Read through the plagues in Exodus this morning. Our church is offering a daily reading plan to read through the Bible in 2011. Getting caught up on some reading, I read the whole story from God’s call to Moses all the way to the preparation of the passover (I read ahead of the plan a bit) in one sitting. Definitely helps one get the feel for the build up, the way that Pharaoh responds and eventually has his heart hardened both of his own accord and God’s action.
Reading the build from the “magicians” duplicating the early plagues(!) to their inability to do so once the gnats fill the land, I am reminded of our modern world in action, as we struggle to assert our own place, often by “showing up” God. It is doomed to failure. Not that we can’t do great things with our knowledge – it’s just that when we take that as evidence of our self-sufficiency, we are walking own a path that leads to ruin.
It seems we don’t like to think about how God is directly involved in these plagues, how he uses them to punish and prod Egypt, and even to eventually challenge the half-hearted worship of Israel as the story continues. They present a God we aren’t entirely comfortable with, who is powerful and sovereign and not cowed by our sensibilities, modern or ancient. But to avoid the story is to leave us unprepared for much of the rest of Scripture.
Simple thoughts as we begin the weekend.