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The Plagues of Locusts and Darkness

The Plagues of Locusts and Darkness

There are two plagues in this chapter: Plague of Locusts and Plague of Darkness. These plagues mark the sinfulness of sin and warn us not to strive with our maker. We learn here that God is showing his mightiness and what all God can bring on the people/empire that goes against him. These are the very founding stones of our faith and trust in God. How like Pharaoh we are in a state of slavery to our sins and to the world.

The mere mention of the plague of darkness in the verse 21 runs jolts of shiver in our spine, “Darkness that was felt.” We all go through trials and tough times when we are praying for forgiveness of our own sins and find it hard to cope with. And these plagues are a perfect example of God making a difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites. We see very clearly that the people with sinful nature were in complete darkness and while those who put faiths in Lord were in light.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
2 and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them — so that you may know that I am the LORD.”
10 He said to them, “The LORD indeed will be with you, if ever I let your little ones go with you! Plainly, you have some evil purpose in mind.
14 The locusts came upon all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever shall be again.
21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.”
24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses, and said, “Go, worship the LORD. Only your flocks and your herds shall remain behind. Even your children may go with you.”

Let’s Pray: Lord, our God, Almighty Savior, we are grateful for all the mercies and blessings you have bestowed upon us. These chapters (Exodus) are making us know more and more about you and your powers, love, forgiveness. The more we read the more we are humbled and ever repent of our short comings. Lord, we pray that you guide us and keep us protected from any ungodly nature. Pure our hearts and let there be peace, love and compassion in all our hearts, behavior, deeds and words. Lord, help that we may be able to come closer to you and never leave the shelter of your love and blessings. Amen

Chapter 10: The Plagues of Locusts and Darkness
Eighth plague: locusts
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his officials, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them,
2 and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them — so that you may know that I am the LORD.”
3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me.
4 For if you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country.
5 They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They shall devour the last remnant left you after the hail, and they shall devour every tree of yours that grows in the field. 6 They shall fill your houses, and the houses of all your officials and of all the Egyptians — something that neither your parents nor your grandparents have seen, from the day they came on earth to this day.'” Then he turned and went out from Pharaoh.
7 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long shall this fellow be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God; do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?”
8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, worship the LORD your God! But which ones are to go?”
9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old; we will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, because we have the LORD’s festival to celebrate.”
10 He said to them, “The LORD indeed will be with you, if ever I let your little ones go with you! Plainly, you have some evil purpose in mind.
11 No, never! Your men may go and worship the LORD, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.
12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt, so that the locusts may come upon it and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.”
13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night; when morning came, the east wind had brought the locusts.
14 The locusts came upon all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever shall be again.
15 They covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was black; and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left; nothing green was left, no tree, no plant in the field, in all the land of Egypt.
16 Pharaoh hurriedly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you.
17 Do forgive my sin just this once, and pray to the LORD your God that at the least he remove this deadly thing from me.”
18 So he went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD.
19 The LORD changed the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt.
20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
Ninth plague: dense darkness
21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven so that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness that can be felt.”
22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was dense darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days.
23 People could not see one another, and for three days they could not move from where they were; but all the Israelites had light where they lived.
24 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses, and said, “Go, worship the LORD. Only your flocks and your herds shall remain behind. Even your children may go with you.”
25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings to sacrifice to the LORD our God.
26 Our livestock also must go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind, for we must choose some of them for the worship of the LORD our God, and we will not know what to use to worship the LORD until we arrive there.”
27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was unwilling to let them go.
28 Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Take care that you do not see my face again, for on the day you see my face you shall die.”
29 Moses said, “Just as you say! I will never see your face again.”

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What is Lent?

Lent

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is derived by counting back 40 days (not including Sundays) from Easter day. Ash Wednesday is so called because of the imposition of Ashes on the foreheads of faithful, which serve as a reminder of the call to repentance and to believe in the good news. The period of Lent is a reminder of the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before taking up the mission he received from his father.

Immediately after the sixth antitheses (5:21-48) in the Sermon on the Mount, there follows instructions on three practices that were common among the Pharisees as a sign of closeness to God namely, alms-giving, prayer and fasting. All three though only a means to reach god can be made ends in themselves. Alms-giving can be ostentatious, prayer can be used to show-off and fasting can be used to point to one’s self. Jesus cautions the listeners about these dangers and challenges them to make them all internal activities that will lead the way to God rather than being made ends in themselves. The focus thus is on motivation with which one does what one does. If the motivation for doing good is to win the admiration of the human beings, then that action is selfish and self motivated and so does no good at all. If the action is done out of a sense of duty or obligation, it cannot be called pure and is instead diluted. However, if one does the action and accepts that the reward is in the performing of the action itself, such an action can be salvific. This is the challenge not only of Ash Wednesday, but of the whole season of Lent, “to give and not to count the cost, to labor and to look for no reward.”

For us Christians, Jesus has simplified matters. There is absolutely no obligation to love. When there is love then all our nations come from our hearts and spontaneously without counting the cost. Alms-giving becomes generous and spontaneous, prayer becomes union with God and leads to action and fasting is done in order to show our dependence on God and not on earthly things. How often have made “means” ends in themselves?

Taken from the Daily Reading, God’s Word 2013.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in My Christianship

 

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The Flood

The flood

This chapter has both destruction and survival. At one hand we see that the God is protecting Noah and his family along with the clean animals, birds and other creatures. And on the other hand, God is bringing in the floods to destroy the unjust.
God couldn’t stand at the sight of His creation;’ shortcomings and decided to put an end to the sinful and pervasiveness of man on the earth. Are we part of the mass destruction by God or the graceful family of Noah who get saved?
Trust in God and He will give you a second chance. Take it, if you truly want to progress and advance.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.

And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

Let’s Pray: Lord, strengthen a new faith, so that I can be saved from my sinful and disgraceful ways of life. Lord, help me return to You in faith and in prayers. Amen

Chapter 7: The Flood
1 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.
2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate;
3 and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth.
4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.”
5 And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth.
7 And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.
8 Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground,
9 two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.
12 The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
13 On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons entered the ark,
14 they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind — every bird, every winged creature.
15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.
16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.
17 The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.
18 The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19 The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered;
20 the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.
21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings;
22 everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.
23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark.
24 And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred fifty days.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in My Christianship

 

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Noah Makes the Ark

noahs_ark

This chapter brings out a very different perspective of relationship between God and man. At one hand the sons of Gods were marrying the daughters of man. They were having children too, thus, projecting a very special bond. On the other hand however, man’s evil nature was never at rest. Man’s heart and thoughts were corrupt. Men were though walking with the God they were also drifting away from God due to their sinful indulgences. And, this displeased God and He was ready to destroy His own creation. Though, in this very chapter we also find that a man named Noah found grace in the eyes of the God. God, then commanded Noah to build an ark as if was going to bring great floods on the earth to destroy the evil ways of men. Noah, who walked with God, did everything as per God’s precision.

Quite a site it would have been -seeing Noah build an ark would seem like a stupid idea to the people around. And from here we can infer that it is only God who can foresee what is coming in the future. Have you wondered that at max we can play two days ahead with minutest details and rest is just our guess, for example how many of us can for sure tell that six months from now where we would be, with whom or even what we would be eating or wearing. We can never ever be too sure. Such is our life. But, if God is with us and if we allow His words to be our guide, then, God will foresee our future and will guide us accordingly. All we need to have is faith.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
The LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.

And the LORD was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
So the LORD said, “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created — people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the sight of the LORD.

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

Let’s Pray: God grant me the faith that I would believe in You and forever do Your will. Just like Noah- assist me with Your grace that I may be humble and sincere. Amen

Chapter 6: Noah Makes the Ark
1 When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them,
2 the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose.
3 Then the LORD said, “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.”
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days — and also afterward — when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.
The great flood
5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.
6 And the LORD was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created — people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the LORD.
9 These are the descendants of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation; Noah walked with God.
10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God saw that the earth was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth.
13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth.
14 Make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.
15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
16 Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and put the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks.
17 For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.
18 But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
19 And of every living thing, of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.
20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind shall come in to you, to keep them alive.
21 Also take with you every kind of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.”
22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in My Christianship

 

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The Fall of Man

The_Gates_of_Eden_by_noahbradley

Genesis is more than a story of origins, a theological reflection on the relationship between the holy creator, God and the sinful creature, humans.

What if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God? What if we were still dwelling in the presence of God. What if we had the most intimate relationship with god? All these questions take us to the place which we humans call utopia. We all wish for that perfect world where there is peace, love and humanity because these are just the attributions which are lacking in our real and not so perfect world.

The Garden of Eden didn’t get shared by our generation because of the first disobedience. And this temptation has costed generations after generations to wander, to be killed, to be doomed and many other calamities including floods, wars, epidemic etc. Now, imagine if a simple disobedience has been so dreadful, what about all the sinful things which we end up doing on a regular basis. At that time it was only Adam and Eve and now there are billions of us. The generations to come will be burdened by our sins and we as humans have a huge responsibility to look after the generations that are to come.

In this chapter we also see that the loving God may have banished Adam and Eve from the garden, He has not completely given up on them. He makes the clothes out of animal skin for them and looks after them even after being disobeyed. How much more can someone love and always love.

Now, is our time to reflect on how in moments of temptations to do wrong how are we going to act? It is time that we arm ourselves with the ‘Word of God’ so that we have answers for every eventuality in life.

The verse that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
“And the LORD God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.”

Let’s Pray: Lord, give me the strength to face temptations and overcome with Your strength so that I do not do my will but live according to Your will. Amen.

Chapter 3: The Fall of Man

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of
garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.'”
4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die;
5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.”
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”
14 The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you among all animals
and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
17 And to the man he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
21 And the LORD God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.
22 Then the LORD God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” —
23 therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.
24 He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in My Christianship

 

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