Daily Devotional: Exodus 10:21-29

God causes darkness to fall over the land of Egypt for three days. Unlike in the movie, Prince of Egypt, darkness also falls over Goshen—but the Hebrews have sources of light within their dwelling places—which is an important note for apologetics. Many philosophical attacks on the faith can be rebutted  simply by reading what the text actually claims. There is no need to defend the claim that there was light on one side of Egypt and no light on another—not even ambient light. That is not what happened according to the story. There is utter darkness everywhere that can be felt.

Pharaoh again offers to let the people go, but their livestock must be left behind. Moses counters by insisting that everyone and everything must go. Pharaoh threatens Moses by saying Moses shall never see him again. If Moses enters Pharaoh’s court again, he will have Moses put to death. Moses agrees that Pharaoh will never see his face again.

Ra is the sun god and chief deity of the Egyptians. It is said that Pharaoh is the son of Ra and ruler of the earth—the morning and evening star. Not even Ra could best Yahweh. There remains only one plague, the death of the firstborn in Egypt—a plague God warned about from the beginning (Exodus 4:23). With each sign, Pharaoh hardened his heart again. It is time.

Again, we see Pharaoh trying to overcome his own pride. Yet, he cannot. He has to hold onto something. The more he tries to hold on to anything, the more he loses—not unlike our own lives. Jesus teaches:

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom (Matthew 16:24-28).

Everything that encompasses our lives—theology, family, friends, comfort, riches, affluence, influence, employment, status, hobbies, education, etc…—is on the line. God’s call for every person among every nation has been clear from the beginning. Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. We cannot be His disciples if we don’t. It is precisely when we try to hold on to our lives that we lose them. So, we choose to follow Christ rather than our tradition, religion, ambition, sentiment, or peers. If we love one another, we will lead one another to Christ rather than anything lesser.

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