Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday - Exodus 7 - The Foundation of Persuasion

God had already given Pharaoh his opportunity to willingly comply with His command (Exodus 5:1). Pharaoh had failed the test and had thereby condemned himself. He didn't know it, but he had indeed sealed his own doom (Romans 1:18-29, Matthew 13:12 & 25:29, Mark 4:25 and Luke 8:18 & 19:26). His rebellion was soon to be strengthened (Exodus 7:3).

One of the lessons that this story teaches us is that God has different levels of purpose for His creation. Truly, there are two premiere purposes for our existence - God's pleasure and God's glory. And, these two things are not the same. The highest ultimate purpose for all of us is God's pleasure (Revelation 4:11). However, there are situations and individuals that can't contribute in that function (Ezekiel 18:32 & 33:11; Hebrews 11:6), so it stands to reason that (since He gets no pleasure from their existence) God settles for receiving glory from it (Philippians 2:10-11). Such seems to be the case with Pharaoh.

Nevertheless, much territory has to be covered before the report on Pharaoh’s life can be written

In this chapter two great miracles are recorded. The first was probably purposed to create a protective respect for Aaron and his little brother. The second was obviously sent to move the Pharaoh and his people toward eventual desperation and surrender ... and to show them that God is God (Exodus 7:5).

Miracle 1:  Aaron's rod became a snake in Pharaoh's court. Pharaoh decided he liked this game, so, he had his magicians do the same "trick" with their power. But, God had the laugh in that situation, for Aaron's snake ate all of the other snakes right there in view of the Egyptians (Exodus 7:12). By the way, how long would it take for one snake to eat another snake?  Hmmm...

Miracle 2:  Using the same rod, God transformed all of the standing and flowing water in Egypt into blood. The only water to be found was the ground water which God mercifully left for them (Exodus 7:24). And, evidently they must have gone out quickly and dug for some of that water because the servants of Satan mimicked the miracle (Exodus 7:22), giving Pharaoh the excuse he wanted in order to ignore the demands of this god named Moses (Exodus 7:1) ... and his sibling prophet.

It appears that the population probably spent the next week digging for water... that is, until perhaps the waters from central Africa began to make their way into the land replacing some of the bloody awfulness which was there (Exodus 7:25).

Despite the stench and the hardship and the horror and the power of this first plague, Pharaoh was still very far from being persuaded to release God's people.

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