Monday, February 22, 2016

Daily Devotion for Day 11 of Lent 2016

Scripture Reading: Exodus 9:13-35 (NRSV)

There is nothing so awe-inspiring as skies heavy with rain and full of the potential for destruction.  Growing up in Oklahoma has allowed me to be outside to see weather pregnant with the possibility of hail, lightning or tornado.

Hail can still wipe out our food source
in an instant. We are fortunate to live with
a wide distribution of resources today.
I have also witnessed the aftermath of these storms. The devastation to a home is not something I would ever claim was a part of the divine plan.

I have seen hail ruin wheat crops where a farmer's season of work is erased in ten minutes.

Who could condemn the depression that can set in when such an event happens?

For those who work the land, hail is about the worst four-letter word of them all.

So what do we make of this particular plague in today's reading?  

As I re-read it, I keep coming back to the warning.  Those who took God's word seriously found shelter.  Those who laughed it off suffered loss.

In looking with a critical eye, if Egypt had just experienced all of the preceding plagues, who in their right mind wouldn't take precautions?

This seems to be saying that we often get what we deserve when we don't pay attention to God.  As the Bible leans toward moderation, we may find that our excesses get us into trouble.  The simplest example might be the rich meat-filled diet of most Americans which can lead to weight gain if we are not getting enough exercise.

On a harder note, when we don't forgive as God calls us to, we find our consciousness filled with angst rather than peace.

During Lent, this is the time when we take a strong look at ourselves and ask, "When have I left myself exposed to the hail?"

Photo by opengridscheduler posted on under the creative commons license.


  1. Perhaps Pharaoh figured that since the wheat and spelt crop would still make, that the Lord wasn't as powerful as He had thought. But the scripture says that Pharaoh sinned again by hardening his heart. But the Lord had already told Moses that He would harden Pharaoh's heart. It's like Pharaoh didn't really have a choice, God had already ordained his mind set to accomplish His purpose. Puzzling sometimes. Yeah, the story gets better and better-even after hearing it over again so many times!!

  2. Yes, I think that as this story was re-told, the interpretation of how God worked in their release was that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. When it was written, the concerns about free will were later constructs of which the original hearers were unconcerned!