Daily email Number 194 – from the Vicar

We’re tackling 3 more plagues today, it is a long reading, but I’m keen to keep moving, and not get bogged down.The passage is Exodus Chapter 9 verses 13-35 and then the whole of Chapter 10.  As there will be no daily email tomorrow, you might like to split the passage over 2 days, and again I recommend listening to it, as well as trying to read it.
Some brief notes from me, to cover the whole passage.- It is interesting to read that God is now upping the stakes (Ch.9 v.14), as if the previous plagues weren’t bad enough!  – The Lord is also making clear to Pharaoh that He could have finished him off (and his people) completely already, but has raised him up so he can see for himself the power of God (Ch.9 vs.15-16).- Some of Pharaoh’s officials are now beginning to fear the Lord (quite rightly!), but not everyone (vs.20-21).- The plague of hail leads to Pharaoh confessing his sin, and to say that the Lord is right (vs.27-28), but his confession doesn’t last, and he sins and hardens his hearts again (v.34).
– Some of Pharaoh’s officials are now beginning to rebel against his orders (Ch.10 v.7)- Pharaoh tries to do a deal on exactly who can leave the country and worship the Lord, but Moses is not backing down (vs.8-11).- Pharaoh asks for forgiveness again (vs.16-17), but when the situation improves his heart is hardened again (v.20).- Pharaoh improves his offer on who can go, but still not to Moses’ liking (vs.24-26).- Pharaoh changes his mind again, and this time dismisses Moses for ever (vs.27-29).
As I read and reflect on Pharaoh’s behaviour and how it develops, it makes me think that perhaps we are a bit like this at times?  Yes we are sorry when we have disobeyed God, we will confess, but so easily can go forget the Lord and His power when life goes back to normal, and we go back to our old ways.  Perhaps we want to keep justifying ourselves before Him, rather than just bow down and accept that He is the Creator and we are His creation.  Perhaps we want to make deals with Him, when times are hard or when it suits us, rather than submit to Him and His Word completely.
In all it is a sorry tale, and we have one more plague to come, which becomes the clincher in Pharaoh changing his mind, which we will come to next time.

In our prayers today, let us remember again some of our overseas connections, Fidel & Christine and the children in Kenya, Hannah in Tunisia starting a new role with her linked organisation, Saw Myint (our Crosslinks student) in Myanmar, and Frank & Val in Nazareth.  Pray for all of them to follow Jesus today, and also know His protection, both spiritually and healthwise in these difficult days.  

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