Today’s guest post is from BlogRocketman Tor Constantino. When you are done reading, go check out his blog and ask him what his full name is. You won’t be disappointed.
The plagues on Egypt hit in earnest in Exodus 8 – a veritable hat trick of pestilence: slimy frogs, gnats, and blood-sucking flies. While they’re not lions and tigers and bears per se, you’ve got to give props to Yahweh for his creative plague playlist.photo © 2006 Beatrice Murch | more info (via: Wylio)
And even amongst Pharaoh’s atherosclerosis and God’s plaguery, I found three little things I had never seen before.
Relief Prompts Rebellion
In verse 15 we read that a rebellious spirit reared within Pharaoh.
When things were bad he was ready to turn to God but once the crisis passed he was back to his old ways. It’s a classic case of 911-theology and Pharaoh is not alone in that regard ; it’s the same pattern the Hebrews will repeat over and over as they wander in the wilderness.
Ironically, many of us still practice that brand of belief today. God only matters when things are going down the dumper. We’ll run to God, plead our case, and beg forgiveness in the hopes that he’ll move on our behalf. However, once the situation turns, how easy it is to shrug off the panic and turn our backs on God again.
One of the reasons Pharaoh blew off Moses and Aaron was because he was not impressed by their God’s mojo. Up until chapter eight, Pharaoh’s assortment of Hogwart’s rejects duplicated all of Moses’ Miracles. They turned walking sticks into snakes, water into blood and somehow cajoled amphibians to do their bidding.
But they couldn’t conjure up gnats.
This demonstrates God’s patience and long-suffering – even toward pagan sorcerers – in that he’ll tolerate it for a season, to give them a chance to repent but ultimately God slaps down His trump card of omnipotence.
After this they tell Pharaoh that he should listen to Moses. The reason? The gnats were wrought by “the finger of God.”
Which finger do you think that was? I have an idea . . .
Divide and Deliver
In verse 23 God tells Moses that He will deal differently with the land of Goshen, the area in Egypt where the Hebrew nation lives. In the Amplified Bible this verse states that God will “…put a division and a sign of deliverance…” between the Hebrews and Egyptians.
That is a wonderful promise that should provide comfort for every believer. It reinforces the truth that God knows who His children are, and that He wants to protect them – even when they’re enslaved by a tyrannical despot.
That’s good news if you are an oppressed Hebrew. It’s terrible news if you’re Pharaoh.
What about you? What do you do when things in your life start to go poorly?
Tor Constantino is a former journalist who has worked for CBS Radio Network and Clear Channel Communications. His first nonfiction book “A Question of Faith” will be available in November 2011, and he posts regularly at his blog www.thedailyretort.com.