Writing Bible Journal posts is one of my favorite things to do. It isn’t easy, but the process of writing provides much needs spiritual food and direction for me, and I pray that our readers find it worth their time. After reading the assigned verses, for nearly ever post, I verbalize “I have nothing to say”.
After taking a deep breath it usually becomes clear that while I have nothing to say, God absolutely has something to say. So I wait, pray some more, read some more, pray, read, wait… then certain phrases start to speak to me.
This cycle puts me into detective mode which leads to asking questions like:
- Why did God do this or say this?
- Where is Jesus in this Old Testament narrative?
- In what ways am I like the sinner in the story?
That we may know that He is the Lord
and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”Exodus 10:2
In Exodus 10:2 the words “that you may know that I am the Lord” stood out as the answer to “why”. On the surface we have Pharaoh, easily identifiable as the bad guy. Yay God, yay Moses, boo Pharaoh!
Digging in, the story is all about the explicit and powerful example that God is the Lord. He is all powerful. He has our days, nights, and every breath under his realm. He can move the mountains. He has control over the sun and moon, the wind, and tiny creatures such as locusts. If he has power over that, we can sure trust he has power over everything.
He wants us to know that he is the Lord so that we will stop trying to do things all on our own and look to put him in his rightful place, otherwise our lives will continue to get more messed up.
That we may serve him
So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me.Exodus 10:3
Another message for us: He wanted his people to be released from slavery so that they may serve him. Not so they would be happy. Not so they would be rich. Consider the metaphor, God wants us to be released from the bondage of sin so that we may serve him with full hearts. The enemy wants us to remain in the bondage of sin to keep us from doing the good work that God has in store.
The enemy continues to lie
No! Go, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.Exodus 10:11
Does this remind you of anything? A crafty serpent twisting the truth perhaps? Pharaoh attempts to deceive by suggesting that Moses was asking for only the men among them to serve the Lord. Fortunately Moses stood firm on God’s direct commands. No bargaining with Pharaoh. All or nothing. Go Moses!
Trusting what He has in mind
Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must take of them to serve the Lord our God, and we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.” Exodus 10:26
Pharaoh again tried to find a loophole by suggesting that Moses leave the flocks and livestock behind. Moses didn’t know what God’s plans were specifically. All he knew is that he needed to patiently obey and the Lord would provide and guide.
But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’Exodus 11:7
Our neighbors have dogs that bark all day and all night. They bark at us when we leave and when we return.
Thinking of the time period that this verse was written there were probably a lot of nasty snarling dogs barking all over the place. I would love to just walk out one time and have a stare-down with the neighboring dogs and then we both go silently on our way. Like when Jesus called to the waves in Mark 4:39, “Quiet! Be still!”
Finally, this “setting apart” points to Jesus Christ. We are either with him or apart from him. Rick Jebb posted on The Passover on this site back in 2012… Dive into this post if you haven’t already. http://www.biblejournal.net/2016/02/28/passover/
Father God, thank you for your living breathing words in the Bible. Prepare our hearts for this day to receive your word on fertile soil. Give us wisdom. May we honor you and your son Jesus Christ today through obedience, humility, love, and selflessness. Amen.