This Week in the Bible Highlights: When the Invisible Becomes Visible

The theme this week seems to be the invisible becoming visible as God shows His hand so strongly even the Egyptians recognize His very real presence in the land.

“This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.

Then the Lord told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them.

 But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the Lord and that I am present even in the heart of your land.” Exodus 8:19-22

He is present in the heart of our land, too. Do you believe it’s true?

If you have put your faith and trust in Jesus read this verse below and see it as a picture of when it’s your time to go to heaven or the rapture comes. Death will pass over us and we will be taken to eternity.

“But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13

“Don’t cross the threshold until morning.” Exodus 12:22 Crossing that threshold was leaving a life the Israelites had always known and setting out on a journey with God, Moses leading the way. A choice had to be made to take that first step that morning in faith.

God’s people had been slaves in Egypt for 430 years so it was engrained in them and they had no concept of freedom. That’s why on their journey they’d continually whine to go back to Egypt.

“And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery. Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, so the Lord killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why I now sacrifice all the firstborn males to the Lord—except that the firstborn sons are always bought back.’

This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of the Lord’s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:14-16

Traditions don’t save us or keep us saved, but they surely help remind a feeble minded people like you and me of what God has done. The hand and the forehead referenced here are a reference to this ceremony influencing their deeds and thoughts (their worldview). If you don’t fear death, you lose your fear in life, faith over fear.

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!

Be calm, but get moving! Love this!

Desiring to be pure of heart can be misunderstood by this world, even other Christians, but it is precious in God’s sight. Being pure of heart doesn’t mean that your pure heart saves you, it means you are fully aware of your sin nature and want to above all else, “guard your heart for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

Don’t fear of being called a goody-two-shoes because you don’t do the things the people of your generation do, instead have faith and hear the words of Jesus spoken over you, “Blessed are those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” Be about going after God’s heart and He’ll take care of the rest.

Today’s verse in Psalms reminded me of this. “But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy. Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.” Psalms 26:11-12

Then it’s contrast in Proverbs:

“There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” Proverbs 6:16-19

“It was there at Marah (bitter) that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:25-26

We suffer when we dip our toes in the sea of worldliness.

This is only the beginning of the 40 years in the wilderness, which they had no idea the trip would take that long. For perspective, 40 years ago was 1982!

(For reference, Ronald Reagan was president and E.T. was the most popular movie).

If they’d only known, slavery to the promised land would be filled with doubt,
Scarcity mentality, and overcoming generational tendencies engrained in their dna to look back to what was comfortable instead of what was good for them. What they learned through those wilderness years was what they would need to know before they got to the promised land, God provides for their needs, His ways are for their good, He is ever present, and He is the one who carried them through.

Light shines at our lowest: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1

2/3 Moses and Moms
I get the feeling from today’s reading that Moses could identify with the song on Disney’s Encanto soundtrack “Under the Surface.”

Between holding up the staff so his army could win and settling disputes among the million or so Israelites wandering with him “into the unknown,” Moses’ father-in-law finally speaks up and warns Moses in his own words that he’s going to burn out.

Most moms could relate to this scenario. Our children are begging for snacks and a drink while arguing with each other in the back seat as you’re leading them through a time never experienced before in human history (pandemic woes, technology evolving at the speed of light, etc.) trying to keep your sanity while driving a minivan.

The world is on the edge of war or tyranny or maybe both and we’re managing constant notifications from each child’s GroupMe messages from soccer, basketball, softball, baseball, and their classroom teachers while mentally pulling together looks for three kids’ dress up days times five days a week while prepping for an ice storm where we won’t have any heat if we don’t find a heater right-this-very-minute and looking for food that can be eaten if the power goes out for days, all the while working 40 hours and trying to balance marriage and life. Throw an unexpected illness or tragedy in there and the whole thing comes down like a tower of Jenga blocks.

Pressure like a grip, grip, grip and it won’t let go, whoa
Pressure like a tick, tick, tick ’til it’s ready to blow, whoa
Give it to your sister, your sister’s stronger
See if she can hang on a little longer
Who am I if I can’t carry it all?
If I falter

“Under the Surface”

Can you relate? Moses could and that’s why God gave him a community and a system where everything wasn’t dependent on him. He mentored until he finally worked himself out of a job. Enjoy the promised land, I’m worn out and going to be with God. -Moses (as imagined by me)

Our hope:
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 Amen!

Today we saw God in a thick cloud, heard a ram’s horn, and witnessed how the people were instructed when it was safe to go up to the mountain. This reminded me of the rapture. Jesus will come on the clouds, we’ll hear a horn, and we will be taken up.

“On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.”
Exodus 19:16-25

In my Bible I wrote: “terrifying.” Which is confirmed by Moses in Exodus 20:20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!” That’s what a healthy fear of God looks like, a fear that keeps you from falling into the devil’s hand by falling into temptation.

Then on down the line God verbally gives the 10 commandments to the people. They audibly hear him just as Adam heard first hand instructions from God’s mouth, yet they still twist the words God had given to not to go past a certain boundary by adding to it that they would die if God spoke directly to them.

We will see very soon how quickly they forget God’s instructions and go way overboard in the rebellion department.

Until then…

Look up,