Scripture: ‘Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart.’ Exodus 7:23
Observation: People such as Pharaoh, who have hardened their hearts toward God, will not even acknowledge the work of God in any way. We forget what it is like to have a heart that is hard toward God and what is required to break through to reach that person’s heart.
Application: We must demonstrate and speak often of the love of God and the effect that he can have on a persons’ life. All the while, praying that God would soften the hard of the person toward him.
Prayer: Father God I pray for those who have hard hearts toward you and that you would begin to soften them by showing people your love and your mercy. Amen
Scripture: ‘Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.’ Exodus 6:9
Observation: For the people of God held captive in Egypt is was difficult to believe that God was going to rescue them because they had witnessed no evidence or proof to convince them of what Moses & Aaron where telling them. Proof from many people is what often prevents them from making a decision to believe in God and in this instance it created a huge barrier in Moses & Aaron establishing credibility with the people.
Application: For people who are far from God having proof in their mind that God is real and that he cares for them is a true barrier for belief and we must do what we can to help eliminate that barrier so that they can begin to know and trust that God has a plan for their life.
Prayer: Father, I pray today for those who are far from God and are searching for answers and questioning whether to place their faith and trust in you but for whatever reason they are hesitant because life circumstances are preventing them from trusting you completely. I pray that you would revel yourself to be true in their life and that people would place their whole trust in you. Amen.
Scripture: ‘During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew’ Exodus 2:23-25
Observation: It is very interesting to read this words because we are left to ask, ‘does God really forget things and need to be reminded?’ The short answer is that God does not forget he simply sees that the time is right to fulfill his promise. Those that have cause to not believe in God could look at this and say of God, ‘he let them suffer in slavery until he was ready to let them up’ but the reality is that God did not want his people to suffer at all but needed to wait for the appointed time to arrive and for the appointed messenger to be born.
Application: We all want things to happen on our timetable as opposed to God’s. Being patient with God and allowing his plan to unfold according to his timetable can be extremely frustrating to experience but the blessing that we often experience as a result of being patient and waiting on God refines our character in the process which makes for a better result on the other side.
Prayer: Father, help us to be patient and wait on your time and your will to be revealed in our lives. I pray for those who are waiting on you and that you would not terry any longer than is needed and that you would grant an extra measure of grace and patient to those who are waiting for you to fulfill your promises in their lives as that time can be extremely long and hard to bear. Show them your love and mercy father! Amen.
Scripture: Exodus 1:17; 20
Observation: We read in this section of the book of Exodus that the people of Israel where increasing in population very rapidly while in Egypt and the Egyptians took steps to guard themselves by in-slaving the people and asking the midwives (who assisted in the delivery of babies) to kill the male children of the Hebrews. But, the story says that the ‘midwives feared God’ and did obey their master’s but instead let the male children live. The story goes on to say that God ‘dealt well’ with these women and allowed them to also have children.
Application: The decision to ‘honor God’ and ‘not follow’ the laws of men was a very brave choice that these women made as it involved great risk to themselves and their lives. We are faced with similar choices in many occasions in our lives. The easy answer is that we follow God no matter the cost to us but when the time comes to make that choice will be remain true to that decision? If we are faithful in following God then he (God) will be faithful in rewarding us.
Prayer: Father God, help me and others to make the difficult decision to follow you and make choices that are in line with your will and character even when they are in opposition to the will of man. And finally help us not to make these choices not because of what we will receive back from you but because of who you are! Amen.