I probably should be bothered by a plague of locusts filling the land. Or a darkness so severe that nobody moved for three days. But it seems, well, distant. A land covered in frogs? Weird, but who cares? Locusts all over – weren’t the fields already decimated? What’s the point? These plagues are horrible, but what’s their purpose? But just a brief look at ancient Egypt and the answer is obvious:
This was a showdown. YHWH versus the gods of Egypt. Egypt worshiped the god of the Nile, so God ruined the Nile. They worshiped the sun god, Ra, so God covered the land in darkness. They worshiped the god of the locusts, so God showed his power with locusts. And one by one, God speaks directly to the gods of Egypt and shows himself the victor.
These plagues aren’t random. They’re personal. And I wonder: what would a showdown between YHWH and the gods of North America look like? Complete economic collapse? Fuel stores tainted? Hideous personal disfigurements? Total communication breakdowns? Food stores rotting in warehouses?
How could we even survive that?
No wonder the officials were begging Pharaoh to let go.
And I’m awed by the power of our God. Humbled by his might. And for some reason, what stands out to me is that God came near. He is present. He doesn’t have a formulaic means of saving people (and his people needed saving often enough). He doesn’t have a checklist of how to get out of trouble. He spoke into their situation in their time of need in a response that was tailor made for his people.
— Kirsten K.
When does God seem distant and far off?
What does it mean to you to know that God is present?