This is a weekly guest devotion written by my mother, Estelene. Each week she shares with us scripture and a short devotion to encourage us.
Have you ever been in complete darkness? Probably not. The darkness we are going to read about today is total and complete darkness. Even if you go into a room that is dark, eventually your eyes adjust to the darkness. I have gone into my closet to pray. Even though I put rugs under both doors leading into my closet, eventually I could see a glimmer of light flow through the cracks of the door facing. How would you react if you lived in complete darkness for three days? Let’s see what happened in this next plague.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt–darkness that can be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”
But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”
But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 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 10:21-29
Think about what it would be like to live in complete darkness for three days in that time. You couldn’t cook and it is not like you could grab something out of a package because they did not have packaged foods. You would be confined to your house. Even at home if you tried to walk around, you would likely bump into someone. You couldn’t attend to your flock or go to work. You couldn’t read a book, listen to music, or watch tv. And the most tragic of all, you could not connect with social media. All you could do was sit. Scripture says that it was a darkness that could be felt. I think of it as a thick darkness that lay heavy on your skin.
Like one of our fellow devotion readers commented, none of the Egyptian gods could save them from their suffering. Where was Hapi, the god of the Nile River when it turned to blood? Where was Hathor, the cow-goddess when the livestock died? Where was Amon-Re, the sun-god when darkness fell upon the land, or any of the other gods? They could not prevent the plagues from happening. They were powerless. There is only one God and that is the Holy God.
Are you guilty of putting your trust in idols such as money, your job, etc? They can be here today and gone tomorrow. These idols are powerless. The only one who can help you through life’s struggles is the one true God. There is a verse I want to quote and I hope you live every day of your life holding on to this promise. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understand; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6
After living in complete darkness, Pharaoh still tried to compromise with God. It was as though he was putting himself on the same level as God. He didn’t know who he was dealing with. He thought he would put a leash on the Israelites by saying they could go to worship, but they had to leave behind their flocks and herds.
Time after time God had shown his distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians by not allowing his chosen people to be affected by the plagues. Surely this was becoming more obvious, more real to Pharaoh, Moses, the Egyptians, and the Israelites. God had a plan for the Hebrew children, and nothing was going to stand in his way.
Will Pharaoh’s heart be softened? Join me next week as we discuss the last plague.