Friday, February 19 Read Exodus 11
The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go from here; indeed, when he lets you go, he will drive you away." Exodus 11:1
This past fall, during the Wednesday night Soul Food adult education class, we spent time talking about Bishop Desmond Tutu’s book, God Has a Dream. It was a delightful book, full of interesting insights – not all of which we agreed with, but most of which we did.
One of the most compelling things Tutu wrote of was how God’s time is not the same as our time. God does things when God knows the time is right, not because we plead, or beg or stamp our feet.
Sometimes, we can see God’s timing when we look back at past events. We can see there was no possible way for this or that to have occurred any earlier or later. Tutu talks about timing in relation to the end of apartheid in South Africa, but you can think of timing in connection with other events – the Civil War, the Reformation, maybe even when you met your spouse. Tutu refers to this as events occurring “in the fullness of time,” which is a lovely phrase. It gives timing the grandeur that befits God!
Consider the events in Egypt leading up to the freeing of the Hebrews. Repeatedly, Moses comes before Ramses to say “Let my people go!” and Ramses again and again says no, despite plague after plague. Moses warns him that God is sending these curses, yet Ramses ignores fire from the sky, water turning into blood and so on. I think, “What a fool! How can Ramses’ heart remain hardened?” Yet it does – until that last, crushing curse, which is now recognized as Passover.
As curse after curse came and went, and nothing changed, some of the Hebrews might have lost hope. However, God knew the time would come. The time ripened into fullness. Not only did the Pharaoh agree to let them go, he told them to go.
Perhaps that lesson is instructive in today’s world. Peace forever seems at bay in the Middle East. People are persecuted for their faith or who they are. There are many, many instances that cause us to hold our hands to the sky and ask, “When, O Lord, when?” We need to hold on to our hope, we need to keep praying, we need to keep working toward the good goals. When the time is ready, God will let us know. In the meanwhile, do not lose hope, children of God. For us, as for the Hebrews of Egypt, God’s time will come.
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