Devotion in war time – 10 October 2023

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“Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.’ So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel” (Exod 1:8-12). There is a despicable brilliance to evil. Given enough time and planning, the enemy of God’s people can wreak terrible havoc and great harm. And when we find ourselves as victims of malicious plots, we can easily allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with fear, feeling as if there is nowhere safe in this world. But in all Pharaoh’s brillance, he did not know that history always repeats itself when it comes to fighting against God and his people. There are a number of striking parallels between Pharaoh’s schemes and Babylon’s rebellion against God. Pharaoh says, “Come, let us deal shrewdly” (Exod 1:10); The Babylonians say, “Come, let us make bricks” (Gen 11:3). Pharaoh proposes to enslave the Israelites to build cities of mortar and brick (Exod 1:11, 14). The Babylonians propose to build a city of mortar and brick (Gen 11:3-4). Pharaoh his set his mind to fight against God’s promise to multiply God’s people so they can fill the land (Exod 1:7, 9, 10). The Babylonian’s set their minds to fight against God’s desire for mankind to spread throughout the land (Gen 11:4). And I’m sad to say, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Romans, the Nazis, and the modern day terrorists have enough hell-bent ingenuity to destroy God’s people… BUT GOD! In the story of the Tower of Babel, God comes down, sees the brilliance of evil people who, if permitted, could completely destroy the entire planet, and he steps in to intervene (Gen 11:5-9). Pharaoh should have seen the handwriting etched in Babylon’s broken down walls of brick and mortar: “You cannot stop God from fulfilling his promises!” But he didn’t, and all his cities crumbled to the ground. And just as he promised, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Desperately wicked terrorists can plot and plan against God’s people all they want… BUT GOD! “Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; state a proposal, but it will not stand, for God is with us” (Isa 8:10).

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