Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 31 - Exodus 8

Today's reading in our daily plan is Exodus 8. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • A second plague is brought on Egypt: frogs.  While the Egyptian magicians must have been rather impressive with their illusions and secret arts, they were not talented enough to make the frogs go away.  So Pharaoh pleads with Moses and Aaron to take the frogs away.
  • Moses asks Pharaoh when he would like the frogs to be gone by.  Pharaoh says, "Tomorrow."  How funny is that?!  "Give me one more day with them and then you can take them."
  • During the next plague, gnats, the magicians admit that these are acts of God that they cannot reproduce.
  • After each plague, Pharaoh continues to harden his heart and refuses to let the Israelites go.    

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Convictions forged and promises made during times of difficulty rarely last.  Pharaoh had no interest in God before the plagues or after the plagues.  However, during the plagues he made promises just to relieve the pain and trouble.  When things settled down, Pharaoh went back to his self-centered ways.  More often than not, difficulties expose our true faith or lack of faith more than they form our faith.   
  • Ultimately, the plague was not meant to bring Pharaoh to ruin, but to repentance.  This is why when Pharaoh asks Moses to pray for him, Moses does.  Moses prays for his enemy.  

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Scripture says, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).  Who is a difficult person in your life?  A boss or co-worker?  A family member?  Neighbor?  Take time today to pray for them.  More than that, think of a way to demonstrate love and attention towards them the next time you see them.