Who Is This God?September 6-10
God Judges Those Who Ignore His Uniqueness
For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. – Exodus 9:14 (ESV)
Three little boys were in the backyard playing. Pretty soon they got into this old thing of – you know – My dad is bigger than your dad, better than your dad, and greater than your dad. This one little boy says, “My dad knows the mayor.” The second little boy said, “That’s nothing! My daddy knows the governor.” Well, the third little boy’s daddy – it was his home— his daddy was near the window in the kitchen while this was all taking place – so he could hear what was going on. He wondered what his son would say to top that. And this little boy just paused for a moment – then he said with total confidence, he said, “Your dad may know the mayor, and your dad may know the governor, but my daddy knows God.”
We learn in Exodus that God wants people to “know” Him. The Hebrew word “yada” used for “know” in Exodus 9:14 means to know relationally and experientially. God sent the plagues on Egypt so they would know that there is no one like Him. God Almighty is peerless. No one comes close. No-one. Not Satan, not Pharaoh, not Kings, not Queens – not even Governments. God is unique. Egypt had set up a whole system of gods for the people to use and Pharaoh himself claimed to be one. They were false gods and it’s a mistake to trust in false gods.
It’s foolish to trust in those things that have no power, authority, control, goodness, or lasting satisfaction in our lives. And there are many today too aren’t there? Heroes we worship: celebrities, pop stars, preachers, internet stars; things: bank accounts, abilities, jobs, sex, drink; ideas: ideologies, philosophies …things that can never truly satisfy or rescue. Are there any people or things that you may have allowed to become gods in your life?
List a few characteristics of God that make Him unique. Praise Him for those unique things you listed.
God Judges Those Who Ignore His Control
For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go. Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. – Exodus 9:15-18 (ESV)
In Stockholm, Sweden, a woman was injured as she rushed to catch a streetcar. She stumbled in front of the moving car and was caught beneath it. The police sent for a crane to lift the car off her body. While waiting for the crane a crowd of people gathered out of curiosity. One man pushed through the crowd crawled beneath the car, and said to her, “Take my hand.” As she took his hand she felt warmth and courage. This calmed her and prevented her from going into shock. After the crane arrived and the woman was released, she said, “I never thought an outstretched hand could mean so much.”
We teach children to sing, “He’s got the whole world in His Hands.” In Scripture, God’s hand represents His ability and His control of the world. When we submit to Jesus as Lord, His hands are comforting and reassuring. When we resist God and rebel His hands can be terrifying. God sent the plagues on Egypt to show Pharaoh that God was in control and not Pharaoh.
What are some examples of you trying to control life recently? What are some things God has sent into your life to remind you that He is in control?
Praise God for taking you into His loving hands. Thank Him for remaining in control even in a world that appears to be out of control at times.
God Judges Those Who Ignore His Power
But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. – Exodus 9:16 (ESV)
Just getting out of the driveway was a major feat during last year’s snow and ice storms. One co-worker was relating how he used his seven-year-old son’s baseball bat to smash the slick coat of ice on his driveway. He got cold and went inside for a cup of coffee before attempting to clear the car. Several minutes later, his son, who had been outside with him, came in. “Dad,” he said, “I got the ice off the car.” “How did you do that?” his father asked. “Same way you did,” the boy shrugged, “with the baseball bat.” (Janine Jaquet Biden, Reader’s Digest)
God sent the plagues on Egypt to show Pharaoh His Power. How in this instance? Through the worst hailstorm ever. In Exodus 9:24 we read, “There was hail and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail, such as had never been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” Pharaoh thought he was the most powerful person in the world. Pharaoh wanted the world to know his name but God’s goal was so that all the earth would know His name.
Sometimes we use the expression “trying to make a name for himself.” This means someone’s accomplishments will help them be recognized and/or rewarded. All of Creation proclaims the accomplishments of God. What are some accomplishments that have helped you make a name for yourself? How can you use those accomplishments to help people know who God is?
Think of some examples of God’s power. Praise God for those reflections of who He is and what He can do.
God Judges Those Who Ignore His Grace
“therefore send, get your livestock and all that you have in the field into safe shelter, for every man and beast that is in the field and is not brought home will die when the hail falls on them.” – Exodus 9:19 (ESV)
The story is told of a missionary who was assigned to some remote islands in the Pacific. After three months, he sent a fax to mission headquarters: “I’m being plagued by rats. What shall I do?” Soon a crate arrived, filled with rat traps. However, hardly a month later the missionary sent a second fax to headquarters: “The rats won’t take the bait. What should I do?” Not long after, a second crate arrived, filled with rat poison. However, hardly another month passed, when the missionary found it necessary to send a third fax to headquarters: “The rats won’t touch the poison. Do you have any other suggestions?” Soon he received a fax from mission headquarters: “We suggest you get used to the rats!”
God sends ten plagues on Egypt, however before calamity strikes, he provides a way out. In Exodus 9 God gives a warning to the Egyptians to bring in their animals and workers from the field before the hail storm starts. A warning that some heed and some don’t.
God, through His word, still gives warnings today. God delights in showing us mercy. However, we have to heed His warnings and receive His grace. Can you think of any warning signs God is showing you?
Thank God for offering you the forgiveness of your sins. Thank Him for the times in your life He has convicted you of wrong choices before they became destructive choices.
God Judges Those Who Ignore His Protection
Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail. – Exodus 9:26 (ESV)
Whoever invented the word “chicken-hearted” didn’t know his chickens. I have never seen a greater demonstration of courage, fearlessness, and loyalty than I have seen displayed by a chicken in a time of danger. A hen will sit immovable through the most violent storm with her chicks gathered safely beneath her, that they might be protected from the elements without. This example can help us better understand why Jesus compared His own love to that of a hen who “doth gather her chicks under her wings” (Luke 13:34). (Lou Nicholes-Missionary/Author).
Time and again, throughout the plagues, the distinction is made between the judgement on those who ignore Him and the protection for those who listen to Him and are His. It seems that Goshen in particular has this plague exclusion zone around it. God wants the world to know that those who are His and obey Him will be those who are ultimately protected and rescued from the coming destruction.
Martin Luther made this statement: “Mighty potentates have raged against this book, and sought to destroy and uproot it – Alexander the Great and princes of Egypt and Babylon, the monarchs of Persia, of Greece and of Rome, the Emperors Julius and Augustus – But have prevailed nothing. They are gone while the book remains, and it will remain forever and ever, perfect and entire as it was declared at first. Who has thus helped it – who has protected it against such mighty forces? No one, surely, but God Himself, who is master of all things.” God has given us His Word to protect us.
Thank God for His protection in your life. Ask God to show you any areas where you are ignoring the protection He is offering you.