Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Daily Devotion for Day 12 of Lent 2016

Scripture Reading: Exodus 10:1-20 (NRSV)

Now the officials are putting pressure on Pharaoh rather than on the Israelites.  We see the tide turning from when the pressure was originally on the Hebrew people in making more bricks without straw and being punished if they didn't fulfill their original quotas.

For God to state that the reason behind all the plagues and the delays is to make the Egyptians look foolish seems to me an interpretation that was later inserted into the story rather than the actual words of God.  I do not believe that God is petty and this certainly implies pettiness on God's behalf.  A people that had arisen out of slavery might certainly need to cast them in this light as redemption for all of the years they struggled in servitude.  

It is not surprise that Pharaoh would only want to allow the men to go.  The women and children would serve as hostages to ensure their return.

However, we see the premium that God places on all the people going out to worship. Within this desire, we see God's system of value over the world's system.  Women and children are just as important as the men and if they are not all allowed to participate, then more trouble is on the way!

If we imagine that only children fuss,
we are fooling ourselves!
It is only relatively recently that women and children have been accorded human rights and these are still not universal depending upon the country or region. Sometimes people today would rather have the babies or children taken out if they are too noisy.  Youth sometimes whisper or play on their phones.  Yet, this passage seems to remind us that all are needed for worship.

What do we each need to do in our prayer life to have a more charitable attitude toward welcoming those who may seem different or have a different approach?

After all, I don't think any of us would like to see a return of the locusts!

Photo by Kyle Flood from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Waaah!) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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