It's week 3! Here are a few things that stood out to me in my reading. I share these hoping that they will kindle your own thoughts and reflections as you read!
Egypt became a terrible place for the Israelites
It is a pretty surprising shift that we see between the Egypt we see at the end of Genesis and the one we find at the beginning of Exodus. A nation that was once so welcoming and hospitable to Israel is now feeling threatened and hostile towards them. Egypt has become so hostile that they have used their military might to enslave the entire population and are willing to employ brutal strategies to control the growth of the Israelite population. The relationship between the people of God and the world is a spectrum, and we see it on display between Israel and Egypt. Just because the world is friendly towards the people of God now does not mean that it will always be that way.
Moses struggles with what he is being asked to do, because he feels like he is not the right person for the job.
Is there anyone who hasn't felt this way? Like God is wanting us to do something that we feel inadequate, ill-equipped, to do? The reason Moses gives is that he is not good at speaking, but we have to wonder if there was more going on in Moses' heart. Perhaps Moses felt morally disqualified due to the murder he committed when he was younger? Maybe he felt like an outsider to his own people having grown up in Pharaoh's household? Moses felt like he was not the right person for the job. Perhaps having Moses go through all of these life experiences was wisdom on God's part! Where in Moses we now have a guy who is truly humble. You want to watch out for a potential leader who believes, "it absolutely must be, and can only be, ME." Perhaps the quality that really distinguished Moses was the humility that he gained through the sufferings and failures of his past. Which would be great news, because if that's what set Moses apart as a leader, then the potential lies within all of us!
The plagues are also a form of spiritual warfare
When Moses is first called by God to go and lead the people out of Egypt, one of his questions is, "What is your name? Who should I say has sent me?" God's reply is "I AM", is my name. God simply is who he is, there is no frame of reference, or context, that serves to define who God is. I think that this is the background that we need to keep in mind as God inflicts plagues on the land of Egypt. On one level these plagues are judgments on Egypt for their refusal to submit to the God who has revealed himself to them through Moses. But on a deeper level, they are also divine statements against the false gods of Egypt. Each of the plagues corresponds to a particular idol that the Egyptians worshipped, such as, the sun, frogs, flies, Nile river, etc. I notice that these false gods all require some created thing, something in nature, to define them, while God remains the great I AM. God is demonstrating that he is the one and only real God over and against the false gods.
Is there any part of the Old Testament that screams the Gospel more than the Passover? A wrathful judgment that is looming over the entire population. God provides the clear and only way of escape. Take the blood of a sacrificed lamb without blemish, and it on your door posts, and you will be "passed over" by God's judgment. For every firstborn whose life was spared, your life is saved, because the lamb has died in your place. I just point this out because I think it is so cool!
Bible Project Resources
Monday, Jan 15, Genesis 46-47, Psalm 15
Tuesday, Jan 16, Genesis 48-50, Psalm 16 - https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/genesis-12-50/
Wednesday, Jan 17, Exodus 1-3, Psalm 17 - https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/torah-exodus-1/
Thursday, Jan 18, Exodus 4-6, Psalm 18 - https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/moses-and-aaron/
Friday, Jan 19, Exodus 7-9, Psalm 19 - https://bibleproject.com/blog/pharaohs-heart-grew-harder/
Saturday, Jan 20, Exodus 10-12, Psalm 20
Sunday, Jan 21, Exodus 13-15, Psalm 21 - https://thebibleproject.com/blog/biblical-storytelling-repetition-themes/