Readings

  • Exodus 18
  • Numbers 11:14-30
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Prayer

Pray… that you will rely on God’s help in tough situations.

Day 59 – Moses Delegates

Moses is overwhelmed and the importance of others

 

  • In today’s first Old Testament passage, we are reintroduced to someone who may well have forgotten about. Who is Jethro?
  • How did Jethro guide and instruct Moses? How many different “coaches” like Jethro do you have in your life? Do you listen to their advice all the time?
  • What do we learn about the character of Moses, and his leadership abilities, in the Exodus passage?
  • Jethro gave wise advice in the passage, but we can see that he learned something too. He notes in Exodus 18:11 that he “knows that the Lord is greater than all gods” because of what Moses explained to him. Your friends can come to know that the “Lord is greater” too. Maybe there’s a challenge to be like Moses and talk about the great work of God to others?
  • In the Numbers passage, we see another moment where Moses was feeling overwhelmed. What did God do to teach and help him?
  • Do you ever feel overwhelmed by things around you, or pressures or expectations on you? What options are there for you when you feel overwhelmed or struggling?
  • Everyone needs help and support from time to time – whether it’s the team around Nigel helping him run the church affairs, or the team around Chris helping to run the youth work, or the help we sometimes need on a one-to-one basis. Are you ready to accept that help and encouragement, even if it means accepting you can’t do everything yourself, or sharing your burdens?
  • You have good friendships at Eureka, don’t you? You might like to write down the verses from Ecclesiastes and remember the importance of friendship. You can also remember that without Jesus being that friend to us, we’re going to be pretty helpless on our own. The fact of the matter is this – we need Him!

 

Two friends of mine at church who you may know, called Nick and Beki, got married a few years ago today! If you don’t know them, they are a couple in their forties at church. Their marriage reminds me of two “working together and helping each other out” comments:

 

  • When Nick moved out of his flat in preparation for moving into his new house, I helped Nick to move all his furniture. What a miserable job that would have been on his own! When you move a cupboard, it takes two people at least. That’s not just because it’s heavy. It’s bulky, and it’s fragile, and it can break. With two people you can balance it, you can hold it in different ways, and you can guide it along its path and watch it from both the front and the back. Two people can get the cupboard out of the house in 5 minutes. One person certainly couldn’t do it in 10; he might even struggle to do it in 30, and it might have a risk of falling down the stairs! My point is this – God gave us friends and gave us the compassion to help each other out. Sometimes we just can’t struggle on our own – we need help. Are you a helpful friend to those around you?
  • Nick and Beki, when they got married, committed themselves to each other for life. In a marriage, you help each other out in many, many ways. In fact, we’re called to forgo our own wishes and desires to help and support our partners. This sacrificial role is for both women and men. As a couple, Nick and Beki can do so much more together in some situations then they might have been able to do alone. The Bible says that marriage between a man and a woman is like the relationship between Jesus and the church (i.e. believers of Him). Jesus gave up his life in order to help us do what we could never do on our own – achieve the state of sinless perfection that God demands. Nick and Beki can’t do that for each other, of course, but they can rely on each other for strength and guidance as they live together, and that will certainly help in tough times!

Readings

  • Exodus 17:8-15
  • Deuteronomy 25:17-19
  • 1 Timothy 2:8

Prayer

Pray… for someone you know, for whatever you know they need prayer for. Don’t tell them you’re praying for them.

Day 58 – Moses holds up his Arms

Israel’s Warfare and Moses’ Prayer

Start today’s reading with the prayer time if you don’t normally. Hold your hand up to God whilst you’re doing it – you’ll see why later! Today’s passage has a prayer focus, so if you skip the daily prayer (and I hope you don’t!) then make a special point of it today.

 

The readings today amount to only 11 verses. Use the extra time to focus on the questions. You should still be dedicating 20-25 minutes to each day’s readings, questions and notes, even if you can fly through the verses in 60 seconds.

 

  • As the Israelites march onward towards the Promised Land, they continue to face challenges. They’ve come through the Red Sea, and the problem of food and water, and today we read that they are attacked by a group of people called the Amalek (or Amalekites). The Amalekites were the descendants of Amalek, the grandson of Esau, brother of Jacob. You can see his name on the timeline I posted on day 35. The Amalekites hated the Israelites with a passion – and indeed we’ll read several (difficult) passages in the Old Testament relating to how the Israelites had to deal with them.
  • Why was Joshua a good person to lead the people in the battle in today’s passage in Exodus? From your memory, do you know why he would need this experience in the future?
  • What was Moses’ role in this passage? Could the people have won their battle without God working through what Moses did?
  • God worked through Moses’ weakness several times, didn’t He? List in your journal a couple of things that Moses needed help with (in his whole life, I mean, rather than just this passage). Can we win the battle against sin on our own? Who do we need help from?
  • The whole point of Moses putting his hands up was in an appeal to God for help – without Him, nothing is possible! Think about how prayer is pictured in the Exodus passage. What does today’s New Testament passage say about it?
  • List the people that you think are praying for you on a regular basis. Does knowing this encourage you, even though you don’t often hear their prayers?
  • We’re reminded today that it’s important to not always be alone in prayer (prayer alone is great, of course, but it’s also communal). The mere fact that we sometimes come together in joint worship will be building up the faith of those around us. Could you perhaps consider going to the next prayer gathering for this reason?
  • Have you ever been “lifted up” with prayer? What I mean is, has anyone prayed with you specifically about something, and you have been helped or encouraged either through the actual act of having someone pray for you, or because the prayer was answered?
  • What does God say will happen to Amalek someday (look in Deuteronomy). We’ll read about how this happens in a couple of months. Do you trust that God will deal with your “enemies” in His own time?

 

What’s your prayer life like? Does it need a kickstart?

 

Moses’ prayer was out of sight of the people actually fighting the battle, wasn’t it? But this unseen prayer was the basis for the successful battle. So it was for Jesus. Prior to his victory on the cross, he spent many hours praying in a garden. The wonderful message of the gospel is that Jesus continues – to this day and beyond – to pray, interceding to His Father on our behalf. His prayers, along with ours, are sustaining us during our spiritual battle (which you can read more about in Ephesians 6:10-20 if you’d like).

Readings

  • Exodus 17:1-7
  • Psalm 78:12-25
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

Prayer

Pray… and thank God for the many many blessings that He has given you.

Day 57 – Water from the Rock

Christ the True Rock

Today’s readings are great – not long, but clear and full of wise instruction and great truth.

 

  • Once again, as the narrative continues today in our Old Testament readings, the people that God has just rescued put Him to the test again in Exodus 17:2. By doing so they were failing God’s test of them that we read about yesterday, which was to follow his commands and to trust in Him!
  • God does, of course, provide water for the people to drink through a miracle. This is not because the people moaned at Him. God hadn’t brought the people into the desert in order to kill them all – He always would have provided the water. The people just didn’t wait patiently for it!
  • Psalm 78 is a great reminder of what God has done for the people so far. How many different things can you see in verses 12-16? What other miracles or instances of God providing can you think on top of the ones mentioned?
  • The psalm, in verses 17-25, despairs about the Israelites sin and complaining, especially in the light of all the good things God has given the people. Can you feel the sarcasm in verses 19-20 as the author of the psalm recounts the complaints of the people against God?
  • Despite God’s anger burning against his people for their continued sin, notice that God continues to provide in abundance. How relevant this is for us. God has given us so many good things we could barely count them if we tried. But how often do we grumble when something goes wrong? Or doesn’t happen as quickly as we would want it? How often do we actively sin against God – knowing at the time that it is wrong and still doing it – despite all the blessings we have been given? Do you ever stop and think that despite God hating your sin, He continues to bless you and love you?
  • If you passed over the previous questions without thinking about them, stop. Read them again and actually think about them. Is your relationship with God right? Are you treating God as God, or is your relationship with Him limited to lip-service?
  • The passage in 1 Corinthians is an eye-opener. Did you spot it? It says that the rock that Moses hit in the Exodus passage was Jesus. Why does Paul say this? Think about it – by striking the rock, water came out, and the Israelites were saved. When Christ was “struck” – that is, nailed to the cross – blood came out, and through that blood, salvation came to all who believe. Whereas Moses oversees a temporary salvation for a limited group of people, God would later oversee an eternal salvation for all through Jesus. If you can grasp this “greater saviour” concept, it will help your continued understanding.

 

 

Time and time again we’re coming across passages in the Old Testament which are pointing to Jesus. Here we don’t even have to work it out for ourselves – Paul did it for us in his letter to the Corinthians! He did it to help show the uncertain Jews who were reading his letter that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for.

 

Today’s passages weren’t long or hard to read. If you’ve just whizzed through them, spend another five minutes reading the passages again and really thinking about things. I bet you’ll spot things the second time that you might not have seen the first time.

 

Make sure too that your notes continue to be well thought through – don’t get lazy with them! Make sure you’ve printed off the images from previous days if you haven’t already.

Readings

  • Exodus 16
  • Deuteronomy 8
  • Matthew 4:1-4

Prayer

Pray… that your heart will be tested to see what it really delights in, and that that answer would be Jesus.

Day 56 – Moses & the Manna

Bread from heaven and the Word of God

 

  • Taking this many people through a barren desert was never going to be an easy task, as Moses soon finds out. Today we read about one of the problems that the people had as they journeyed into the wilderness, and how God reacted to their calls.
  • List all the times in the Exodus passage that the people grumble or go against God’s commands. This is becoming quite a habit, isn’t it? How did God react in these situations?
  • What does the word “manna” mean? The Israelites ate this throughout their time in the wilderness. Do you think they liked it? If you fancy being a bible detective for a few minutes, you could try and find the verses in the book of Numbers which states whether the people liked it or not (although it’s worth pointing out that they were in a grumpy mood that day).
  • Why does God provide twice as much on the sixth day?
  • Deuteronomy, the book, is pretty much entirely one long sermon given by Moses. He preached it to all the Israelites. That’s one big church service! It was given close to the end of the time in the wilderness, so bear that in mind as you read it, as it sometimes describes future events that we haven’t studied in the natural course of this reading plan yet. You may be interested to know that nearly all the people who were rescued out of Egypt actually died in the wilderness (a punishment from God for their disobedience to Him during the 40 years) so the words spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy may well be mostly to the children of those who were rescued from slavery. They were people who would have been born in the desert and won’t remember the time in Egypt.
  • Moses reminded the crowd in the Deuteronomy passage that they were being tested by God when in the wilderness. Their hearts were being tested to see if they were putting God first. Jesus was tested too, whilst fasting. Who came through the tests with the best record?
  • The passage in Matthew 4 records that instance of Jesus being tempted in the desert. It links very closely with Moses’ encouragement to remember God in the passage in Deuteronomy, especially in verses 2-3. How?
  • The amount of time Jesus fasted in the wilderness (40 days) and the amount of time the Israelites were in the wilderness (40 years) is closely related – this isn’t an accident!
  • “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by the the word of God” is a paraphrase of one of the most well known verses from today’s passage. Jesus often referred to himself as “the Bread of Life”. In light of today’s readings, what does Jesus mean by this?

 

As you might expect, Exodus gives us plenty of opportunities to see that God is remaining faithful to His covenant promises to Abraham: a nation, a land and a blessing. Here He provides for their physical needs by giving them food, but you should also spot that God also sustains the people in their whole lives. After all, Jesus didn’t come to the earth just to share loaves and fish between 5,000 people, did He?

 

Moses’ sermon in Deuteronomy also reminds the people of a major aspect of God’s relationship with His people. He rescued them first – and then gave them the Law to live by. The laws that the Israelites were given allowed them to respond in obedience in thankfulness for God’s abundant grace already shown. We’re going to be reading about these laws in the coming weeks.

 

As we do, keep a look out as we read on for more examples of how obedience to God is not a means of salvation, but a response to it, just like we’ve been discussing in Cells as we read through the book of James.

 

Readings

  • Exodus 15
  • Psalm 90
  • Revelation 15:1-4

Prayer

Pray… that with your voice, whether in song, speech or prayer, you will glorify the name of God.

Day 55 – Moses & his Songs

Songs of worship and praise to God

 

  • It’s a pleasant change of pace in today’s readings as we get to read three songs of Moses. The snippet we get in Revelation is a reprise with similar themes of the one in Exodus.
  • Consider the dramatic story in Saturday’s reading. Why would Moses and Miriam sing the song in Exodus 15? What is the song about?
  • Exodus 15 shows a fascinating insight into the fickle nature of humans like you and me. The Israelites sing the song of praise to God at the start, but the tone at the end of the chapter is different. How long was it before their voices are used to grumble against God instead? Does the speed at which they start grumbling surprise you? Do you do this?
  • If you do, aren’t you glad that God is a god of mercy and forgiveness, just like He was in Exodus 15:25 when He answered the Israelites complaints?
  • Psalm 90 is a song written by Moses, probably after the 40 years in the wilderness which we’ll be reading about over the coming weeks. What’s this song about? What’s different about the song Moses sang before the time in the wilderness and the song afterwards? Why do you think they are different?
  • The psalm makes pretty brutal reading. It talks about mankind’s dismal “messed up” state before God, and acknowledges the guilt of mankind. Yet it calls God a “refuge”, and the psalm finishes (in verses 13-17) with a prayer to God for compassion.
  • If you’re feeling like a challenge, check out the parallels between the song in Exodus and the one in Revelation. Both are sang after victory next to a sea. So what, you might say? People who trust in Jesus are delivered from death itself and brought to new life in Christ through His power (Romans 6:1–11 and 1 Corinthians 10:1–4, for example). That is why New Testament sings Moses’ song too. Jesus has thrown the Evil One into the sea of God’s wrath, just like He dealt with the Egyptian enemy.

 

What is your favourite hymn or Christian song? Try and think of one which has words which helps you sing truths to God, not just one with a nice tune (although both together is even better!). I love “How Great Thou Art”, which is a great hymn of praise to God’s majesty. “Abide with me” is another wonderful song about God’s ultimate compassion and mercy. “It Is Well With My Soul” is a stunning reflection of how knowing God’s love, throughout any difficulty, is the greatest thing. What about you?

 

Singing to God is one way we can worship Him. I know that praising God confidently and boldly through song doesn’t exactly come naturally to most teenagers. Next time you’re at church, however, look around at everyone singing to God. Some just mumble their way through halfheartedly, but not everyone. People all around you are worshipping their Saviour. Some people close their eyes to focus on God. Some people will sing loudly (and even out of tune!). Some people – shock horror! – might even put their hands up, as if they were offering themselves to God.

 

Don’t be embarrassed to worship God in song. Look at the words of the verses and sing them like you want to share them with God. Sing out confidently – nobody will care, I assure you – and even though St John’s isn’t quite as stirring as the main tent at Keswick, you will still find that it’s a pleasure to bring your praises to God this way.

Readings

  • None… unless you need to catch up!

Prayer

A day off from reading is not a day off from praying or living as a Christian. Pray for something that’s on your heart today.

Day 54 – Day Off

 

 

We’re at a great moment in the story, aren’t we? So much to look forward to over the next few weeks.

 

I know at the moment that it can be a struggle to read. Some people are on holiday, and maybe it’s harder to get time to read. I know some of you may be catching up. Hopefully the half term has been helpful! You’ll have all learnt now that it’s easy for things to slip if you’re not proactive about keeping One Story in your sights.

 

I read this poem this week. The author is unknown. I hope you like it.

 

Yes I thought I knew my Bible
Reading piecemeal, hit or miss.
Now a part of John or Matthew
Then a bit of Genesis.

 

Certain chapters of Isaiah,
Certain psalms, the twenty-third.
First of Proverbs, eighth of Romans;
Yes, I thought I knew the Word.

 

But I found that thorough reading
Was a different thing to do.
And the way was unfamiliar
When I read my Bible through.

 

We who like to play at Bible
Dip and dabble here and there,
Just before we kneel all weary
Yawning through a hurried prayer.

 

You who treat this crown of writings
As you treat no other book.
Just a paragraph disjointed
Just a crude, impatient look.

 

Try a worthier procedure –
Try a broad and steady view;
You will kneel in awesome wonder
When you read the Bible through.

Readings

  • Exodus 13
  • Exodus 14
  • Hebrews 11:24-29

Prayer

Pray… that God will deliver you from your attackers, trouble-makers and bullies too.

Day 53 – Moses & the Red Sea

Moses’ faith at the Passover & crossing the Red Sea

 

We’re about to start a period in the Old Testament where God’s people, the Israelites, are stuck in the desert (or wilderness) for over 40 years. During this time there is a whole plethora of events that take place, which we’ll be reading about throughout the rest of this month and all of March. By the end of March we’ll have ploughed through the rest of the book of Exodus, and Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy too – which, along with Genesis, are also known as the “Pentateuch”.

 

The period in the wilderness covers some famous events, including manna and quail from Heaven (showing God’s care for His people), the Ten Commandments (showing God’s Law), and a time when the people made a golden calf to worship (which God uses to show His judgement against sin). There are also lots of trickier parts which we’ll briefly work through, such as some of the Law that isn’t followed by Christians any more, following changes that have now been brought through Christ. Hopefully when we get to these parts you’ll learn lots of new things.

 

  • Well, the greatest escape that anyone has ever done has just occurred. Over a million people – probably two million – have just escaped one of the most powerful countries on earth. Make sure you let that sink in! God, in His grace and power, has redeemed His people. This is the beginning of the birth of a new nation – the nation of Israel.
  • Exodus 13 begins with God’s instructions for the Passover memorial feast, which has been celebrated by Jewish people ever since. What do verses 8-10 say about why they did this?
  • Why did God harden the heart of the Pharaoh again to send his chariots after the people? Exodus 14:4 will help you. How did God protect His people from the Egyptian soldiers?
  • The reaction of the people when they saw the Egyptians coming is interesting, isn’t it? You can see their comments and thoughts in Exodus 14:10-12. It’s panic and worry and moaning! Does that surprise you, coming so soon after they saw God work ten miracles in the plagues He sent? What does that say about their relationship with God?
  • Think about times when we might have demanded signs from God… but then forget about them even if we got them. What signs do we have from God? Do people still ignore them?
  • How did God lead the people? There is more than one answer – look in the last half of Exodus 13.
  • What are some of the ways God leads you? Do you allow yourself to be led by them?
  • Hebrews 11 gives us a list of ways in which Moses showed his faith in God. What evidence do we show in our lives that we trust in God too? Where is God in our priority list?
  • Do you think God took pleasure in killing the Egyptians in the sea? Why, or why not?

 

If you’re a clever clogs, and for a bonus chocolate:

 

  • Look at Exodus 13:19. Why were they taking the bones of Joseph with them? Where had Joseph requested this?

 

I’ve attached a timeline of events of the Old Testament up to now so you can see where the Exodus fits into the whole Old Testament. It will also encourage you, I hope, as it shows how far we have come already! Print it off – please! – and stick it in your journal. It *will* help you as we read on.

 

I’ve also attached a map of the approximate journey by the Israelites during the Exodus. You can see Egypt, the Red Sea, Mount Sinai (where they will receive the Ten Commandments), and the area where they went round and round in the “wilderness”. Of course, you can also see where they were eventually aiming for – Canaan, the Promised Land.

 

 

Readings

  • Exodus 11
  • Exodus 12
  • 1 Corinthians 5:7

Prayer

Pray… that you will trust in the blood of the true Lamb to deliver you from death.

Day 52 – Moses & Passover

The origin of the Passover lamb & Jesus, our Passover Lamb

 

  • Today’s wonderful passages of God’s rescue of His people, the Israelites, from slavery are some of the most well known and celebrated words in all of the Old Testament. The 400 years of silence is well and truly over as God powerfully works to set the people free from their miserable life as slaves in Egypt.
  • In Exodus 11, what plague does God warn the Pharaoh about through the obedient words of Moses?
  • How do you think Moses’ relationship with the Israelites and the Egyptians might have changed since he first arrived back in Egypt?
  • You may have heard about today’s passages before hand, but do you remember all the specific stuff that God commanded the people to do? I always forget those parts – the commands about the way they should make bread and prepare for the events that were to come. Why do you think that God commanded the Israelites to make such precise preparations?
  • What was specific about the lamb that had to be killed for the meal and the mark they were to make on the doorposts?
  • The event that occurs in 12:29-32 is called the Passover. It’s called that because the Lord “passed over” the houses of the Israelites as He came to kill the firstborn children in Egypt. The actual Passover event only occurred once, but every year the Jewish people would celebrate the day to mark the occasion. You can read about this in Exodus 12:43-49
  • When the awful event occurred, what did the Pharaoh command? How many people left Egypt, and what loot did they take with them?
  • Our Old Testament readings finish on a real high note. God’s mighty work has been done, and the people are obeying and praising His name. They were walking away as free people with plenty of gold and silver to boot. What do you think they were talking about and thinking as they set off on their journey into the unknown?

 

Today’s events are a wonderful pointer to Jesus, and there are several things I want you to see. You might find it helpful to make a table of this information in your journal. This is quite deep stuff, but it’s pretty major, and it’s worth thinking about carefully.

 

Firstly, this is a dawn of a new era. It’s a new era for the life of the Israelite people as they moved towards the Promised Land. Jesus’ sacrifice began a new era of the church too – the worldwide group of believers of which you and I can be a part.

 

Secondly, we see that the blood of the lamb on the doorpost was a substitution that rescued a specific group of people, not everyone. In the same way, Jesus “the Lamb” would die not to save everyone, but those who came to trust in His name with faith.

 

Thirdly, the lamb needed to be “without blemish”. Jesus, by living a sinless life, was thus the only One who could be in a place to take our punishment. The man who knew no sin became sin for us.

 

Fourthly, we see a new festival created today – Passover. Christians don’t celebrate the Passover because Jesus instituted a new festival – the Lord’s Supper – which we still also join in with today when we have communion.

 

Finally, the lamb took the judgement to provide the people with salvation. The lamb, along with Egypt, was punished, whilst the wrath of God “passed over” those who sat under that blood. Jesus was the perfect “once and for all” sacrifice. He took the wrath of God upon himself to take the punishment that we deserve in order that we might be saved – not only from our sin but to eternal life too.

 

God worked a miracle then. He worked a miracle through His Son. And God continues to work in each and every believer. What an awesome God we worship!

 

Readings

  • Exodus 7
  • Exodus 8
  • Psalm 105:23-28

Prayer

Pray… that you won’t need 10 reminders before you choose to listen to God!

Day 51 – Moses & Miracles

God reveals Himself through miracles & plagues

 

  • I’ve attached a video to this post – it’s a “10 plagues rap”. It’s a bit cheesy and it’s not the greatest bit of artwork you’ll ever see, but if it helps to think about the plagues in today’s readings, then take a look.
  • You’ll know this passage well, I’m sure. We’ve hit one of the most famous bits in one of the most well-known parts of the Old Testament. I wonder how long it’s been since you actually read the biblical account of this though. Did anything strike you as new or surprising when you read it this time around, or did you read something that was different to what you thought you remembered??
  • How old were Moses and his brother? How old are your grandparents? Can you imagine them doing what Moses and Aaron did?
  • In many of the plagues that are described in today’s readings, there is a common theme. Try picking one of the plagues and working it through. Firstly, God first speaks to Moses, and the plague to come is described. The plague then happens, and the consequences of it are shown. There is then usually something regarding what the Pharaoh did or said, and then verses about his heart. You might find a table in your study bible that helps with this.
  • How did Pharaoh’s stubbornness affect the people around him? Have you ever hurt people around you by acting selfishly or through stubborn pride?
  • How can God use people’s disobedience and stubbornness, like that shown by the Pharaoh, for His own glory?
  • Three times, the narrator of Exodus tells us that Pharaoh’s magicians “repeated”, or at least mimicked, God’s plagues. From the fourth plague onward, however, they cannot. What do they say about this in Exodus 8:19?
  • Which of the plagues was the worst, do you think, of the ones we read today? Why?
  • Many people find these passages hard to read. They don’t like the idea of a God that sends plagues on anyone, even Egyptian slave-drivers. People like to think of God as the humble Servant on the cross, or the loving, grace-filled Father. Why do you think it’s important that we see this side of God? What do we learn about His character?

 

You’ll have read in Exodus 7:3 that God says He will “harden Pharaoh’s heart” to make him refuse to let the people go. This, too, is a hard thing to understand. Surely that’s unfair, you might say? Why would God send Moses to ask the Pharaoh to do something, cause the Pharaoh to refuse to do so, and then punish him for it?

 

The short answer is so that God can be glorified, even as He judges (Exodus 7:4-5). But that, too, is tough to consider.

 

Turn to Romans 9, which a great chapter on God’s sovereign choice. “Sovereign choice” means God can do what He wants, because He is God, and He is perfect. Look at verses 13-18, which picks up on God’s decision to bless Jacob instead of Esau, and to raise up a hardhearted Pharaoh in order to show His power.

 

It’s also important to pay close attention to the text today. God will harden Pharaoh’s heart, but seemingly not until the later plagues – the sixth in fact. Initially, Pharaoh is hardening his own heart (such as in Exodus 8:15). He didn’t have to wait for God to harden his heart – he wasn’t going to let the Israelites go without a fight anyway!

 

We’ll discuss this tricky subject more when we meet up for our catch-up meetings.

 

PS: Our reading plan will skip chapters 9 and 10, and we’ll jump to the final plague and the extraordinary events of the Passover tomorrow. If you have the time, and the inclination, you might enjoy reading about the other plagues in these missed chapters.