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February 2012

Plagues (of biblical proportions)

Exodus 9:1-35 If you watch news footage of disasters in the third world you see people who know what to do.  This is a sad time.  The people are sad.  They weep and wail and mourn.  And this is entirely appropriate. But watch news footage of disasters in the west and what do you see? […]

Taskmasters

Exodus 5:10-23 Moses and Aaron deliver the LORD’s message: “Let my people go” But Pharaoh is singularly unimpressed. “Who is the LORD?”  (Exodus 5:2) “I’ve heard of Ra, Amun, Osiris, Isis, Seth, Nephthys, these gods I know.  Who is this LORD??” Pharaoh has no time for weak men preaching a weak message about an unknown God.  […]

Let my people go

Exodus 5:1-9 Moses was 80 and his brother Aaron was 83 when they confronted Pharaoh.  They went as a double-act – Moses putting words in Aaron’s mouth. Their message has become famous Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go (Exodus 5:1) A chapter previously the LORD put it slightly differently: Israel […]

Putting words in his mouth

Exodus 4:1-17 If you accuse me of putting words in your mouth you’re probably complaining that I’m misrepresenting your views.  Perhaps I have elaborated on your statement in a way you never intended.  “Stop putting words in my mouth,” you’ll say. But the biblical origin of the phrase is a little different. In the Bible, […]

A land flowing with milk and honey

Exodus 3:14-22 Egypt was not a bad land.  In fact it was a very good land.  Genesis 13:10 describes it as “like the garden of the LORD”!  And under the wise and righteous rule of Joseph it had flourished, with the Israelites enjoying “the fat of the land.” But since Joseph had been forgotten (Exodus […]

I AM THAT I AM

Exodus 3:7-14 Recently Reebok ran an advertising campaign with the slogan “I am what I am.”  I wonder whether they knew they were ‘taking the LORD’s name in vain’? But actually, anyone who says “I am what I am” must be aware of what a divine pronouncement they’ve uttered.  They are giving a final word […]

Burning bush

Exodus 3:1-6 Usually when we talk of a “burning bush experience” we mean a divine encounter of grand proportions.  A happening so earth-shattering it awakens you to spiritual realities. Yet, when you think about it, a burning bush isn’t the most arresting vision conceivable.  In fact for the director of Exodus the Movie, the special […]

A stranger in a strange land

Exodus 2:11-25 Exhausted, the freedom fighter slumped by a well.  He had taken a risk, initiating a violent coup.  But now he’s a failed revolutionary without a friend in the world.  A week earlier he had been a prince in the most powerful court on earth.  Now, aged 40, he’s Egypt’s most wanted man. Moses’ […]

Fat of the land

Genesis 45:1-28 In English we say “the cream of the crop”.  In Hebrew they would say “the fat of the land” (Genesis 44:18).  Not that the ground is particularly oily (they’d also talk about “the fat of the wheat”; Psalm 81:16).  The fat is the best portion. And this is what Pharaoh offers to Joseph’s […]

Coat of many colours

Genesis 37:1-36 It has all the ingredients for a West End hit.  Jealousy, family intrigue, struggle through adversity, then vindication and reconciliation.  It’s a story that speaks to all.  Because it’s a story based on the original story – the true myth.  Joseph’s story is Jesus’ story told in advance. Joseph was one of the […]