Plagues of Egypt (4)

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Flies

It was with the plague of flies that God choses to set His people apart for the Egyptians. The swarms of flies do not effect Goshen where the Israelites dwell. The Egyptians had to have been perplexed at why their fly god would put swarms upon them and leave the Israelites unaffected. This must have been true for Pharaoh as well, at least temporarily. He agrees to let the people sacrifice but not outside of the land as requested. He again hardens his heart when the plague is gone.

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Plagues of Egypt (3)

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Gnats (Lice)

The brevity of this plagues description draws focus on the Egyptians magicians. Until this point they have been recreating all of the plagues in an attempt to reduce God and dehumanize the occurrences. People still suffer from this urge today.  It is at this point that the magicians find themselves powerless to reproduce gnats from the dust and must give credit to the God of Israel, although this has no positive effect on Pharaoh.

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Plagues of Egypt (2)

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Frogs

Egyptians worshipped a frog goddess, represented by a frog. It was illegal to kill frogs do to the worship of this goddess. The plague of frogs could be viewed as using Egypt’s idols against them. The frogs covered the ground and all of the people’s belongings. They could not kill them so it must have been difficult to tip toe between all of them just trying to walk around. Then, after Pharaoh asked that the frogs be taken away and agrees to the demands of Moses, the frogs don’t disappear. God kills them in their place so that the Egyptians must now see how powerless the goddess is. First they overwhelm them and they die in front of them.

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Plagues of Egypt (1)

Nile Turned to Blood

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The Nile River was the focal point of the Egyptians. It was their life source. Turning it to blood made it worthless, killed all of its fish, created a great stink, took away drinking water and most importantly showed that the gods associated with the river had no power over the true God of this world! The fact that the water in vessels of wood and stone was also turned to blood removes the possibility of natural causes. Then God left the Nile this way for 7 days. The magicians that replicated this deed were now challenged to reverse the plague. They could not! This act showed God’s power and defies human explanation as well.

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PLAGUES OF EGYPYT (INTRO)

Exodus 7:14-12:32

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PLAGUE REFERENCE GOD
Nile Turned to Blood Exodus 7: 14-25 Khnum: guardian of the Nile

Hapi: spirit of the Nile

Osiris: giver of life (river was his blood steam)

Frogs Exodus 8: 1-15 Heqt: god of resurrection (form of frog)

Hapi: frog goddess of Egypt

Gnats (Lice) from dust Exodus 8: 16-19 Seb: Earth god of Egypt

Kheper: god of beetles an flies

Flies Exodus 8: 20-32 Uatchit: fly god of Egypt

Kheper: god of beetles an flies

Plague on Cattle Exodus 9: 1-7 Hathor: mother goddess (form of cow)

Apis: bull of Ptah, symbol of fertility

Mnevis: sacred bull of Heliopolis

Amon: god associated with bulls

Boils Exodus 9: 8-12 Imhotep: god of medicine

Sekhmet: goddess of epidemics

Serapis: god of healing

Hail Exodus 9: 13-35 Nut: sky goddess

Isis: goddess of life

Seth: protector of crops

Shu: god of the atmosphere

Locusts Exodus 10: 1-20 Serapia: protector from locusts

Isis: goddess of life

Seth: protector of crops

Darkness Exodus 10: 21-29 Re, Aten, Atum, Horas: All sun deities

Thoth: god of the moon

Death of the Firstborn Exodus 11: 1- 12-32 The deity of Pharaoh

Osiris: giver of life

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Everyone remembers the stories of the plagues of Egypt from Exodus. My first encounter was cartoon pictures on the wall of a Sunday school classroom! For the longest time I saw this part of the bible as God trying to open the eyes of Pharaoh. After some thought and a very enlightening bible study I saw God in a whole new light. The plagues served so many purposes. They showed the Israelites the power of the God they were about to follow out of Egypt. God showed Moses His power and instilled a faith in Moses that would last 40 years in the wilderness. God showed the Egyptians that the Israelites were sacred (set apart) to their God. My favorite and the reason for this post is God’s defiance of the gods of the Egyptians. They had faith that the gods they served and worshipped controlled their existence. I picture God with a little smile as he picked at the false gods of the Egyptians.

Continue on to the next 10 posts as we look into each of the plagues one by one and how each belief of the and the attachment to their gods were put on full display as futile, and how God’s Glory out shined them all.

Conclusion to The Beatitudes

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In the Sermon on the Plain Jesus again speaks of the contrast between the life of this world and the life that awaits those you live a life in His light. People who find this life to be one of absolute pleasure and happiness are receiving the rewards of this world as opposed to the infinitely better reward that is promised to those who are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

(Luke 6:20-26)

20b “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

 

21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

 

21b “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

25b “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

 

22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

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There is a great deal of danger in losing sight of the ultimate prize found only in God through Jesus. The pleasure of this world is nothing in comparison to the place God has made for His people. Stepping back from the reward of heaven I like to sit and think about how a life lead by Jesus Christ is a better life in general. Even without the reward of paradise the blessing we have the opportunity to be to this fallen world is right in front of us. How much more satisfying is it to give happiness to someone that needs your help? How wonderful is it to give a part of yourself to people knowing that will make an impact that stands the test of time? Imagine the legacy that all of us are capable of leaving if we use our time on this earth to shine as much light on this darkness as we possibly can. What joy is there in blending in? I feel that when people can’t understand why I’m not angry when people persecute me, or I give away gifts the Lord has blessed me with in excess of what I need; they are seeing me reflect the light of my savior to this world. The harder it is to shine the harder we must persevere. Darkness is the absence of light. If we allow our light s to dim in adversity the darkness will take over. In the end Jesus has already claimed victory at the cross. I’m here as a Christian soldier to represent my God who saved me from this darkness and adopted me as His child of light. In the end, representing God and my salvation is being a living version of the Beatitudes, a living version of my savior Jesus Christ.

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The Beatitudes (8)

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10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

It is inevitable that a life in Jesus Christ will not be easy as the world looks to destroy the things they do not understand. A world full of hardened hearts who groan as they are overtaken by sin look upon the faithful with contempt and hatred. The deceiver works in those people to cause trouble in an attempt to destroy faith. The easiest way to persevere is to cover the light of God in you and blend in to avoid attacks. This decision will help you blend into the sin of the world while you slowly lose touch with God. Over time people of great faith find life uncomfortable and painful as a heart once filled with the Holy Spirit grows hard as it blends with the other hardened hearts. A life of persecution should be smiled on as you realize you are becoming “set apart” (holy) in Christ likeness. At the same time we can rejoice knowing that discomfort here proves that we are better prepared for eternity in our real home, for ours is the kingdom of heaven.

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(Romans 8:35) 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

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The Beatitudes (7)

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“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Peace is an expression of our relationship with God and with those He brings into our life. God will bring people into our life to guide and love us. People who need to see our reflection of His light and will grow through the Holy Spirit in us. As well as people who will test our faith and cause us pain in order to sanctify and refine us. God desires reconciliation among His people just like He desired to reconcile His people with their Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. Those who strive for peace do the work of their father and grow as they become recognized as “sons of God.”

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(2 Corinthians 5:18-20) 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[c] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

The Beatitudes (6)

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“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Pureness of heart is clear only to the eyes of God. He knows your heart and its contents. The purification that occurs from within when Christ is invited to dwell there shows through in the life of believers. The contents of our heart guide our words, thoughts and actions. The source of all possible good within us comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our heart. A pure heart describes the previous beatitudes in summary. Being pure in heart comes from living in God’s light and reflecting it through the qualities Jesus desires for His followers. Pureness is a process achieved through sanctification. It’s the walk each believer has which God uniquely purifies them through trials designed to draw them closer to Him. Some fall away while faith creates holiness. That holiness is what will allow us to have fellowship with God in Heaven.

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(1 Peter 1:22-23) 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God

(Hebrews 12:14) 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.