The Plagues Continue
Open Your Bible
Exodus 8:1-32, Exodus 9:1-12, Psalm 104:24-30
I love how conversational the book of Exodus is. The Israelites’ whole journey of deliverance is marked by God’s steady presence and clear words of instruction spoken to His people through Moses. Or directly to Pharoah, through Moses. It never ceases to amaze me. As I’m sure you’ve experienced, there are so many times in life when God’s presence feels like more of a mystery. But in today’s passage, we know exactly what God is thinking—or at least what He wants to communicate to Pharaoh—because He says it.
“No flies will be there,” says God. “This way you will know that I, the LORD, am in the land” (Exodus 8:22). This statement makes me chuckle. It’s such a practical thing to say, isn’t it? There’s nothing that feels mysterious or mystical about flies. It’s just the way God chooses to reveal His presence to Pharaoh and assure him that His people are set apart from the others. The story continues, and so does this pattern. “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land,” says God yet again to the Egyptian leader as the plagues continue to unfold (Exodus 9:5). And it comes to pass. Over and over and over.
This phrase “the LORD [is] in the land” got me thinking: When do I know the Lord is near and present in my surroundings? Is there evidence? Some sign that I, and others, can see or hear? An indescribable deep knowing? Is it different every time, or are there patterns? Are there ways that God consistently reveals Himself to me?
I think there are. Even though the Holy Spirit is always with believers, there still seem to be moments that strike us or when we have an intimate sense of God’s presence and active movement in our lives. For me, it has to do with places full of green pastures and water—or certain words that get repeated often. It’s probably different for you. What we do know from Scripture is that God is with us and always at work, and He wants us to know it. He’ll even make sure our enemies know it, as we see through God’s exchanges with Pharaoh.
How can you tell when God’s “in the land?” Are there patterns to the ways He reminds you of His presence and redeeming work in your life?