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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Exodus 8-9:35; Matthew 19:13-30; Psalm 24:1-10; Proverbs 6:1-5 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament text

1. The second plague : frogs. Even though Pharaoh's magicians can duplicate this, they cannot end the plague. He realizes that the Lord must be behind this. The Lord allowed Pharaoh to specify the time of the removal of the frogs demonstrating His power.

2. The third plague: vermin. This refers to small insects, such as mosquitoes or lice. The magicians cannot duplicate this and recognize that this is not magic but divine power.

3. The second triad (three-some) of plagues. These punishments apply only to the Egyptians and not the Israelites.

4. The fourth plague: swarms of insects.

5. Pharaoh begins to make some concessions to God's power. He says they can sacrifice, but stay "within the land."

6. The fifth plague: pestilence. This is some type of deadly epidemic affecting livestock, perhaps anthrax.

7. The sixth plague: boils. A severe inflammation of the skin.

8. The third triad as further demonstration of God's incredible power.

9. The seventh plague: hail. One of God's aims in prolonging the confrontation is to show the Egyptians the consequences of resisting His authority and to make Himself known to the world. This is the first plague to take human life. This represents an escalation of the plagues.

New Testament text

10. The story of the rich man. The young man in this story is a good person, one whose goodness was expressed in his honest observation of the law. But Jesus challenged him on one point. "Sell you possessions..." This is not a universal command given to all rich people. Instead it was a challenge to this individual who measured his goodness by his dealings with other men. Yet, this young man violates the first commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me"

11. All human goodness fails at the same point. It is good enough to do good to others, but it is not enough. God must be the center and the focus of our lives.

12. As the young man leaves, Jesus remarked that wealth makes it difficult to enter the kingdom. .."but with God all things are possible."

13. Peter and the other disciples are stilled concerned about greatness. Jesus answers..."many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first."


14. "Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?"..."Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols..." Sounds like our New Testament text.


15. Swallow your pride...save yourself.

16. Final thoughts-

Pride. This seems to be the problem with Pharaoh. He's having trouble backing down from what looks like a no-win situation.

But these stories are linked by "the thing." The thing we put before God. Our money, our pride. What one thing do you elevate above God? That rules your heart, commands your thoughts and drags you through every decision you make? Whatever that thing is it separates us from God, and from the love of God. ...

See you next post

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