A plague on you, Pharaoh, and the kiss of betrayal.

10 02 2011

DAY FORTY-ONE : Exodus 6 v. 13 – 8 v. 32; Matthew 26 v. 47 – 68; Psalm 19 v. 7 – 14EXODUS  6 – We get a glimpse of the Moses and Aaron family tree. How the family of Israel have grown over the years. It’s not a complete family tree, but it does trace Moses and Aaron through Levi’s line (Jacob’s third son).
In v.30 Moses is still struggling with his lack of eloquence : “I speak with faltering lips….”. I read this reflection on this verse :
“To recognize personal limitations is useful. To permit those limitations to inhibit witness is to fail God.”

EXODUS 7 – God tells Moses that he is like God before Pharaoh (divine authority) and that Aaron is a prophet (divine proclaimer). The plagues begin, as Pharaoh hardens his heart, and refuses to ‘let God’s people go free’. We are told that the plagues were sent ‘so that the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord…‘.
First, the water turns to blood – not only the river Nile (Egypt’s main source of water), but every bucket and jugful.
At this stage, Pharaoh’s sorcerers are able to duplicate the miracles by their magic spells. Pharaoh is not yet persuaded of God’s power, whilst his sorcerers can copy. Pharaoh grows harder of heart.

EXODUS 8 – Then follow the frogs (the sorcerers can mimic this miracle too). Frogs everywhere ! Pharaoh begs Moses and Aaron to get rid of the frogs, promising them some freedom. Pharaoh is beginning to recognise God’s power for what it is. However, when the frogs have all died (and Pharaoh has his wish), Pharaoh becomes harder and refuses to let the people go.

The third plagues is gnats. Without any warning this time, the gnats (lice) just arrive from the dust. The sorcerers are now unable to duplicate what’s happening, and concede, “This is the finger of God.”

The fourth plague is flies. Moses and Aaron intercept Pharaoh on his early morning trip to the river to bathe. This is the first of six places during the plagues where the Israelites (in Goshen) are exempt – no flies on them ! When Pharaoh begs Moses and Aaron for an end to this, he encourages them to sacrifice to God where they are, not allowing them to leave. Then he concedes that they may go a short distance, if only they get rid of the flies.
Again, however, once the flies are gone, Pharaoh is hardened and won’t let them go.

Pharaoh has a lot to lose, but his stubbornness is bringing further suffering upon his people.

MATTHEW – Judas’s kiss is bitter to Jesus, of course. I also noted that Judas calls Him “Rabbi”. He appears not to have been persuaded through the years with Jesus that He is more than a good teacher ?
There’s a scuffle, and the High Priest’s servant gets his ear cut off (in another gospel he is healed by Jesus). Jesus reminds His followers that this is how it’s supposed to be, to fulfill the scriptures, and there won’t be a fight.
“Then all the disciples deserted Him and fled.”
The spirit is willing but, once again, the flesh is weak !

Jesus then faces a mockery of a court trial. In the middle of the night. False testimonies are trailed in, and Jesus’ claim to ‘destroy the temple and rebuild in three days’ is put before Him. Jesus remains silent.
Finally, Caiaphas asks directly if Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and Jesus says, “Yes.”
Caiaphas has heard enough, casts his charge of ‘blasphemy’, and the people demand His death.
Jesus is spat upon and punched (horrible), and the play a new game called, “who hit You, Christ.” They are acting like a crowd of thugs.

It’s horrendous to watch what Jesus endures over these hours – the spotless lamb, the perfect and pure Son of God, suffering ‘at the hands of those He had created..”

PSALM – God’s words, His law, His commands are perfect, pure, right, joy-giving, radiant, more precious than gold, sweeter than honey….
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Love that prayer ! Great prayer to pray each day.