April 13, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Exodus 9-12
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Context: Today's reading covers the remainder of the plagues of Egypt. These plagues did not affect the Israelites. God protected them and set them aside, further demonstrating His power of controlling where and whom the plagues affected. Have you ever been driving and one side of the street was having a torrential downpour, while the other side was getting no rain? Now imagine it was hail or locust. Or everyone on one side broke out in boils. Or all the livestock died on one side. That is the power of our God! Several times, God tells Moses that He has hardened Pharaoh's heart. Many misinterpret this passage, seeing God as cruel to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, however, God allowed Pharaoh to choose if he would release the Israelites. Pharaoh chose to harden his heart against God, despite the miracles demonstrated by Aaron and Moses. Pharaoh originally chose to harden his heart. Pharaoh mocked God and God's chosen people! Because of that, Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who were complicit in the crimes against Israel, were punished by God. The plagues not only proved that the Egyptian gods had no power, they also assured the Israelites that God cared for them. The plagues also demonstrate, then and now, that miracles do not produce faith. Pharaoh saw the power of God, yet he refused to believe. The final plague was on the firstborn. It is from this action that the Jews celebrate Passover, for which God gave instructions on how the food was to be prepared. The final plague is unique in that it requires action on the part of the Israelites in order to be exempt. During the night, Pharaoh summoned Moses and released the Israelites. They left, but not before they plundered the Egyptians, as the Egyptians had stolen from the Israelites for centuries.
World History: Around the time Joseph came to Egypt, irrigation systems were being use to help control the Nile flood. Around the time Moses was born, sundials were being used in Egypt to track time and sun pyramids were being built in Mexico.