January 24, 2015

Exodus 9-11 - God said to Moses, “Go and tell Pharaoh to release my people so they can worship me.  If you refuse to release them, I have given you fair warning that your livestock will be wiped out while none of the livestock of the Israelites died...but Pharaoh stayed stubborn.  He wouldn’t release the people...

God then had Moses and Aaron take fistfuls of soot from a furnace and had them throw it in the air right before Pharaoh’s eyes as it became a film of fine dust that carried all over Egypt and caused boils on the skin of the Egyptians.  God hardened Pharaoh in his stubbornness.  He wouldn’t listen, just as God had said to Moses.  

God once again said to Moses, Get up early in the morning and go to Pharaoh and tell him that God says  ‘Release my people so they can worship me...I’ve kept you on your feet to make you recognize my power so that my reputation spreads in all the earth.  You are still building yourself up at my people’s expense.  Since you are not letting them go, I’m sending a terrific hail storm - a storm like none that has ever been seen before...

All of Pharaoh’s servants who had respect for God’s word got their workers and animals under cover as fast as they could....before God rained hail down on the land of Egypt...except in Goshen where the Israelites lived...Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron.  He said, I’ve sinned this time for sure...Pray to God.  We’ve had enough of God’s thunder and hail.  I’ll let you go.  The sooner the better.”.... But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he kept right on sinning, stubborn as ever, both he and his servants.  Pharaoh’s heart turned rock hard....

God then said to Moses;  “Go to Pharaoh, I’ve made him stubborn ...so I can force him to look at these signs and so you’ll be able to tell your children and grandchildren how I toyed with the Egyptians, like a cat with a mouse, you’ll tell them the stories of the signs that I brought down on them, so that they will know that I am God.” ... Tell him to release my people so they can worship me.  If you refuse to release them, I will send locust into your country to devour everything left over from the hail storm...

” Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long are we going to let this man harass us?  Let those people go and worship their God.  Can’t you see that Egypt is on its last leg?”  So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh.  He said to them, “Go ahead then, Go worship your God.  But who exactly is going with you?”  Moses said, We’re taking young and old, sons and daughters, flocks and herds--that is our worship-celebration of God.”  Pharaoh said, “I’d sooner send you off with God’s blessing than let you go with your children.  Look, you’re up to no good...nothing doing.  Just the men are going--go ahead and worship God....

The locust came...the ground was completely covered black with locust... Pharaoh had Moses and Aaron back in no time...Overlook my sin one more time.  Pray to your God to get me out of this-- get death out of here! ...God reversed the wind so there was not a single locust left in Egypt...But God made Pharaoh stubborn as ever.  He still didn’t release the Israelites.

God then told Moses to stretch his hand to the sky so that darkness fell on the land of Egypt...Nobody could see anybody.  For three days no one could so much as move in Egypt, except for the Israelites; they had light where they were living.  Pharaoh called Moses; Go and worship God.  Leave your flocks and herds behind.  But go ahead and take your children.  But Moses said that hey had to take their livestock for sacrifices as part of their worship...But God kept Pharaoh stubborn as ever.  He wouldn’t agree to release them.  Pharaoh then said to Moses; “Get out of my sight!  And watch your step.  I don’t ever want to see you again.  If I lay eyes on you ever again, you’re dead.”  Moses said, “Have it your way.  You won’t see my face again.”

God said to Moses, “I’m going to hit Pharaoh and Egypt one final time and then he will let you go.  When he releases you, that will be the end of Egypt for you;  he won’t be able to get rid of you fast enough.  So tell your people to ask their neighbors for things made of silver and gold.  God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people.  Also, Moses was greatly admired by the Egyptians, a respected public figure among both Pharaoh’s servants and the people at large.  

Then Moses confronted Pharaoh that at midnight, God would go through Egypt and every firstborn child will die...also every firstborn animal...but against the Israelites...there won’t be so much as a dog’s bark, so you’ll know that God makes clear distinctions between Egypt and Israel.  Then all these servants of yours will go to their knees, begging me to leave...and I most certainly will leave.”  

Moses, seething with anger, left Pharaoh.  God said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s not going to listen to a thing you say so that the signs of my presence and work are going to multiply in the land of Egypt.  Moses and Aaron performed all these signs in Pharaoh’s presence, but God turned Pharaoh more stubborn than ever--yet again he refused to release the Israelites from his land.

John 14 - Don’t let this throw you.  You trust God, don’t you?  Trust me....

Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going.  How do you expect us to know the road?”  Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the LIfe.  NO one gets to the Father apart from me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know him.  You’ve even seen him!” 

Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.”  “You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand?  To see me is to see the Father...Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?...The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing.  You can count on it.  From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it.  That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son.  I mean it.  Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you...The Father will provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you.  This Friend is The Spirit of Truth.  The godless world can’t take him in because they don’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for.  But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!”...
The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me.  And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”  

Judas said: “Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?”  “Because a loveless world, “ Jesus said, “is a sightless world.  If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him-- we’ll move right into the neighborhood....

I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you.  The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you.”  I’ve told you this ahead of time before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me...Get up.  Let’s go.  It’s time to leave here.”