Exceeding Expectations

Opening Prayer

Loving God, as I think about what You have done (and promised to do), my heart sings out to You in praise and thanksgiving.

Read Exodus 11:1–10

Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. 2 Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

4 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

9 The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.

Reflect

Think about promises God has made to you: either personally or through Scripture.

God had promised deliverance (3:8). Yet Pharaoh’s disobedience and defiance resulted in countless delays, difficulties and setbacks for the Israelites. But now, on the eve of the tenth and final plague, the promised deliverance is imminent (1a).
Furthermore, Pharaoh won’t simply “let” them go; so anxious will he be to get rid of them that he will “drive” them out (1b). The man who stubbornly resisted God’s command would soon urge, “Leave my people!” (12:31). And God doesn’t just engineer the great escape from Egypt—he ensures that his people won’t leave empty-handed (11:2,3). Events unfold just as God predicted (12:35,36). God’s
provision surpasses human expectations.
Despite the distinction between Egypt and Israel (11:7), God’s master-plan of salvation was never restricted to ethnic Israel. This is evident even at this early stage in the nation’s history, for when the Israelites finally made their escape, “Many other people went up with them…” (12:38). The choice of one nation was in order to bless all nations, fulfilling the covenant promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:3b).

Apply

As one who has experienced God’s blessings, in what ways are you being a conduit or channel of God’s blessing?

Closing prayer

God, show me how to not only be a blessing to someone today, but also to be a light for Your kingdom.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider