Monday, February 27, 2017

Instruction Manual

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 20:1-17

TO CHEW ON: "And God spoke all these words..." Exodus 20:1

Suppose you got a new wristwatch. The advertising on the package says it can not only tell the time but it’s also an alarm clock and a stopwatch.

You take it out of the package. You put it on your wrist. But when you look at it a few minutes later, it isn’t even showing the right time, let alone doing all that other stuff. What do you need to do to get it working?

a. Push and press the stem and buttons to see if you can get it to work.
b. Talk to the watch, telling it what you want it to do.
c. Read the manual, then follow the instructions on how to set and use it.

Just like we need to read manuals (c.) to find out how to use our tools and gadgets, we also need a manual to tell us the best way to live. God has given us this manual in the Bible. One of the important places in the Bible where God clearly tells us how to live is in the Ten Commandments.

When God came down on Mt. Sinai, the people had to stay back. But God told Moses to climb the mountain and come close to Him. Then He told Moses ten rules for living. We call those rules the Ten Commandments. We still follow them today.


God gives Moses the Law - Artist unknown
God gives Moses the Law - Artist unknown
Using the Bible references, write the Ten Commandments in your own words below:
1. Exodus 20:3
2. Exodus 20:4
3. Exodus 20:7
4. Exodus 20:8
5. Exodus 20:12
6. Exodus 20:13
7. Exodus 20:14
8. Exodus 20:15
9. Exodus 20:16
10. Exodus 20:17

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that You know how we work best and tell us how to live so we can be happy. Thank You for these rules for living. Amen.

MORE: The Top Ten
Review God’s top ten rules for living. Which do you find the hardest to obey? Why?

Answers

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Fearful Otherness of God

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 19:16-25

TO CHEW ON: "On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain." Exodus 19:16,17

Who is the person you would most like to meet in the world?
Suppose you knew you were going to meet this person. What are some things you would do to get ready?

The day Moses and the people got to Mount Sinai in the Sinai Desert, God called Moses to meet with Him on the mountain. There He told Moses He Himself would come down and meet the people in three days. But first they had to get ready. They must wash their clothes and put a fence around the bottom of the mountain.

If you met the person you most wanted to meet, what are some of the things you might see?

limousine, flowers, police guards, red carpet, cheering fans, bands, parades

I wonder what the Israelites expected to see when they knew they would meet God. Perhaps they thought He might look like a fierce animal – a dragon or lion. Or perhaps they thought He would look like a royal king.

Finally it was the morning of the day God would appear. (Exodus 19:16-20)
1. What did the people hear?
2. What did they see?
3. How did they feel?


"The Giving of the Law Upon Mt. Sinai" by Gustave Dore
"The Giving of the Law Upon Mt. Sinai" by Gustave Dore
When God showed Himself, He was awesome, powerful and fearful. He was so bright, smoke had to shield His glory from their eyes. He was so holy, the people couldn’t touch the mountain where His presence rested or they would die (that's why God had told them to build a fence). And even so He had only shown a small part of who He was.

PRAYER: God, You are holy, fearful and awesome. I worship you. Amen


MORE: When God comes
Several stories in the Bible tell of times when God came to people in different ways.

Read these Scriptures if you need help:
1 Samuel 3:1-11
Daniel 5:1-7
Acts 5:1-10


Answers

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Taking Advice

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 18:13-27

TO CHEW ON: "Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said." Exodus 18:24

One day Moses got some important visitors. His father-in-law Jethro brought Moses’ wife and two sons to be with him. They had a wonderful family reunion and Moses told them the incredible story of how God brought them out of Egypt

The next day, Moses took Jethro to work with him. Continue telling the story by choosing the best ending:

1. Jethro saw that all day: (Exodus 18:13):
a] Moses gathered manna.
b] Moses made plans for traveling.
c] Moses judged the people.

2. He said to Moses: (Exodus 18:17):
a] “What you are doing is not good.”
b] “The way you do this is brilliant.”
c] “Why are you so lazy?”

3. Jethro had a better way for Moses to do all that judging. He told Moses, he should: (Exodus 18:20-22):
a] let people decide things for themselves.
b] train others to judge the easy cases and Moses would judge only the hard ones.
c] scold the people for being so quarrelsome.

"Jethro and Moses" by James Tissot
"Jethro and Moses" by James Tissot

4. When Moses heard Jethro’s advice he: (Exodus 18:24)
a] listened to it and did what Jethro said.
b] argued with Jethro about why he really needed to judge everyone.
c] was upset because Jethro had criticized him.

What do you think of Jethro’s advice? Can you think of other ways Moses’ problem could have been solved?

If even wise men like Moses can learn from the advice of others, we should do the same!

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to listen to the advice of parents, teachers and others who are wise. Amen.


MORE: Whose Advice?

Though asking for and taking advice is good, it’s also important to remember that we shouldn’t take the advice of just anyone.
Some things we can ask ourselves when choosing an adviser about a situation are:
1) does this person have special knowledge about this?
2) does this person have experience with this?
3) does this person care about me and have my interest at heart?
4) has this person given good advice in the past?

Whose advice would you ask for in these situations? Pick from the list of possible advisers at the bottom – or think of the name of someone you know.

1. You have bad stomach aches.
2. You can’t understand your math assignment.
3. There is a bully at school who constantly harasses you.
4. You want to know more about God.
5. Your friend is in trouble.

Doctor, Teacher, Pastor, Counselor, Parent, Grandparent, Friend, Sunday School teacher.

Answers

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Unseen Soldier

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 17:8-15

TO CHEW ON: "So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning." Exodus 17:10,11

As the dust clouds on the horizon got bigger, word spread through the camp: “Someone is coming!” Soon the Israelites could make out galloping camels and on their backs, desert nomads. It was the Amalekites. Did they come in peace or war? Before the men could get organized, the raiders reached the camp and attacked.

The Bible doesn’t tell us if the Amalekites came to kill people or to steal the stuff. But we do know that soon after this attack, Moses told Joshua to pick some men and go after those quarrelsome Amalekites.

While the men fought, Moses stood on a hill above the battle, watching and raising his hands as a prayer for God’s help. Soon he noticed an interesting thing. As long as his arms were up, the Israelites were winning. But as soon as his arms got tired and he put them down, the Amalekites were winning.

Moses on the mountain during the battle - James Tissot
"Moses on the mountain during the battle" - James Tissot
1. How did Moses solve the problem of keeping his arms up? (Ex. 17:12)
2. Who finally won the battle? (Exodus 17:13)
3. What two things did the Israelites need to win this battle?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for helping us in our battles. Amen

MORE: Fighting Your Battles
Though you probably don’t fight enemies with swords on camels, like the Israelites did, I’m sure your battles are just as real.

- What battles do you fight?

- You too can win those battles with the two things the Israelites used: 1. Prayer and 2. Actions.

Next time you face a hard test at school, are having trouble with a bully, are trying out for the team – or whatever your ‘battle’ -- ask someone (parents, grandparents, friend, Sunday School teacher) to hold up their hands for you in prayer. Then go out with confidence to do what you need to do, and win your battle!

Answers

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

grumble Grumble GRUMBLE

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 16:1-12

TO CHEW ON: "The Lord said to Moses, 'I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’ ” - Exodus 16:11-12

Yesterday the Israelites grumbled about no water. Today they are grumbling about not enough food. In fact, they are in such a bad mood, they’re ready to go back to Egypt for just one of those great Egyptian meals!

God heard the people. He told Moses what He would do (Exodus 16:11,12): unscramble the words.
1. In the evening God would send (tmea) __________.
2. In the morning He would rain down (debar) __________.

Gathering manna - by James Tissot
Gathering manna by James Tissot
The bread God sent the Israelites every morning was called manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey (Exodus 16:31).

coriander seed
Coriander seed

Think about it:
3. What does it mean to grumble?

4. What do you think - did the Israelites grumble too much?
In what other ways could they have told Moses and God what they needed and wanted?

5. How do you get your food?
Is God involved in any way?

Of course you would never grumble about food, would you?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for supplying my food. Amen.

MORE: A Food Prayer
A prayer of blessing and thanks for the food before or after we eat reminds us that it’s really God whom we should thank for our food.

1. A before- or after-meal prayer for food is called: __________ a] repentance; b] confession; c] grace; d] whining.

2. Write out your favorite food prayer – or make up a new one.

3. Learn some new table graces (mealtime prayers) at this web site.

Answers


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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I need a drink

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 15:22-27

TO CHEW ON: " He said, 'If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.' ” Exodus 15:26

Think of a time you were very thirsty. What did it feel like? What did you want more than anything?

After the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea, Moses led the people into the desert. A desert is a dry place. It is often hot. As the people walked through the desert, they took sips from their water bottles. But soon all their water was gone. And they
found no water for three days!

Desert landscape

Walking anywhere for three days with little or no water is bad. But walking through the hot dry desert without water is scary. It’s no wonder when they got to a place with water, they went straight to it. A drink at last!

But no. The water tasted bitter. It probably isn’t even safe.

1.What did the people do after they taste the bitter water? (Exodus 15:24)
What do you think you would have done if you’d been there? Why?

2. What did Moses do? (Exodus 15:25)

3. What instructions did God give Moses to make the water drinkable? (Exodus 15:25)

Again God showed the Israelites that He could take care of them. Not only did He supply water, but He promised if they would obey Him, He would keep them from getting sick and would heal them.

Think of something you need. Just like God gave the Israelites what they needed – water and health – He can also supply the things you need. Talk to God instead of grumbling about it.

PRAYER: Dear God, one thing I need is _______. Help me to trust You for this. Amen
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

MORE: Water – Sweet!
Water is one of the most important substances on earth. Make a list all the ways you use water in a day.

Answers

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Amazing Escape

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 14:15-31

TO CHEW ON: "And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant." Exodus 14:31

Even after God spoke to him, Moses kept crying to God for help. Finally God interrupted Moses’ frantic prayer. “Stop praying,” God said. “Get busy. Here’s my plan.”

The waters are divided by James Tissot
The waters are divided by James Tissot
Read the story in Exodus 14:15-31, then cross out the three things, below, that did not happen:

1. Moses stretched out his staff toward the sea.
2. The cloud came between the Israelites and the Egyptian army.
3. The Egyptians bothered the Israelites all night.
4. An east wind turned the sea into dry land.
5. The Israelites waded through the sea in waist-deep water.
6. The Israelites walked across the sea on dry ground.
7. The Egyptian army followed the Israelites into the sea.
8. The Egyptian army became confused.
9. When Moses gave the signal, the sea rushed back into place.
10. Some of the Egyptians got across in canoes.
11. The whole Egyptian army drowned in the sea that day.

The Egyptians are destroyed - by James Tissot
The Egyptians are destroyed by James Tissot
What an amazing escape! And with it, God did more than one thing. He not only freed the Israelites from slavery to the Egyptians. He also showed them He was a God to fear, respect, and trust.

PRAYER: You are a God who does miracles. Help me to trust You with my problems. Amen.

MORE: Tight spots "Who Am I?"
Many other Bible characters found themselves in tight spots. Put the correct person’s name in the blank. (Need help? Names and Bible story references are below).

1. An Angel helped me get out of prison. I am ______________

2. I prayed for rain after God sent me to tell the king three years of drought were over. I am ____________

3. I got very sick and the prophet told me I would die. Then I prayed and God gave me 15 more years to live. I am ______________

4. When the host ran out of wine at the wedding, people came to me for help. I am __________

5. When we were in jail God sent an earthquake, that loosened our chains. We are ___________

Jesus - John 2:1-10
Paul and Silas - Acts 16:22-28
Elijah - I Kings 18:1-2, 41-45
Hezekiah - 2 Kings 20:1-6
Peter - Acts 12:5-10

Answers

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Trapped!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 14:1-14

TO CHEW ON: "Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.' Exodus 14:13,14

After a few days of traveling in the desert, the Israelites’ excitement at being free started to wear thin. Even though they were no longer slaves, walking for miles every day under the hot sun wasn’t exactly easy either.

But one thing this crowd of about two million people didn’t need to worry about was getting lost. From the beginning God showed them the way. In the day He led them with a cloud. In the night that cloud lit up as if filled with fire. Whenever the cloud moved, the Israelites moved. When it stopped, they camped.

Israelites leaving Egypt - Artist unknown
Israelites leaving Egypt - Artist unknown
In a few days they found themselves camped in a dead end, between rocks, desert and the sea. But God had led them here, so it must be okay.

Meanwhile back in Egypt, Pharaoh couldn’t believe he let the Israelites go. What was he thinking? Such a huge crowd couldn’t move fast, though. They wouldn’t be far away. He would go after them and bring them back.

The Israelites were shocked when sand clouds turned into horses and chariots. “The Egyptians are coming!” they cried to Moses. “Why have you brought us here?”

How did Moses answer them (Exodus 14:14)? Choose the right answer.
1. Get your bows and arrows ready!
2. I’m sorry, I guess I didn’t hear God right.
3. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Could it be God had a plan?

But what could He possibly do? The Egyptian army was coming closer by the minute. There was no way out but to climb the rocks or dive into the water. It looked hopeless.

Figuring out what God’s plan was, was not what those people needed to do. Neither is it what we need to do when we’re in trouble. Rather, we need to trust God and do what He says.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to trust You, then obey and do what You tell me to do. Amen.

MORE: In a squeeze
1. Have you ever been in a tight spot? What happened?
2. Are you in such a spot now?
- What does this story show about God?
- What does this story show about people who trust in God?
- What can you do about the problem you’re in?

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Free at last

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 12:29-36

TO CHEW ON: "During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, 'Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested.' ” Exodus 12:31

Imagine that first Passover night. Your family did exactly what Moses said. Your dad killed the lamb and painted its blood on the doorframe. Your Mom roasted the lamb’s meat. Then your family ate it with herbs and flat bread. For this meal you were dressed and ready to leave at a moment’s notice. But you weren’t allowed outside because God had said to stay in until morning.

Pharaoh commands Moses to leave Egypt - by James Tissot
Pharaoh commands Moses to leave Egypt - by James Tissot
Just after midnight the wailing from the Egyptians began. It woke you as it got louder, spreading from house to house. Soon there was crying everywhere – from the poorest servant’s shack to Pharaoh’s palace. For in every Egyptian house, including Pharaoh’s palace, the firstborn son had died.

Pharaoh sent for Moses. “Take your flocks and your families,” he shouted. “Take everything and get out!”

As the sun rose on a new day, your family packed. You packed your clothes, your pets, your toys, your dishes, your beds. You gathered all your animals. Then you and your family joined the noisy, happy parade of Israelites following Moses out of Egypt.

After all the times Pharaoh had said no, did you think it would ever happen? But it did because God promised.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for keeping Your promises. Amen.

MORE: Moving Day
Have you ever moved? Was your move across town, across the country or across the world?
- How would moving in our time be like the Israelites’ move?
- How would it be different?

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Life-saving Blood

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 12:21-28

TO CHEW ON: "When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down." Exodus 12:23

As God had told Moses, Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt. Through frogs, gnats, flies, sick cattle, boils, hail, locusts and darkness, he didn’t budge. But God was not finished with him. God told Moses and Aaron what He would do next.

The first born son of every family in Egypt would die. It would happen at midnight.

But God would not kill anyone in the homes of the Israelites IF they followed His instructions. Solve the crossword using the Bible references and find out what God told each family to do.

Created with Puzzlemaker on DiscoveryEducation.com.
(Click on puzzle to enlarge and print)


- Each family was to take a (9 across - Exodus12:3).

- They were to kill it at (1 down - Exodus12:6).

- With (3 across - Exodus12:22) they were to paint the lamb’s blood on the (2 down [plural] Exodus12:22).

- Then they were to (6 across - Exodus12:9) the lamb and eat it with (10 across) and (5 down - Exodus12:8) with no yeast.

- They were to eat it in (8 across) and dressed ready to (7 down – Exodus 12:11).

- No one should leave the house until (4 across - Exodus12:22).

Painting blood on the doorframe
by James Tissot .

Painting blood on the doorframe - by James Tissot



That night God would visit Egypt. When He saw the lamb’s blood painted on the door frames of the house, He would pass it and no one inside would die.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this story which reminds us of Jesus’ blood and how He died instead of us. Amen.

MORE: The meaning of it all.
What was this special sacrifice and meal called?

A. Notice the red boxes in the puzzle above? Write down the letters in each red box, then unscramble them to make the name God called this sacrifice and meal (Exodus 12:27)

B. Why was that a good name for it?


Answers

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Long Night

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 10:21-29

TO CHEW ON: 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.”
 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.” Exodus 10:28,29


What is the darkest place you have ever been? Did you know that in complete darkness you can’t see the step in front of you or your fingers right in front of your eyes?

When Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go after everything that had happened (Nile water turned to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, sick cattle, boils, hailstones and locusts), God sent darkness.

Imagine sleeping all night but in the morning when it’s time to get up – no light! And then imagine only heavy darkness through a second day, and a third. The people began to panic. What if it always stayed dark? What if the sun never came out again?


The plague of Darkness by Gustave Dore
But, was it dark where the Israelites lived? ___________ (Exodus 10:23).

After three days Moses got this message, “Come to the palace. Pharaoh wants to talk.”

However, when Moses and Aaron came, Pharaoh wanted to make his own rules. “The people can go,” he said. “Even the children. But you must leave your animals here.”

“No way!” was Moses’ reply. “Not a hoof will be left behind.”

Pharaoh lost his temper. What did he shout at Moses and Aaron as they left? _______ (Exodus 10:28).

PRAYER: Dear God, You knew how to wear down Pharaoh. Thank You that You still know how to wear down the hearts of those who are Your enemies. Amen.


MORE: Amon-Ra
The plague of darkness would have been especially frightening to the Egyptian people and Pharaoh because they worshiped the sun as their most important god (Amon-Ra). They thought Pharaoh was this god in human form. Can you imagine how they felt when for three days the sun didn’t show up – and even Pharaoh, who was supposed to have a god's power, couldn’t do anything about it?

Answers

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Frogs, Gnats, Flies and a Hard Heart

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 2:20-32

TO CHEW ON: " And the Lord did what Moses asked. The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained. But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go." Exodus 8:31,32

Have you ever been caught in a plague of creatures or insects? Maybe the trees in your town were attacked by tent caterpillars. Or your home was invaded by ants. I heard of a city in India that was overrun with monkeys.

What was your plague?
How long did it last?
How did it end?

This is what happened to the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites leave Egypt.

Nile river is turned to blood - by James Tissot
Nile river is turned to blood - by James Tissot
First Moses turned the Nile River into blood. Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go.

Then came the plague of frogs. Imagine frogs everywhere, jumping onto your bed, into your glass of milk, up your pant leg. Still Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go.
frogs

After the frogs came a plague of gnats. Though the Egyptian magicians could copy the rod-snake thing, turn water into blood and call out frogs, they were stopped at the gnats.

“This is God,” they said to Pharaoh.

But the gnats made no difference to Pharaoh. He wouldn't let the people go.


flies
Then came the

Plague of flies

Swarms of them
in the air
on the chair
and the stair
in your hair
everywhere!

But the flies didn't change Pharaoh's mind either. After the first four plagues his heart was still hard. He refused to let the Israelites go.

PRAYER: Dear God, when we see Your power in the big and little things of nature, we are amazed. Amen.

MORE: What Next?!
When Pharaoh kept on being stubborn, God sent MORE PLAGUES!

Plague 5 – All Egyptian livestock (cattle, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, camels) got sick and died. Read about it in Exodus 9:1-7

Fifth plague - Egyptian livestock die - Artist unknown
Fifth plague - Egyptian livestock die - Artist unknown
Plague 6 – Boils (pussy sores) on people and animals. Read about it in Exodus 9:8-12

Plague 7 – A thunder-lightning-hailstorm which flattened fields and stripped the trees. Read about it in Exodus 9:22-26

Plague 8 – Locusts (a grasshopper-type insect). They ate everything that was left after the storm. Read about it in Exodus 10:13-20

In spite of all these things Pharaoh still refused to let the Israelites go.

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Round One

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 7:1-13

TO CHEW ON: Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it. Exodus 7:4b, 5

Suppose someone told you to do something but at the same time told you that you would fail? Wouldn’t you be tempted to ask what’s the use and then not do it?

This is what happened to Moses and Aaron. When God told them about talking to Pharaoh, He said He would harden Pharaoh’s heart. At first Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron.

But God also told Moses the end of the story. In the end God would judge the Egyptians for mistreating the Israelites. The Israelites would be allowed to leave Egypt.

Many things in life are the same way. We may not have friends on the first day at a new school, but if we keep being friendly, we will make new friends. We may not understand the math lesson the first time the teacher explains it, but if we keep trying, finally we’ll get it. Our soccer team may not win at first, but if we keep practicing, we will get better. The secret is to ask God for help with our problems, then trust Him and not give up.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me not to give up but to keep trusting You no matter how bad things look. Amen.

MORE: Snake Showdown

What happened when Moses and Aaron showed Pharaoh what God could do with a shepherd’s rod?

Pharaoh watches Moses turn a rod into a snake - Artist unknown
Pharaoh watches Moses turn a rod into a snake - Artist unknown
Choose the best answer (Check Exodus 7:10-13 if you need help)
1. When Aaron threw his rod down
a] it became blood
b] it became a snake
c] it became a frog

2. Pharaoh saw this and
a] ran away
b] listened to Moses
c] sent for his magicians.

3. When the Egyptian magicians turned their rods into snakes as well
a] all the snakes slithered into the Nile
b] Aaron’s snake swallowed the magicians’ snakes.
c] the magicians’ snakes swallowed Aaron’s snake.


4. After Pharaoh saw this he
a] still refused to listen.
b] fell on the ground, afraid.
c] told Moses and the Israelites to leave the land before sunset.

Answers

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Brick Brouhaha

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 5:1-23

TO CHEW ON: "Moses returned to the Lord and said, 'Why, Lord, have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.'" Genesis 5:22,23

Moses hurried back to Egypt after God talked to him from the burning bush. Sure enough, on his way he met Aaron, just as God had said. When they got back to Egypt, they called a meeting of the Israelite leaders. Moses told them what God wanted him to do and showed them the signs God had given him. The leaders were overjoyed and worshiped God. Now they would no longer be slaves.

NOT!

For when Moses and Aaron talked to Pharaoh, he laughed at them. “Who is the Lord that I should obey him and let Israel go?” he scoffed.

The Israelites were working for Pharaoh as slaves. They worked on his building projects. One of the things they had to do was make bricks for the Egyptian palaces, temples and pyramids.

Egyptian ruins
Egyptian ruins showing brick construction
Now Pharaoh made a new rule. Instead of giving the workers straw to make bricks, the Israelite slaves would have to find their own straw and still make as many bricks as before.

“No fair!” said their Israelite bosses. But when the workers could no longer make their daily quota of bricks, the Egyptian slave masters beat the bosses.

How do you think Moses felt then?

Often we think we know when and how God will answer our prayers. When He doesn’t answer as quickly and in the way we expect, we get discouraged and think we didn’t hear from God after all. But we shouldn’t give up so easily. We need to keep trusting God no matter what.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to trust You and Your promises no matter how things look. Amen.

brick wall
Brick wall
MORE: Recipe for Bricks

What you need:
Mud from the Nile River
Water
Straw, chopped in small pieces
Wood boxes - 15 inches x 7 inches x 4½ inches
Stamp of the Pharaoh or Pharaohess
Hot sun


What you do:
Moisten the mud with water.
Mix in the straw using a hoe to mix.
Place the mud-straw mixture in the boxes (which are brick molds)
Sign each brick by pressing Pharaoh’s stamp in the top.
Let the bricks sit in the hot sun until they are dry and hard.