February 22

Exodus 5:1-2, 11:1

The king says no!

Moses and his brother Aaron went to tell Pharaoh that God said he must let the Israelites go free. But Pharaoh simply said, no! He refused to let God’s children go and made them work even harder.

Then God sent many plagues to make the king realize who was in charge. He let the river turn to blood; He sent frogs, gnats, flies, sickness, hail, locusts and other terrible things. Every time the curses only harmed the Egyptians and not the Israelites. After each plague, God gave Pharaoh a chance to let the Israelites go, but he was stubborn and refused.

Finally, God said, “I will send one more plague. I will take the life of the oldest son in every family. Then Pharaoh will know that I am God, and he will let my people go.”

Can a mighty king put a stop to God’s plan?

Think of the most powerful king who ever ruled, or the greatest president who ever lived. With a single word or signature, powerful leaders can start or end a war.

Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, could decide who should live and who should die. With the wave of his hand he could have a man killed, or let him live. Even if God did get rid of the king of Egypt, his army would still be far more powerful than the defenseless Israelites who had been slaves for over four hundred years.

But Pharaoh forgot who was in control of his life; who controls the seasons, and who holds the whole universe in His hands. Foolishly he tried to challenge the One who makes the sun rise and set.

It is God who decides when things will begin and when they will end, and it is He who decides who will rule.

Verse for today

“He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them” Daniel 2:21a