Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
There is something about our passage from Exodus 8 which I have never understood. Perhaps I am not supposed to understand it, but simply to wonder at it. When God is showing His power over nature by bringing plagues upon Egypt, introducing things which they would find unclean, Pharaoh’s magicians attempt to make the same things happen. They want to show their power and ability to work by doing supernatural signs, no doubt, but they seem to have no concern about the damage their work could do. In this passage, they attempt to send gnats and flies upon Egypt. How do they intend to get rid of the gnats or the flies? This doesn’t cross their mind.
The whole idea is not that different from some of our world’s attempts to show power. Geneticists occasionally attempt to modify animal and even human genetic structures, not asking whether it is a good idea, but simply assuming since it is possible they should do it. Economists advocate experimental policies which could potentially change the world radically but may or may not change it for the better, and normally involve rearranging many people’s control over their own resources. Educational theorists atempt curricular changes which may have grave collateral effects but for which they have no escape plan or rehabilitation strategy. We even hear, occasionally, about people who engage in spiritual pursuits which have sometimes been suggested as ways that a very dark spiritual force could take over the person’s life. This is really not a good idea.
Why do we engage in this folly? A certain portion of the population will try to do anything at their disposal to replace the presence of God. We will do anything but believe in the God of the Bible. We will accept anything as long as it is not historic Christianity. We will go to whatever lengths we can to establish a new order in society, as long as we don’t have to deal with the exclusive claims of the God of the Bible.
Today, as in the time of Moses, God says that His people are to be let go, left free to worship him and look for his mercy, according to his word. Our world throws up all sorts of contrary ideas, even trying to do some very destructive things. The Lord is steadfast. He is going to gather His people to himself. We’ve seen it before. We will see it again. Best let God be the Lord and all others be pretenders.
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