Journal Entry // February 16, 2022
So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the LORD. And the LORD did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained.Exodus 8:30-31 ESV
There is always so many interesting and intriguing aspects to the account of the Exodus. It brings to life the character of God and the sinfulness of man so vividly. You can read through this account as you would any story and walk away thoroughly satisfied with the tale. If this is your normal reading then you are missing so much. I miss so much most of the time, even when I’m reading it slow and contemplating what God is revealing. There is something to learn from all four main characters (Moses, Aaron, Pharaoh, God) and sometimes I’m not ready to see and learn. Then sometimes, like today, I see things that have escaped my attention through the many other readings.
The part that caught my attention today is that during the plagues, Moses needed to pray and ask the Lord to stop each plague. I read in the account that God gave Moses a mission and even outlined to him what would happen each time. Specific details on how he and Aaron should deal with Pharaoh and even Pharaoh’s reaction. So I would naturally assume that Moses just needs to follow the outline and plan that God has given him. I have never really paid attention to the fact that Moses prayed and asked for God to stop each plague, when Pharaoh requested. God didn’t just stop the plague at the right and proper time. Moses needed to take the initiative to pray for God to relent and remove the plague. More than that, earlier it says Moses cried out to the Lord.
God listened to Moses and did as he asked… Look at the vital nature of prayer in this whole scene. It’s easy to look at Moses’ mission and calling as him going to bring the work of God upon the Egyptians and even the Israelites. But just as vital is the work that God is doing in the heart of Moses. It’s so simple to forget that there are no bystanders in the plan of God. That even a direct call and leading from the Lord still means that the prophet is being worked upon and not just an interested observer.
This was a key element of my failure previously. The calling and the mission to “others” became all that I focused on. I prioritized the work being done and not the God who called me. I was negligent in the little things (prayer, repentance, faith), which are actually the big things. God has Moses pray each time because it was important for him to stay grounded in who was leading. Can you imagine the pride that would sprout from my heart if I had worked these miracles? I would easily begin to think that I was a big deal. Yet Moses was being taught humility. Through this process, God was using him to do mighty things, but keeping him humble along the way.
This is key for me moving forward. All the good things that God does through me are a blessing and I should be thankful. I need to be driven to prayer. I need to be driven to humility. I need to be driven to repentance. I need to be driven to see my utter reliance upon the Holy One. I am a simple and weak man in the service of the Almighty. He includes me in his good work and it’s only by his good pleasure. In all of this he works primarily and firstly in my heart. Reforming my heart and mind to be obedient in holiness. Lord, teach me to pray. Lord, bring repentance to my heart. Lord build my faith. In all things bring humility.