Sweet Smelling Offering or Reeking Mess?

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Exodus 7:25-8:2 (NIV)
Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country.

Exodus 7:25-8:2 (MSG)
Seven days went by after God had struck the Nile. God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘God’s Message: Release my people so they can worship me. If you refuse to release them, I’m warning you, I’ll hit the whole country with frogs.
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“Seven days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me. However, if you refuse to let them go, hear this: I am going to strike your entire land with frogs.” -AMPLIFIED

Seven days had passed since Jehovah had turned the waters across the land into blood. They must have been seven long, thirsty, smelly days. There was only one way to get drinking water; Scripture tells us, “And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.” There was no way to get enough water to bathe with though; so for seven days the ritual of the daily bath was put on hold.

We find that Pharaoh’s attitude is still one of rebellion. “Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart.” -Exodus 7:22-23 (NIV)

Seven long days have gone by and once again we find God talking to Moses. It is time to approach Pharaoh once again. “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” Just a simple request, but we will find that Pharaoh was still not budging.

God forewarns what the next plague will be; frogs. Frogs across the country. “The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.’” -Exodus 8:3-4 (NIV)

Once again God is taking aim at the false gods of Egypt; this time it was at the goddess Heqt. Heqt was depicted as a woman with a frog head. She was a symbol of life and fertility, but in this instance she became a curse not a blessing. Inadvertently their god Hapi was also affected once again. This god over the flooding of the Nile, which was so important to their lives, was now contaminated with an overabundance of amphibians.

One frog is kind of cute, but millions, not so much so. Frogs were everywhere, in the palace, bedrooms, beds, homes, water, and even in the ovens. How gross!

The thing was though, frogs were considered so sacred in Egypt that if you accidentally killed one it could be punishable by death. Now, envision what it would be like trying to walk, cook, or even sleep without walking on a frog, accidentally cooking a frog or rolling over on a frog while you were sleeping. This was an impossible situation!

Finally Pharaoh calls Moses and asks him to pray for Jehovah to take the frogs away. Even he realized that this was no coincidence or natural occurrence. ” Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”-Exodus 8:8 (NIV) So Moses prayed and God did as he asked. The frogs stopped coming, but the land reeked from their dead carcasses. “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.” -Exodus 8:15 (NIV)

Oh, what a stubborn, rebellious man Pharaoh was. Let us always be careful that we too are not like him. Our desire should be that we are a sweet smelling offering to God; not a reeking mess.

My Prayer:
Lord, may I keep my heart obedient to you always. Let me never allow anything to become an idol in my life. Help me to keep my heart and mind in tune with you and your desires for my life continually. Have your way in me and allow me to be a sweet smelling offering to you; I pray.

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