This week we come to the story of the plagues, or at least the first nine of them. These plagues build to a climax which we will see in the Passover next week. The whole forms an epic story of God freeing His people from bondage in Egypt. But maybe we read and wonder why God had to go through all the trouble. Unfolding Grace introduces these chapters by asking the same questions:
“God resolves to deliver Israel from Pharaoh’s oppressive rule, but He does not accomplish this quickly. Pharaoh is set against the Lord and His people, and the Lord decides to harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will not let Israel go. Why does God do this? Why does He not do the opposite and make Pharaoh’s heart willing to release Israel?"
These questions are ultimately answered in God's purpose of making Himself "unmistakably known." So together, let's read the text and consider how "story" fuels our knowing.
Wednesday, February 24th
Larger Portion of Scripture - Exodus 7-10
Focused Passage for Reflection - Exodus 10:1-2
Reflecting on the Text:
What stories are we telling, and why are we telling them? Are we even telling stories at all? I hope so. Stories have a way of burning truths into depths of our hearts that mere propositions just can’t reach. We need big stories with big impacts. We need to remember. We need to celebrate.
But here is the next question. Who is the hero of those big stories we tell…or at least that we desire to tell? Far too often we are tempted to merely tell stories about ourselves, but we know there must be a bigger hero. And there is. The Exodus is a big story with a big hero. It is THE big story of redemption in the Old Testament. Exodus 10:1-2 calls us to tell the LORD’s story of redemption to future generations, so they, and we, don’t forget.
In light of this call, can I offer a small story and an important application? I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world with my friend Al on various mission trips. We’ve evangelized and taught in many places with many people trying to point them to our great God. But in addition to the encouraging mission work, I’ve come to enjoy one of Al’s mealtime practices. He will intentionally ask the team members to share the story of how they came to personally know Jesus as Savior.
In these stories, there may not be plagues or secret meetings with foreign kings, but there is a Hero. And there is a celebration of redemption. Through these stories, I’ve come to know new friends more intimately. But more importantly, I’ve come to know my Savior more thoroughly.
I hear the encouragement from this passage and remember the joy of mission, and I wonder why we don't take more opportunities here to share those stories. Why does it have to be on a mission trip? Why don’t we share with friends? Why don’t we share more intentionally with our children? With our grandchildren? What if we told that story more often and more passionately? What if we remembered our Hero more fondly?
If you are in Christ, you have an Exodus story. Regardless of how climactic and engaging it may seem to you, it is no less transformative. Share it, so that you may know and remember the Lord.
Questions for personal reflection:
Have you taken the time to thoughtfully consider the story of how the Lord graciously revealed Himself to you and rescued you from death? If not, will you do so?
Do your friends and family know the Hero of your story? Do your children?
Do you know the Hero of their story? Will you ask?