Lessons from the Wilderness

Plagues-how bad can it get?

Exodus 7-12 selected verses

 

The plagues are grouped together in threes.  In this structure of threes, the first two plagues only come after warning and a call to repentance; the third plague in each set comes without warning.

 

“But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.””

Exodus 5:2 ESV

 

What do you think about when the Scripture says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart? He had already confessed his lack of belief in their God. Why would God use such extreme measures to show his reality to him?

 

The beliefs of the Israelites were in direct opposition to the beliefs of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. What happens in our day when the church is “counter culture” to the world around us?

In our desire to be “relevant” do we often accommodate the pagan beliefs around us?

 

Why did they worship the Nile and have a god who protected it?

The god Khnum (the guardian of the Nile). The god Hali (the spirit of the Nile).

How did the first plague offend their belief in Khnum?  The god Osiris (who had the Nile as his bloodstream)?

 

What parallel can you find in today’s culture that might equate to Nile worship? Does “the love of money is the root of all evil” have an application here?

 

The other plagues connected to Egyptian gods:

 

  • The goddessHeqt (the frog-goddess of fertility).

How will the biblical life of holiness come into conflict with the emphasis on sexuality and sexual identification in our day? Why has such a private thing become such a public discussion?

 

  • Greater than the goddessHathor (a cow-like mother goddess). They lost their livestock…how did this plague affect their daily lives? How has our wilderness season affected our daily lives when it comes to our economic factors?

 

  • Greater than the godImhotep (the god of medicine).  The plague of boils even affected the magicians who were looked upon for medical answers. How has a spirit of fear become crippling for many during this season. How should we as Christians look at his global pandemic when it comes to our faith?

 

  • Greater thanNut (the sky goddess).  Darkness fell on the whole earth. The Gospel writer John speaks a great deal about darkness and light. What is the role of the church when things become dark around us? How do we shine the brightest during this time in our history?

 

How should the church be “counter cultural” during these times?