Sunday, February 21, 2016

Daily Devotion for the Second Sunday in Lent 2016

Scripture Reading: Exodus 9:1-12 (NRSV)

When I read this passage, I always remember
the scene from O Brother Where Art Thou
when Delmar says, "Not the livestock!"
Now we are getting into two components that really should drive things as we think about the human condition: economics and health.

The striking of the livestock would be a direct hit to the wealth of Egypt. One might consider that if the Hebrews were slaves, what would prevent the Egyptians from simply taking their untouched cattle?

We don't have time to consider this possibility (and maybe the Egyptians didn't either) before the next plague strikes.

This time, boils cover their captors.  Even the magicians are afflicted and Moses is left unopposed except for Pharaoh.  We can see that the allies and resources of the oppressor are falling away.  Justice will come if ever slowly.  Over three thousand years later, Martin Luther King, Jr. recognizes this as he states, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

The hardness of the heart of Pharaoh symbolizes to us just how difficult change is.  How often have I hardened my own heart toward some change that took me by surprise?

Most of the time, I think we harden our hearts toward forgiveness of an injury done to us by another.  If I do this, do I call down a painful boil upon my heart?

Photo by psyberartist (cattle1a  Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Pastor, your Lenten Blog has added a new dimension to my daily devotions. I find myself holding my breath each day as Moses demands the release of the Israelites to go worship in the desert. I also wonder how could the magicians have duplicated some of those plagues? God Bless you in a special way.

    1. Thanks Steve - I'm glad it has been helpful. It is interesting to see how the story unfolds on a daily basis. As far as the duplication of the plagues, it is fascinating how the lore must have spoke to this before they wrote it down. I'm still working that around in my head as to why some and not others?