 41:25-32).

Of course, now we’ve all heard of him and how he forgave his brothers and saved his family, but at the time Joseph stated the words I cited at the beginning, “I need not be considered! God will speak concerning Phar′aoh’s welfare,” he had every reason on earth to be bitter and resentful.

Joseph’s faith is what sustained him through all his trials and even when finally given the chance to state his case and glorify himself, he still channeled all praise and glory to God.

This is definitely one of the greatest examples humanity has to offer of how faith and virtue lead to true success.