The Plague of Darkness

Welcome back to today’s Time in the Word. We have two plagues left—the Plague of Darkness and The Plague of Death of the Firstborn next week. Hard to imagine we started our journey through the plagues in late winter, and here we are in mid-summer.

God is performing his supernatural wonders in nature’s realm, methodically attacking the very gods that Pharaoh and all of Egypt hold dear in their Egyptian religion. This is true of our lives as well. God never leaves any stone unturned. Anything that draws us away from Him becomes a target. What god do you worship in your life? Entertainment? Alcohol? Porn? Lying? Stealing? What you worship is where you spend most of your time and money.

Plague Number Nine: Darkness

Exodus 10:21-29, NIV

This plague of darkness was interesting. In the plagues before, Moses and Aaron always went before Pharaoh. However, in this ninth plague, God instructs Moses to stretch out his hands before the sky so that ALL of Egypt would be dark and FEEL the darkness. This plague took place at midday and caught everyone’s attention. Where any Israelite lived, they had light.

Pharaoh summons Moses and tells Moses they are free to go- men, women, and children but tells Moses the livestock must stay behind. Pharaoh always has conditions and never fully complies with God’s request.

Moses counters Pharaoh’s conditional nonsense and tells him “every hoof” must be allowed to go, as they are an important part of worship.

God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. Pharaoh tells Moses they can’t leave and Moses should not return to the palace. Pharaoh threatens Moses with death the next time Moses sees Pharaoh’s face.

Egyptian god or goddesses the plague confronted– Barnes Bible Chart pdf:

  • Re– the sun god
  • Amon-re– the sun god
  • Aten-the sun god
  • Atum– the sun god
  • Horus– the sun god, Egypt’s first national god, spanned 5000 years
  • Thoth– the moon god, inventor of writing and creating languages

Interesting Notes and Insights

  • Moses and Aaron continued to be obedient to God.
  • Moses is instructed by God to perform the summoning of the ninth plague without giving Pharaoh a heads up.
  • The Plague of Darkness lasted three days.
  • Where ever the Israelites lived there was light.
  • Pharaoh relents to all of the Israelites leaving but is firm that their livestock must stay.
  • The plague happened midday.
  • No Egyptian could see or move about during the plague of darkness.
  • Isn’t it interesting that God wanted the Egyptians to FEEL the darkness?
  • Total darkness for three days messed with the Egyptian’s psychology and sleep cycles. Maybe bringing on depression and certainly a fear of not knowing what was going on.

When I think about the darkness being so dark and dark you could feel, I wonder if this is what Hell will be like? Feeling cut off from God and having total knowledge of our hard heart and sinfulness lead us to live in Hell eternally. Weeping and gnashing of teeth. This should drive every Christian out and share the gospel. Jesus wants no one to perish!

Can you imagine how shocked the Egyptians were? To know the gods, they tirelessly served was worthless. Nothing could be done but to bow in submission to the one true God.

Unfortunately, bad leadership can bring a whole nation astray. This is being played out in America right now, and believers are the small points of light in the darkness. How are you shining today?

Next week, The Plague of Death of Firstborn. Thank you for joining me here in Time in the Word.

not expected

When You Don’t Get What You Expect

Originally posted in ggmandy dot com on 6-19-2017

This week’s Five Minute Friday   prompt is: EXPECT

I’m setting my timer for five minutes, and … GO.

Have you ever tried to say something nice and it came out different than you expect?

I have lost count of the times I have done it. I call it, “Foot-in-Mouth” disease. Yep! Open mouth, insert foot.

Sometimes, I do it in my writing too,

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Plague of Hail

Welcome back to today’s Time in the Word. Today we press on and tackle plague number seven, the Plague of Hail. You may be wondering how long it may have taken to run through all the plagues? Well, on thebiblehistoryguy.com, Jim Moseley has some interesting articles. He suggested that the ten plagues probably took around forty days to complete.

The Bible does specify some time for certain plagues, and for others, it does not. It is a guess among most biblical scholars, so we shouldn’t get hung up on a time frame.

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Plague of Boils

Welcome back to today’s Time in the Word! Thank you for coming along on the Ten Plagues devotional journey. Today we tackle the plague of boils. Have you ever had a boil? I have had several boils on my back in my early adult years.

I will spare you the details of how I got rid of my boils. Suffice it to say their removal was a painful adventure. If you’ve ever seen Dr. Sandra Lee’s reality T.V. show “Dr. Pimple Popper” you can imagine how it went. If you don’t know what a boil is, you can check it out here.

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Plague of Disease on the Cattle: Virus Rinderpest?

Welcome back to Time in the Word. We are halfway through our Ten Plagues. The plague of disease on the cattle had many effects. Unfortunately, the animals took the brunt of this plague. It was thought to be the virus rinderpest.

Rinderpest is a virus that belongs to the measles and canine distemper viruses- the genus Morbillivirus. Humans are unaffected by rinderpest, but rinderpest made a zoological jump through measles, which made its debut in the 11th century.

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Plague of Flies

Welcome back to Time in the Word. Today we start the fourth plague, the plague of flies. Thus far, Pharaoh had shown only one time a tiny sliver of repentance when he asked Moses to pray that the plague of frogs would leave. But once the frogs had died, he went back on his word.

Have you ever relented and then hardened your heart to a person or situation? How did that decision turn out for you? What effect did it have on this situation or the person? Sometimes I wish there was a way to go back and change what was said or done. Good thing God’s mercies are new every morning and we receive another chance to apologize and do our best to right what we’ve done wrong. AMEN!

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Day of pentecost

Pentecost ~ God’s Spirit Poured Out

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Thank God for Pentecost

Since the days when Moses was given the law on Mount Sinai, the people waited for His Spirit. They were not able to keep the law on their own. Spiritual amnesia kept drawing them back into the grasp of sin and darkness. Oh, how they needed God’s Spirit to live in their hearts and lives.

    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Joel 2:28b, NLT

And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

Ezekial 36:27, NLT

Every year, the Children of Israel would bring their sacrifices to the temple. They came at Passover and offered their sacrifices to God. It would remind them about how the death angel passed over their homes and they were freed from slavery in Egypt. On the first day of the week after Passover, they celebrated the Feast of Firstfruits bringing to the Temple the first sheaves of grain from their fields.

And then they waited. 50 days for the Feast of Weeks. 7 weeks. Pentecost translates as 50 days. All these feasts were to remind them of their sinfulness and to offer praise and sacrifice to God who forgave them every time. All this time they didn’t realize that it was part of the Promise of God to put His Spirit in their hearts. It would be the only way to chase away the amnesia because then The Holy Spirit would live within them reminding them constantly of their God; Softening their hearts toward their Maker.

But not only that

With the Holy Spirit within them, they (and we) now have the POWER to live godly lives. (2 Peter 1:3) He guides us. He helps us live lives that please God. Consider Peter. Remember how he failed time and again even though he wanted to serve Jesus. He swore He would never deny the Lord, but He did… three times. Other times, he would speak out and Jesus would have to rebuke him.

Until Pentecost

What a difference it made when Peter received empowerment from above. Suddenly, He was bold and able to preach the Gospel to everyone in Jerusalem and later everywhere He went with no “foot-in-mouth” disease.

And Guess What…

We can have that same power. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit comes in to live with us. And when we die to ourselves, we are empowered to live faithful lives. Paul shared with the Galatians that when we give control to the Holy Spirit, we won’t fulfill the lust of the spirit any longer. Instead, we will produce the Fruit of His Spirit. Let’s look…

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Galatians 5:16-25, NLT

galatians 5:25
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No More Sacrifices

Jesus’ Death and Resurrection removed the need for the sacrificial system. His Great Sacrifice was perfect and suited to save all men who would accept Him. Once and for all our sins are forgiven. (Hebrews 7:27, Hebrews 9:12, 25-26)

So what does God expect of us? Are we allowed to just go about living the same lives? NO! (Romans 6:1-3) That would nullify what Jesus did for us. We are to put our carnal selves to death and allow the Spirit to live through us. Consequently, He now guides and directs every part of us. Back in the “old days”, they would say to give God the “unknown bundle”; that is, we give Him everything, even the things to come that we don’t know about. Whatever He wills, is our will.

When we sign a contract, the stipulations are all laid out and we sign on the dotted line. But with the Unknown Bundle, we sign on a blank sheet of paper and hand it to God. Then He places His plan for our lives on the paper.

And Praise His Name

He will empower us to follow the will of God. Sure, we may fail at times; but He will convict our hearts and we can ask forgiveness which He gives freely. The goal is that we will become increasingly more like Jesus.

I’m so glad that I have the Holy Spirit who goes with me every day, all day. I am empowered to live for Jesus.

How about you?

-Mandy

feast of pentecost

Feasts of Weeks – Pentecost

This weekend we celebrate Pentecost

As Christians, we are celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples found in Acts 2. But did you realize that the Israelites have been celebrating this same day since God instructed them to celebrate in Leviticus 23? Pentecost in Hebrew means 50 days. They were to celebrate on this day… 50 days after Passover and the Feast of Firstfruits. Called The Feast of Weeks.

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Plague of Lice

Welcome back to Time in the Word. Today, we embark on the third plague, the plague of lice. This third plague causes a bit of translation interpretation trouble. The trouble was whether or not this was lice, gnats, or mosquitoes. When I run into interpretive concerns, I go to my favorite Jewish websites and read what they have to say.

While researching various biblical things, I have to remind myself that I learned about the Bible through a Sunday School curriculum lens. Most children’s bible stories are shortened versions of a Bible passage, pulling out a single lesson to learn. As we get older and dig into the Bible more, we discover those children’s Bible stories were scratching the surface.

I liken my Sunday School experience to one of the teachers’ planting seeds that finally germinated in my late twenties. This is where I began to dig more into my faith and God’s word. The Bible is like a mansion with many doors, leading to many rooms. Waiting for me to open and discover the richness of their words and place in my life. I hope you have found this as well.

Plague Number Three: Lice

Scripture: Exodus 8:16-19– NIV, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+8%3A16-19&version=NIV

If you jump between the NKJV and the NIV, you will find that the NIV says “gnats” and that the NKJV says “like lice”- but let’s not worry about whether or not it was lice or gnats, let’s focus on what God asked Aaron to do with the staff. God asked Moses to tell Aaron to “strike the dust of the ground”.

The third plague of lice affected both man and animals. Making everyday living very uncomfortable. I would think the constant annoyance of scratching your skin, along with feeling something crawling on you, would be enough to drive someone crazy.

Interestingly, the Egyptian magicians, using their secret arts, could NOT duplicate this plague. The magicians even told Pharaoh that this was “the finger of God”. I’m often curious why God let the magicians duplicate the first two plagues. What do you think?

True to God’s word, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen.

Egyptian god or goddesses the plague confronted– Barnes Bible Chart pdf

  • Seb-https://ancientegyptonline.co.uk/geb/, god of the earth, dust

Interesting notes and insights

  • Moses and Aaron continued to be obedient to God. They did and said as instructed.
  • Pharaoh’s magicians could NOT duplicate this plague. Why do you think they could not duplicate this plague?
  • What purpose did the lice serve?
  • Did this plague occur in Goshen as well? This is questionable, as the Bible does not DIRECTLY speak of it affecting Goshen, where the Israelites live. Many scholars feel the first three plagues affected Israel as a tool to chasten them for assimilating to Egyptian life and worship of their gods.
  • What do you think is the significance of Aaron striking the dust? What does dust represent?
  • This time, Pharaoh does not ask Moses to pray. Why do you think Pharaoh didn’t ask for prayer?

Interestingly, God chose lice. If you’ve ever had head lice or body lice, I’m sure you found them to be very pesky! Do you have “lice” in your life? What irritations are they causing you? Unlike Pharaoh, you can enlist prayer and ask God to help you identify the lice in your life. He will show you how to get rid of them.

Till next time. Thank you for joining me here today, in Time in the Word.

time of favor

Psalm of Mandy: a Pain Warrior’s Prayer

But as for me, Lord,
my prayer to you is for a time of favor. Psalm 69:13 CSB

time of favor Psalm 69
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This is a paraphrase from Psalm 69. David had many times in his life when he felt he was drowning in troubles. People who suffer from chronic pain can often feel they are drowning in pain and sorrow. When I read this psalm of David I can feel my own soul praying this prayer with just a few changed words. As you read it, you may understand some of the things that chronic illness causes in our lives. My words are in [ ]. Highlighted words link to another post I have written concerning the issue.

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