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January 18, 2023 - Exodus 7-11

There’s a fascinating juxtaposition, here. God sent Moses to the pharaoh and prepared Moses for how things would go: “Though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment” (7:3-4). The plagues are coming. They will be miraculous in nature. They will be hard hitting. No way could they be ignored. They will be painful. And in the face of it all, the pharaoh will stubbornly refuse to accede to Moses’ demands. The pharaoh holds all power in Egypt. He can do what he wishes. He can keep Israel in Egypt or he can let them depart. At the time, perhaps he was the most powerful ruler in all the earth. But he is about to discover that there is One who is mightier!

God declares, “The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them” (7:5). Can’t help but think of Paul’s words to the Philippians: “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (2:9-11). The plagues are coming, and the Lord’s promise will be fulfilled: “The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them” (7:5).

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;

To his feet your tribute bring.

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,

Evermore his praises sing.

Alleluia, alleluia!

Praise the everlasting King!

Praise him for his grace and favor

To his people in distress.

Praise him, still the same as ever,

Slow to chide, and swift to bless.

Alleluia, alleluia!

Glorious in his faithfulness! --Alan Gray and John Goss (2014)

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