Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for this daily challenge. It’s Thursday, the day we try to apply and live out what we’ve learned this week from the Bible. This week we’ve been studying the story of Moses confronting Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, with God’s command to let Israel leave. God brings plagues upon Egypt until Pharaoh relents and lets Israel leave.
Who are these plagues meant to reach and change? Four groups:
Pharaoh: Pharaoh is like a god in his nation of Egypt. He has absolute power, and is considered one of the many gods in his nation. But God wants to show he is nothing, and that Egypt’s gods are nothing, and so he takes two members of a slave family and says to them “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh”. What a joke.
God wants to show Pharaoh he is not supreme ruler of the universe…Yahweh is. Pharaoh has gods, and is seen as god, but he is not the real deal like Yahweh.
Egypt: These are symbolic actions, but they hurt the whole nation who worship Pharaoh and other false gods. A powerful nation like Egypt could feel very self-reliant. They had amazing land, river, that all makes for great agriculture. A powerful civilization rose up from this, we are still fascinated by it today.
The first plague turns the Nile to blood, undrinkable. Egypt, the breadbasket of the world, can only grow food because of the Nile. Ruin the Nile, ruin the people. The others continue that trend – attacking their very subsistence through crops, livestock, even their bodies. They always thought their gods were the source of their food, weather trends, fertility, etc. but God is showing them otherwise – He is the source of it all, and it’s his to give and take away.
Yahweh is not just God for one people, one place. He is God for every people, and everyplace.
Israel: He wants Egypt to learn this, yes, but this is also about Israel believing and trusting in their own God. God has big plans for them, he needs their trust in what he’s about to ask of them. He is going to ask them to do things that will strike fear in their hearts. Egypt will even chase them, intending to slaughter them. He needs them to know their God is greater, stronger.
Us: We can think we are Pharaoh, or Egypt, in our own lives. We each act like our own gods. It might be hard to see this in the whole of our lives, but just try to identify an areas of your lives that is like this. For example, by having to attend jury selection duty a few weeks ago, I learned submission. I’m used to planning things efficiently, but in court, I was definite not in charge. I’m here on a summons, not by choice. I have to do what the judge says, not what I think is best.
These are the areas where we shut God out. Rather than forcing God to show his power in this way, how can we turn to him today? Humbly admit we are not our own gods?
Challenge: Where in life do you consider yourself self-reliant? Humbly ask God to show his power over that area of your life?