Exodus, Chapter 8

Sunday, June 13th

Read

Exodus, Chapter 8

Reflect

Growing up, I always found the plagues in the book of Exodus fascinating.  They sounded like a sci-fi movie or something I’d read about in one of my dad’s Terry Brooks novels. But one of the dangers of knowing these stories so well is that they can begin to lose their shine, we can become too familiar and forget the power of the narrative. So as we read this chapter of Exodus, let’s attempt to tap into some of that childhood wonder.  The author of Exodus gives us some strange details as he describes the way frogs and gnats and flies overtake the Egyptian landscape.  There is even that line about the stench of the heaps of dead frogs left after God had relented in the plague.  Imagine, frog carcasses all over your yard and inside your house.

These are vivid images that would have been at the forefront of Pharaoh’s experience, and yet he continued to refuse releasing the Israelites from slavery.  Why?  His people were suffering, HE was suffering from these ruthless plagues, but his hard heart was stubborn.  It is actually quite a familiar pattern.  We are not kings of Egypt and God is not sending down swarms of insects to make us change, but we too can get trapped in cycles of sin, guilt, and shame.  However, once things get really bad (I’m talking “frog carcass bad”) we are forced to change.  But when the norm sets in again, we are quick to return to old habits.

In some ways, the disruption we are experiencing now with both this global pandemic and the renewed cry for racial justice in our nation have shaken us out of some old patterns.  Are there behaviors and patterns in your own life that might be worth leaving behind even when “the new normal” sets in?

Respond

Prayerfully consider which of your habits and patterns might put distance between you and God’s best for you?  How could God use this time of disruption and uncertainty to soften your hardened heart?

Pray

Father, we know that in Jesus Christ, you have cleansed us from all sin, and yet we are often tempted to return to our empty routines and shirk your grace and mercy.  We, like Pharaoh, can find ourselves in patterns of momentary change and stubborn refusal, but we long to experience deep and meaningful transformation.  We know that can only happen through the power of your Holy Spirit, so send your Spirit now to pierce our hearts and energize us with renewed assurance of your grace and love in Christ Jesus. Amen.

 

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