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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson


December 2021

Notes on Exodus will resume on Monday 3rd Jan, 2022 God-willing

Meanwhile, through this week, I will be posting a brief, daily thought on my ‘A date with Jesus’ facebook page, and on the facebook page of the King’s church, Boston Spa.

Wishing you a very happy new year, and thank you again for your valued support.

God bless you,


Exodus 11:9,10: Workers together with God

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.

I am struck by the expression “my wonders”.

As we stand on the edge of a new year, I long to see those works which are so obviously God’s, no-one can argue otherwise. May His signs and wonders be in the church and in the world. May they be experienced “in Egypt.”

But, as so often in the Bible, we are confronted with a paradox: God’s wonders are performed by “Moses and Aaron.”

Here is an important truth: the Lord is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”, but it is “according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

As we celebrate the great wonder of the incarnation – God becoming human in Jesus – we know for sure that it was His wonder. It was His work, His miracle. But, He involved human actors – notably Mary and Joseph, but others too were handed scripts and given parts in the great drama.

Let us pray together that 2022 will be full of God’s wonders, and that by His grace and mercy many of us will be enabled to perform them.

PRAYER: Lord God, on this another Christmas Eve, I give myself to you afresh, praying that I may be an agent of your power in the world

Exodus 11:8,9: Foreknowledge

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.”

This doesn’t happen to me often, but just on occasions I will have a dream, and upon awaking I will know it’s not ‘just a dream’. God is speaking through it in some way. This happened to me just a few years ago, and I recognised that the Lord was showing me how I would feel as I went through a particular period in my life. It was a vivid pictorial portrayal of what was going to happen, and in the time since having this dream I have been increasingly grateful for how God spoke and prepared me.

All of that to say that because I believe the whole Bible, I am convinced that God can still speak to His people through visions, revelations, dreams, prophetic words, spiritual gifts, and so on. If God should speak to you in one of these ways, it’s not because you are more spiritual than anyone else. The wind of the Spirit blows where He wills. He is sovereign, and if He speaks to you (or through you) by some gift, it’s about His purpose for you. God meets His people and leads them in varied ways. Your story is not mine; your path is not mine.

Moses’ story involved prophecy, and knowing certain things in advance, as today’s short reading shows.

We can’t manufacture spiritual gifts, nor should anyone try to. But let’s endeavour to stay wide-open to God as we walk with Him. This surely also means an openness to the miraculous and supernatural.

Exodus 11:7: The blood makes the difference

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.

Once again we see that God’s people are a distinct people. He treats them differently. But on this occasion the people were themselves to be involved in marking themselves out as different, by applying the blood of the Passover lambs to their homes (12:7,13).

‘Previously they had been segregated by the Lord without any cooperative or obedient act of their own, but now, by command of the Lord, Israel must take a stand, self-declared as the people under the blood of the lamb.’ Alec Motyer: ‘The message of Exodus’, p.127.

As we approach Christmas we remember that Jesus was born to die. He came as the ultimate fulfilment of all that the Passover means:

“For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

It is being ‘under the blood’ of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world that makes all the difference. We are free from God’s wrath, not because of anything intrinsically good in ourselves, but because of the blood of Jesus applied to our hearts by faith. His blood cleanses from all sin.

‘Faith is not merely a thought of which I lay hold, a conviction that possesses me—it is a life. Faith brings the soul into direct contact with God, and the unseen things of heaven, but above all, with the blood of Jesus. It Is Not Possible to Believe in Victory over Satan by the Blood without Being Myself Brought Entirely under its Power. Belief in the power of the blood awakens in me a desire for an experience of its power in myself; each experience of its power makes belief in victory more glorious.’ Andrew Murray, The Power of the Blood of Jesus.

PRAYER: ‘Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me…’

Exodus 11:4-6: An unpopular truth

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.

If you read the story of the plagues carefully and attentively you can’t help but feel moved: the devastation, the loss of life, the pain and grief, the heartbreak of bereavement. We would have to be very hard-hearted to not be touched by this. In this passage we are witnessing the death of children. They would not all be children, but many would be. That is hard to cope with emotionally.

The doctrine of God’s judgment is not popular, and even for those who hold to it as a tenet of faith, we sometimes struggle with certain parts of the Bible, even as we believe them. But how can we discard them? If we are going to remove the ideas of God’s wrath and judgment from the Scriptures we will have to disembowel the Book.

Further, here are some points to keep in mind:

  • The Lord who gives life has the right to take it back again;
  • God’s judgment fell after a long time of forbearance, and He gave many opportunities for repentance. God is not only holy and just, He is also long-suffering (patient);
  • God can, and does, work out His judgments in history now;
  • But of all of this is but a prelude to the final judgment. As we saw yesterday, we can’t resist God’s Word for ever. Ultimately we must come face to face with Him.

Alec Motyer again writes helpfully about how serious disobedience is in the eyes of God;

‘On this point, by facing us with the horrific reality of the plagues, the book of Exodus speaks with unmistakable clarity to us as individuals and to the whole church. The great flood (Gen.9), the destruction of Sodom (Gen.19) and in the New Testament, the striking down of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) are all examples of the fact that the Lord sometimes gives a signal demonstration of how he feels and reacts. This is not because he intends on every occasion to act in the same way, but so that we may see into his mind, and fashion ourselves according to his serious concerns. The plagues reveal his love of obedience and his revulsion from disobedience.’ ‘The message of Exodus’, p.115.

It is only if we fail to grasp the ‘exceeding sinfulness of sin’ that we will find ourselves with an insoluble intellectual problem in reading ‘Exodus’ – and, indeed, this applies to the entire Bible.

Exodus 11:1-4: Dealing with God

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 neighbours for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (The Lord made the Egyptians favourably 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.

Here are two ways (among others) in which the final plague was going to be different to all the rest:

  1. It was going to work! (1b). Whereas it was known that the other plagues were preparatory and would be resisted (e.g. 3:19);
  2. Pharaoh and the Egyptians were going to encounter God Himself, without the involvement of human intermediaries: ‘All ten of the disasters inflicted on Egypt were acts of God, but the final one was outstandingly so, for in its performance the Lord in person entered Egypt to exact a just judgment (11:4; 12:12). In this regard the sequence of plagues illustrates the awesome biblical truth that the final issue for recalcitrant humanity is to come face to face with God. Divine patience and forbearance wait while every avenue of moral probation is offered, tried and exhausted, but…The word of God cannot be refused endlessly. There always has to be an end, a meeting with the God whom our refusals have offended to the point of finality.’ Alec Motyer: ‘The Message of Exodus’, p.126).

Exodus 11: 1 -3: The Lord will provide

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 neighbours for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (The Lord made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

As you seek to keep in step with the Spirit, He may tell you to do things which seem counter-intuitive (see verse2). But if God tells you to do it, He will arrange everything else to fit around your obedience (3). I think of Hudson Taylor’s statement that, ‘God’s work, done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.

As mentioned recently, Jilly and I are listening to an audio version of Brother Andrew’s book ‘God’s Smuggler.’ It contains some staggering stories of miraculous provision for Andrew and his family and ministry. But anyone who knows the story of the Bible will recognise that this is the God we serve. Again and again He has met the needs of His people in astounding ways.

“The cautious faith that never saws off a limb on which it is sitting, never learns that unattached limbs may find strange unaccountable ways of not falling.” Dallas Willard

Exodus 10:27-29: Who’s will be done?

But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”

29 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.”

‘No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.’ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

On occasions, the worst thing that could happen to a person would be for them to get what they wanted; to receive that for which they asked.

“And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul” (Ps.106:15 KJV).

As we will see, Moses (and Aaron) were not be involved in the final plague. They would not be intervening (at God’s behest) to stop this one. Pharaoh, and the Egyptians, were going to have to deal directly with God Himself. Pharaoh was going to get what he desired. But when it came to it, would it really be what he wanted?

Today’s reading reminded me of C.S.Lewis’ words, to the effect that in the final analysis there are only two types of people. There are those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, ‘Thy will be done!’

Exodus 10:24-26: Take the next step

Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”

25 But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. 26 Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”

Three things:

  1. As we have seen before, let us beware of reducing God’s demands (diluting His Word), whether for ourselves or for others (24);
  2. The worship God requires of His people, has sacrifice at its heart. There is a “must” and a “have to” about it. These Old Testament sacrifices, as we know, were preparatory. They foreshadowed the ‘wondrous’ Cross where Jesus would offer Himself as the one final, perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Today there are theological ‘Pharaoh’s’ at the bottom of the church’s garden, who would do away with any idea of a blood sacrifice. They see it as barbarous, and embarrassing. They believe it belongs to a more primitive era when people didn’t know any better. But in the Bible story, from Genesis to Revelation, the Cross stands tall: there is no other way to God other than through the poured out blood and broken body of Jesus;
  3. It is often the case that only when we “get there” do we see what the next step is (26). Only when we follow the light we have received will we have further light for the next move. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105ESV). David Pawson said this is a reference the the shepherd’s lantern, which only gave you enough light to see the next step. Then when you took it, you had light for the next one, and so on. At the moment, Jilly and I are listening to God’s Smuggler’, by Brother Andrew. What a great story it is!Just the other day I noted that a member of an intercessory group told Andrew he needed to learn to drive. ‘But’, Andrew objected, ‘I can’t drive.’ However, this praying man persisted in exhorting him to take lessons. He said, ‘It is often only after we have taken a step of obedience that we see why it was necessary.’ (Andrew was soon to be given a car for his missionary work in Eastern Europe!)

PRAYER: Help me Lord, to so walk with you that I hear your voice and obey your promptings

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