Old Testament Studies

Lesson 8 - Exodus 8 & 9

 

EXODUS

Lesson 8 - Chapters 8 and 9

Last week we saw the plagues, or better “strokes” against Egypt, begin. The opening volley was that the Nile River was turned to blood. And, as we discussed, the Hebrew term for blood, dam, also denoted the color red, and meant blood-like; so the water in the Nile was almost certainly NOT real blood, but rather it was a blood-red color. It could have been something like a very severe Red Tide. And, the reason for us to conclude it was NOT actual blood is that it affected the Hebrews just as it did the Egyptians. The water stayed “bloody-red” for a full week. Even stored water turned red and rancid. A good portion of the Egyptians and Hebrews would have died if they had no water whatsoever to drink for a week. This event is pictured as a great wonder, not as an event of destruction and death. So, apparently by filtering the Nile water, most of the silt or red algae could be removed, making it drinkable.

However, the condition of the Nile also had the effect of killing off fish. Which undoubtedly had something to do with the form of the next stroke: frogs. It’s not that frogs were unusual for the Nile, its that there were so many, and that they moved quickly away from their normal habitat, the pools and puddles next to the great river, and into peoples homes. The putrid water was at least part of the cause of the frog infestation. And, we’ll find as we move along that each of these plagues occurred as a natural progression that we might normally find in nature as cause and effect. In other words, just as the water of the Nile became ill and resulted in killing off much of the life that the Nile supported, so the effect was to drive the frogs OUT of the Nile. And, when at Moses’ command the frogs died, we read of the Egyptians collecting them in great heaps, which decayed and sent a stench up all over the land.

Well, what usually happens in nature when we have decay? Insects come to feed on it. And, that’s what we’ll see next.

Now, just to be clear: I don’t want to paint a picture that what we have here is totally natural phenomenon and coincidence working together, with a nice Bible story wrapped around it. Rather, it’s that God used natural phenomenon, taken to an extreme level, and brought about at Moses’ command. This is typically the way the Lord seems to work. Even at the end of days when we read of “mountains” coming blazing out of the skies, and of the sun burning 10 times hotter, we’re undoubtedly reading of enormous meteors and comets striking the earth……as has happened before……and probably of high sun-spot activity (which is currently on the increase)…..all natural things but at a level never before known so as to upset nature’s delicate balance and cause catastrophic destruction.

Now we see God speak to Moses again, and He tells Moses to tell Aaron, Moses’ prophet, to use Moses’ shepherd’s staff, and strike the dust of the land with it. This is the 3rd plague. And, it is also the last plague of the 1st set of plagues. That is, previously we talked about the structure of the plagues as consisting of 3 sets, each set consisting of 3 plagues (3 times 3 = 9), with the 10th plague actually being the judgment for not giving in to all the other demands to free Israel. And, notice, that as with all 3 sets of plagues, the 3rd and last plague of each set comes unannounced to Pharaoh. That is, we don’t see here that Yehoveh tells Moses to go to Pharaoh. Rather, He simply instructs Moses to inflict the plague without any warning. It’s almost as though, in each of the 3 sets of plagues, that Pharaoh refusing to give in to the 2nd plague of each set, brought 2 punishments…..two plagues. Do you see this? With the 1st plague, Pharaoh’s warned, and the punishment occurs. With the 2nd plague, Pharaoh’s warned, and the punishment occurs……and then ANOTHER punishment follows. Two warnings, 3 plagues. Why? Don’t know. But, it is food for thought.

Anyway, upon striking the dust of the land, gazillions of gnats, sometimes its rendered “lice”, swarmed the land. Some say they may have been mosquitoes. These insects were apparently not unknown to the Egyptians, and although I can’t verify it, I suspect by their description that they were a variety of super-tiny insect that were very much like what we in the South call NoSeeUms. Having been to Egypt I can tell you that they most definitely have them there. It seems these little blood-suckers aren’t much bigger than a grain of dust, but they must be all teeth; because they can get inside anything and bite you in places I don’t EVEN want to talk about.

The insects also attacked the animals. Now, there is nothing here that says the attack of the Egyptian  NoSeeUms was deadly…….it must have been just irritating beyond their wildest nightmare. And, I remind you; it affected the Hebrews as well. So, we can set aside any thought that these insects were deadly. And, Pharaoh again turns to his magicians to discredit Moses and his god; but this time they couldn’t reproduce what God had done (the extent of their demonic abilities were now exhausted); and thankfully so, because, remember, all the magicians had been able to do was to mimic what God had done… and that meant ADD TO the plague and make it even worse. So, they acknowledge to Pharaoh that this is the work of God……quite an admission, because it tells Pharaoh that this is a god that he cannot order around, and who is very powerful and can do things they can’t. But, the Magicians are also saying that this was not the work of Moses and Aaron…. In other words, by the Egyptian way of thinking, Moses and Aaron were Hebrew magicians, and up to now, it seemed to be a battle of Egypt’s sorcerers against the Israelite sorcerers; and the Pharaoh’s sorcerers basically said, “it’s not our fault”; “it wasn’t a fair fight”….. that they didn’t lose to Moses and Aaron; they were defeated DIRECTLY by the Hebrew God. This is the sense of their statement “this is the finger of God”.

Further, the Hebrew word translated god, here, is Elohim; that is, the magicians said, “surely this is the work of elohim”. And, elohim is a somewhat generic word that means god or goddess, a divine ruler of some kind, etc. Now, when a Hebrew speaks of “elohim” usually he is specifically referring to God Almighty, Yehoveh. But, in this case, when it’s the words of the Egyptian sorcerers being quoted, it’s not like they understood or knew the Hebrew God, Yehoveh, nor were they giving Him His due honor… they just knew that this unknown “god”, this “elohim” of the Hebrews, was the one who caused the insects to come and swarm and that they and their Egyptian elohims, Egyptian gods, seemed to have no power to either imitate the miracle nor to stop it.  And, amazingly, even this frightening admission of their powerlessness in the face of the Hebrew God failed to sway Pharaoh. This leader cared not for his people or his nation’s well being; he cared only for his own personal pride and power. And, even more, Pharaoh now thoroughly understood, had there been any doubt at all, that he was doing battle more with God than Moses. Had there been even the slightest ignorance of this reality up to this point, it was now gone. Pharaoh was fully accountable for his actions.

Yehoveh again speaks to Moses, as he sends the demand once more to Pharaoh to free the Hebrews. Interestingly, it seems that we have seen some of the circumstances surrounding this coming 4th plague, before. God tells Moses to go confront Pharaoh where he “goes to the water”…..meaning where he goes to the Nile. This must certainly have been the same place Moses waited for Pharaoh before the first stroke, when the Nile was turned blood red. And, the consequences for NOT freeing Israel will be another attack of insects. But, there is a very important difference, now. This stroke, the 4th, is also the FIRST stroke of the second set of strokes. And, this begins a time when only the people of Egypt will feel its effects…….not the Hebrews. God says “But I will set apart the land of Goshen, where My people live”…….and…… “Yes, I will distinguish between My people and your people”.

Now, these insects were a known and dreaded species of fly, called by the locals “dog-flies”. They were a real problem, particularly as concerned the livestock. They tended to fasten themselves to moist areas on the animals, in the corners of their eyes, on the eyelids, and around the nostrils. There, they would deposit their eggs, and severe inflammation, up to and including blindness, even death, was the result. And, of course, as we are all too familiar with, flies bring diseases with them that affect humans. We are told that these flies simply took over the land. So, as with the other plagues, this was not a new phenomena…… these flies showed up from time to time. But, what was different was the intensity of their attack, and their number. And, they came at Moses’ command. But, by far the most perplexing matter for Pharaoh, his magicians, and the Egyptian people had to be that these dog-flies only infested Egyptian homes, people, and livestock. The Israelites were left unscathed.

Now, while God had certainly made His point that He sees Israel as separate and apart from Egypt, it couldn’t have made the relationship between the Hebrew and Egyptian people any easier. It’s human nature that suffering should be equally shared, right? One can imagine that the Egyptian citizens became pretty angry that the Israelites stood above this woe of flies that killed the livestock, from which no Egyptian….not even Pharaoh, could seem to escape.

People just hate it that one group thinks they are special; especially if those people are not part of that group. And, this is the situation for Believers today. Who among us have not been told that we’re pretty arrogant to think that we have a special place with God, because of our belief in Messiah, but they don’t? How often have we heard that Christians and Messianic Jews seem to think that we have something available to us……wisdom, love, blessing, favor…..that others don’t? And, it’s near impossible to explain to non-Believers that it’s not that we are somehow better than them (because we’re not); it’s that because of our trust and faith in Yeshua, it is God who has separated us FROM them. He distinguishes those who trust Him from everyone else; that principle and pattern is the very essence of Salvation, and it is demonstrated right here in Exodus. It’s the reason that the world has always hated Israel, and the reason that the world increasingly hates the Church, and always will.

The Church has become so sensitive to this hatred, especially as of late with the ideological war that has erupted with Islam, that many are going out of their way to say faith in pretty much any spiritual being is a good and valid faith; essentially pronouncing that God makes NO distinction among people or nations. The world’s reasoning is that you cannot simultaneously have distinction with tolerance; and after all, isn’t the Church supposed to be all about unity?  Distinction and tolerance are mutually exclusive. Therefore, say a loud and growing body of Church leaders, it must be that we ALL worship the same God…..whether we call him Allah, Buddha, Hindi or Yehoveh…..its just that all these poor misguided persons don’t know that they’re actually worshipping the Savior Jesus of Nazareth. Now, if you believe that, then I suppose you also believe that poor Pharaoh was actually worshipping the God of the Hebrews, and not his own Egyptian gods…..he was just ignorant.

Let me warn you as strongly as I can: God distinguishing one from another is all that separates you and I from an eternity apart from Him. And, that distinction is based on one thing alone: trust in the Savior He has provided, Yeshua of Nazareth. As nice and warm and fuzzy and peaceful and loving as it sounds to embrace all gods as THE God, do NOT buy in to this New Age tolerance that is rapidly being adopted by too many within the Church.

So, Pharaoh calls to Moses and Aaron, and says, go ahead and gather your people and have your festival and make your sacrifices to your god. But……do it in the land…..that is, don’t leave Egypt. Moses, all too aware that the Egyptian people, with their sick livestock and themselves covered with dog-fly bites, aren’t very happy with the Hebrews right about now, tells Pharaoh that if they hold their festival locally, the Egyptians will erupt. Instead, Moses says, let us go 3 days journey into the wilderness, the desert, as God has instructed, and hold the festival out of the sight of the Egyptian people. Pharaoh says, OK OK already, just don’t go too far!! But PLEASE go plead with your God to call off the attack of the dog-flies. Now, though it’s hard to discern from our English translations, Pharaoh has actually taken a significant step, here. In Vs 28 of the more typical Bibles, and Vs 24 of the older Hebrew Bible structure (like the blue bibles, the Complete Jewish Bible), Pharaoh tells Moses that he may take the Israelites and sacrifice to God, or to the Lord, or to Adonai, or something like that. Actually, the original Hebrew says “Yehoveh”, not Lord, not God, not Adonai. Pharaoh calls the Hebrew God by His personal name. This is quite a concession. There is actually some respect growing here, by Pharaoh, towards Yehoveh.

Further, understand that WHAT the Hebrews would be sacrificing…..oxen and cattle, among other animals….were divine to the Egyptians. If the Hebrews were to kill and burn up a bull (which they surely would have) in sight of the Egyptians (a bull is one of their MOST divine gods), it would have been a grievous offense and indeed the Egyptians would have sought terrible retribution. Notice that Moses didn’t mention to Pharaoh exactly what those sacrificial animals might be; he just said that for sure the Egyptian people would stone them.

Unfortunately, that still didn’t stop Pharaoh from reacting just as he had previously; as soon as the dog-flies left the next day, Pharaoh retracted his promise.

Let’s move on to chapter 9.

EXODUS Chapter 9

READ CHAPTER 9 all

Pharaoh’s heart has remained hard. Let’s recall that this hardening was a combination of Pharaoh beginning with a rebellious and hardened heart, and God intervening to further harden Pharaoh from time-to-time. For what purpose would God do this? He tells us directly why: that Egypt AND Israel……the people, the common folk……would see ALL these signs and wonders. It was important to God that every one of these 9 plagues come to pass…..Pharaoh was just God’s tool to show the people of Egypt the power of Yehoveh and the worthlessness of their own false gods and religion. Well, they ain’t seen nothin’ yet; we’re approaching the halfway point in the signs and wonders being manifested, and they’re about to take a jump in intensity.

Yehoveh sends Moses back to Pharaoh with essentially the same message as before: free My people. My people…….remember that we have learned that a particular Hebrew word is used when God is referring to the nation of Hebrews and not to any other group of people? That word is AMMI, or AMMIM. When the scriptures refer to non-Hebrews in the same context, it uses the Hebrew word GOYIM. The word in Vs. 1, “send free My people”, is AMMI. The Lord is dividing and separating the goyim, the gentiles, from the Hebrews.

The next plague, the next stroke, for Pharaoh once again refusing God’s demand, is a terrible sickness upon the livestock of the field. This stroke is the 5th; but it is also the 2nd plague of the 2nd SET of plagues. This entire 2nd set of plagues is reserved ONLY for the Egyptians, as opposed to the first set which affected everyone, Hebrews included, who lived on Egyptian soil. So, the livestock that will be struck down will ONLY be those animals belonging to Egyptians. Depending on your version, Vs 3 says horses, donkeys, and camels will be among those affected; and then your Bibles will say either herds and flocks, or oxen and sheep, will be struck as well. The Hebrew here is BAQAR and TSO’N. Baqar CAN mean oxen, but here it is better taken to mean cattle. For cattle were to the Egyptians what sheep were to the Israelites. It was their favorite, and most farmed, source of meat. Tso’n CAN mean sheep, goats, pretty much any kind of SMALL livestock. It can even mean small, or young, cattle. But, it refers specifically to animals eaten for food (as distinct from beasts of burden like donkeys or camels). In fact, it likely means, in this context “all of your small livestock”……every kind…….sheep, goats, pigs, young cattle. So, likely the essence of the statement in Vs3 means “every kind of livestock used for food that the Egyptians own, large and small”. What is NOT included in this are wild animals. They, apparently, were not affected since they were not owned by anyone… except God.

Now, Vs 6 tells us that ALL the livestock that belonged to the Egyptians died. But, NONE of the livestock of the Hebrews died. When Pharaoh heard rumors that the Israelite’s animals had survived, in absolute disbelief he sent officials to see if this was true, and it was verified. Yet, Pharaoh still would not relent.

As an aside: could it be that ALL, as the scriptures say, of the livestock of the Egyptians died?  Well, there is nothing in the wording to indicate otherwise. Sometimes we get good indications in certain Scripture that “all” is just an expression; that “all” or “forever” or “every” doesn’t really mean 100%. It just indicates the sense of “the vast majority”, “almost all”. However, in this case, the ALL seems to indicate ALL; as in every last one of the Egyptian’s livestock, large and small, perished. Now, what would have happened is that the Egyptians probably confiscated some of the Israelite’s livestock, and then purchased some additional stock from surrounding nations.  The world at that time was far more connected than most people today realize, and trade among nations was an everyday affair. But, no matter, this was a humiliating and devastating blow to the Egyptian people, and their food supply was greatly affected, as was their economy.

In Vs 8, we come to the unannounced 6th plague; this is the 3rd plague of the 2nd set of plagues. That is, Pharaoh received no warning. It’s as if each time Pharaoh refuses the 2nd demand in each set, there are TWO plagues as a response…..one announced, one not. I don’t want to overdue this concept of 3 sets of 3 Plagues, and all that entails, and make it an intellectual exercise. What I would like you to begin to really drink in, though, is that beginning with Genesis 1, we see God establish patterns, and types, and principles. God is a God of order. He is not a God of chaos or serendipity. The Scripture lays down many patterns and types for us, so that in our lives we can reasonably know the general nature of how our God responds to us and to various circumstances.  If this was not so, then history, including the history being given to us in the Bible, would be utterly useless except as a curiosity…..something to satisfy our love of knowledge. If history did not show us God’s patterns and principles, and if we did not see them constantly repeated, then we would have good reason to doubt an important pillar of our faith: God never changes. There is not even a shadow of turning, of changing, in Him. These patterns are great proof and reassurance of Yehoveh’s unchanging nature, and it means we can be confident that the way even the last days of the world play out, will be in the same patterns He has established since the Creation.  But, it also means that as we learn in our study of Torah, these principles and governing dynamics, we are to take the N.T. in that same context. It is in the Torah that these patterns and principles of God are established; it’s in the NT that they are brought to a fuller meaning by Yeshua, Jesus of Nazareth.

This 6th plague that is brought upon Egypt without warning, are painful boils, blisters that affect both man and beast. What kind of beast? That is not clear. The Hebrew word is behemah, and it can mean livestock, or it can mean every type of animal. Vs 8 & 9 say that Moses and Aaron were to be actively involved in making this plague occur. They were, by their own hands, to take soot and throw it into the air, where it would disperse, and land on all living creatures, and it would cause painful pustules to arise.  Not only could Pharaoh’s magicians not imitate this miracle, THEY also were afflicted with the boils. However, the HEBREW people were exempted.

Plagues of boils upon man and beast were a known happening, and they occurred for reasons unknown from time to time. There are many known diseases that cause blisters to occur……many of the “poxes” were are all familiar with, measles, but also terribly deadly things like Ebola. It does not appear, though, that this was a deadly disease; rather, it brought great discomfort. But, a plague of boils that affected ONLY the Egyptian people and animals, and NOT the Hebrews…..and one that was so extensive and catastrophic…..was unheard of. It was not natural.

When I hear of this description of a fine dust, soot, being thrown into the air, dispersed by the wind, and its contact with the skin of man and beast causing blistering……I cannot help but think of things like Mustard Gas, and the gassing of the Kurdish people by Saddam Hussein, and other terrible weapons developed by mankind. While I don’t think that this 6th plague is some veiled prophecy of the chemical weapons of our day, I do think that one is a satanic counterfeit of the other. These horrible 21st century weapons that can cause such agony and destruction have not been wrought by God, but by the Evil One, for the indiscriminate killing of mankind. It was for the Salvation of God’s people that God used this fine dust to cause pain only to those who held God’s people as their slaves, that they might know God and repent, and let His people go.

Without going into detail, the scriptures in Vs 12 tell us that Pharaoh’s heart remained strong-willed and hardened despite the pain even he was not exempted from, just as God had told Moshe it would be.

Yehoveh had attacked the Egyptians’ wealth, their livelihoods, their animals, their pride, their own bodies and laid low their gods and these god’s priests. As bad as the first 6 plagues had been, they were little as compared to the ferocity of the next set of 3. And, God gives Pharaoh, in Vs 14, a grave warning that “this time I will set my blows upon your heart…..”. The word used here for heart is different from version to version…..some say person, some say self, the CJB says “you”. The Hebrew word here is leb (labe) and it’s essence is that of the INNER self….a man’s soul where our conscience and our emotions and our wills and our sense of self resides. In other words, what was about to come would not just effect Pharaoh’s anger and stubbornness…..it would finally penetrate that thick head and skin of his…….attack his inner being……it would “hurt” far deeper than anything prior.

This 7th plague, the 1st plague of the 3rd set, would be hail of a size and intensity never before seen in Egypt. Hail, you say, in the desert? Sure. I was born and raised in the Mojave desert of California, and in the middle of a 120 degree day, I have seen hail fall during a thunderstorm. It was rare, it only happened every few years, but in an intense thunderstorm, wind causes rain droplets to be carried upward, into the higher, colder reaches of the atmosphere where they freeze, and are joined to other droplets, to form ice. And, they come down so fast that they hit the ground as blobs of hardened ice. Of course, they melt almost immediately, but I have seen entire crops wiped out from a hailstorm in mid-summer. Car windshields broken. Roof damage. But, vs. 18 says never in the history of Egypt had such hail fallen, as was about to. It would occur even as intense lightening was happening.

Back up in Vs 15 God wants Moses and Aaron to make clear to Pharaoh that God had actually been holding Himself back. That He had ONLY sent plagues, strokes, up to now, that did not bring wholesale destruction. Because, if He had, Egypt and the people of Egypt would have been no more. And, in Vs 16, God says the reason He has done this is not only that Israel might know Him, but that throughout the land of Egypt the people of Egypt would know Him and remember Him. This was no idle throw-in phrase to add a little drama. It might surprise you to know that up until a mere 35 years ago Egypt was a majority Christian nation. And, before that, from the time of the Roman Empire (even before Jesus), and on into the Middle Ages, Egypt was a center of Jewish religious authority and a center of Hebrew culture and learning. In fact, the city of Alexandria, Egypt and its outskirts had Jewish colonies that numbered more than one million Jews. And, today, we actually have had a lawsuit filed by some Egyptians demanding that Israel return, with interest, all the gold and other stuff they received from the Egyptians at the time of the Exodus. Egypt has, indeed, been impressed by those plagues, caused by Pharaoh’s hardened heart. And, they have remembered, and millions of Egyptians have entered eternity, saved by Jesus Christ. And, it’s all laid out, right here in Exodus.

In fact, look in Vs 20. Here we see that as a result of the first 6 plagues, some number of the Egyptian people had, indeed, learned that this god of the Hebrews was not to be trifled with. They now knew the power of Yehoveh, and many brought their livestock indoors, and into caves, and other shelter, and brought their field workers in from the fields and into their homes to protect them from the coming hail and lightening. Yet, as always, many more followed Pharaoh’s mindset and ignored the warning…..even though about once a month over the past six months, these terrible calamities had occurred, 4 of which came with prior warning.

And, we are reminded in Vs 26, that in the land of Goshen, that region of Egypt set apart for the Hebrews, the hail did not fall nor did the lightening strike. The Hebrews did not experience this devastation…..only the Egyptians. People were killed. Livestock were killed and damaged. Trees were destroyed. The field crops were smashed, and most of them lost. This time, even Pharaoh was moved. He called for Moses and Aaron and admitted, “I have sinned”. He asked Moses to plead with Yehoveh to stop this terrible catastrophe. He even said that he WANTED the Israelites to go….to leave.

Of course, it was not that Pharaoh had taken God into his heart. It was only that he fully understood that Yehoveh was real and powerful, and that he feared the consequences of disobedience. And, Moses said as much in Vs 30. Oh, what a monumental error it is to think that believing that God exists, and complying with His demands out of fear of consequences, is the basis for attaining righteousness and salvation.  We must trust God, Jesus Christ, and take Him into our hearts, and respond in obedience to Him out of love and gratitude.  As the Word says, even the demons believe that God is, and they tremble before Him. Even the demons obey God, just as they did when Jesus ordered them out of a man and into a herd of pigs. We are no different than Pharaoh, nor demons, if all we do is believe God is, and follow His commands out of the fear of repercussions if we don’t.

In verses 31 and 32, we get a pretty good idea of the time of year this hailstorm occurred, because were told that the barley was in ears, in the ripening stage, and the flax was in buds, just behind the development of the barley. But, that the wheat and the spelt (some think spelt is what we call buckwheat, others that it was rice) were not devastated because they were in the early stages of development. So, this would have been about the end of January or the first of February.

Despite the death, damage, and economic disaster of this 7th stroke, Pharaoh went back on his word to free Israel the minute he saw the lightening and hail stop. And, vs. 34 tells us that Pharaoh’s servants……meaning his government officials AND the citizens-at-large of Egypt……also hardened their hearts. But, how would this have manifested itself upon the Hebrews? What did this general hardening of Egypt toward Israel mean for the Israelites? The same thing it does now, 3300 years later; irrational hatred aimed at the Israelis, even though it means terrible hardship and calamity upon those who do the hating. Or, using the words the Bible uses, those who curse Israel will be themselves cursed.

Look at these Middle Eastern nations, today, who hate Israel, and curse Israel, and try over and over to do away with Israel. Iraq is now occupied territory. The Palestinians have 70% unemployment and live in terrible squalor and without hope. Egypt is a horribly poor nation. Iran sits on the edge of civil war and has the world lining up against it. Syria is police state. All these nations can think of, day in and day out, is how to destroy the homeland of the Jews. A Palestinian Arab friend of mine, Tass (who is currently living in the Gaza as a Christian missionary) told me that killing Jews and eradicating Israel is the driving force, the goal, behind every decision made by the Palestinians….it dominates their thoughts and their lives, even though it brings nothing but a life of poverty and deprivation. And, why? Is it that the Israelis sit on some kind of wealth……oil, minerals, precious metals? Israel has none of that. Do they have some enormous piece of land that the Middle Eastern Muslims need? No. It is a Satan driven hatred that brings nothing but self-destruction. But, it is also a God ordained consequence, inescapable, for those who hate Israel…….whether it was Pharaoh and Egypt in Moses’ day…..or the Palestinians and Iraqis and Arabs and most of the rest of the world, today. And, we Americans and those in the Church are not exempted from this either. You and I have a choice, just as Pharaoh had a choice: bless Israel or curse Israel. There is no neutrality. It frightens me to my toes when I watch our President criticize Israel for defending themselves. It turns my stomach when Jewish leaders forcefully dispossess Jews from the very land Yehoveh gave to them. It angers me red-faced when I hear Church leaders condemn Israel and side with the Arabs. Equating Israel hunting down terrorist leaders with Palestinian homicide bombers that indiscriminately blow up crowded public buses and pizzerias. A constant cry going out for even-handedness; to remove all distinctions. There is no even-handedness when choosing between good and evil. For your own good, and the good of your family and this nation, I ask you to bless Israel and do not be a curse to them. If you do NOT do this, then you are just like Pharaoh: oh, you may well believe that God is, you just don’t believe what He says. And, it WILL lead to destruction.

Next week we’ll get into chapter 10.

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