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 God preparing to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. He sent Moses to warn Pharaoh, but he wouldn’t let the people go. So, God sent ten plagues against Egypt’s people, and this week we’re looking at the tenth one – where God would destroy Egypt’s future prospects, promising the death of all firstborn males in Egypt’s people and livestock, and their valuables.
In a week we’ll study the story of the Passover, which is how Israel survived this.
How can a harsh story like this point to Jesus? At the same time that we see destruction, we see redemption and deliverance.
In this story, Egypt represents the evil and sin in our world. This is not the world God created or intended, it’s what we humans made of it. We have all participated in this, and so have both nations in this story – Egypt and Israel. We’ve all broken away from the relationship with God we were made for, and have lived by our own laws instead of his. We’ve cut ourselves off from the source and giver of life, and so we have chosen death.
In stories like this, however, we see that there is a way to avoid this fate – that God distinguishes between Israel and Egypt. God invites us to protect ourselves from death, as we’ll see next week, through the blood of his firstborn son. Israel are the people God had promised to protect, and there is a history of faithfulness and trust in that relationship. Egypt has an opportunity to join Israel in humbly acknowledging God’s power, and the emptiness of their own gods. All Pharaoh had to do was listen and obey God.
But given the chance, Egypt and Pharaoh refuse to listen or change or protect themselves. They It is their firstborn sons, then, who die. This is like a warning – the firstborn sons die in the place of the whole nation to show that all of us will die, unless we accept the protection of God who will die in our place.
We can be a very proud people, as well. We can consider ourselves self-sufficient, and find security in our possessions, abilities or circumstances. These are our gods today – they aren’t golden statues with Egyptian names, but they are equally commanding of our allegiance and trust.
A story like this reminds us that only these things are empty, and lead to our deaths. The only thing that can save us is the death of God’s firstborn son – Jesus Christ. Instead of this continuing forever, he offers up his own firstborn son to die for us, so the power of sin and evil will no longer separate us from God.
Question of whether we want to sacrifice our pride so he can sacrifice his life for us, or whether we will sacrifice our lives to keep our pride intact.
Challenge: What do you think keeps people today from knowing and trusting God, instead of themselves? What about you?
- You can [permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink] online, or by starting a local discussion group!
- Are you meeting just once a week with your discussion group? You can find all of this week’s discussion material in our Weekly Study Guide