Exodus 12:30  And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. 

Have you ever stopped and considered this verse before? What was it that made Pharaoh get up that night? Had he heard a sound that woke him from his slumber and caused him to go check? Perhaps he had had royal guards posted in his first born’s bedchamber that noticed something amiss and quickly they ran to notify Pharaoh that the child was dead. Maybe Pharaoh, who was considered the very embodiment of the sun-god Ra thought that his might could shine forth into his child’s room at the right time and secure the boys safety. It could be that while he was a vile man towards his slaves that he was a loving and extremely caring father who would check in on his children to make sure they wer fast asleep and not staying up to late.

Anything is possible, but it seems the most logical that Pharaoh knew the same thing as everyone else in the country that the God of the Hebrews had promised to slay the firstborn that night. His appearance in the young child’s room was most likely to check and see if this Hebrew God could really pull off his promised attack. Afteral the firstborn in that cultrue was extra special and being the next in line for the Eygptian throne meant the job of this slave God would be that much more difficult to accomplish.

With that in mind though, why get it up? Why not wait until the morning expecting that nothing would have happened? He didn’t know this God (5:2) and he certainly didn’t recognize His power over himself. The answer it would seem lies in the fact that this God had already promised nine miracles (or plagues) and had delivered on them. Pharaoh obviously didn’t believe that God could actually touch his child or he would have done what the Israelites and indeed even some of his own people had done (12:38) and applied the blood on the door posts to protect his family; as a side note Pharaoh obviously wasn’t the firstborn in his family as that he lived.

It would seem that Pharaoh had gone to bed placing his bet on God not coming through and got up because he just knew that God had in fact come through, quite literally. Whether someone alerted him to the death or the cries from the city rose to his window or a whisper to his heart awoke him does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Death had come for his child. How many are like Pharaoh today sitting back and letting things happen knowing full well eventually they will be next? Is there someone you know who needs to come correct before it is too late and the clock strikes midnight on them? You might be the final warning for them before death invades their home. We often read the verse above but don’t do much with it afterwards, just like Pharaoh and Moses’ warning to him, so will we now seek to do something about it to help the other guy?


Is the darkness on your side?

John 3:19,20 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

There is a song lyric out there that says “the night is on my side” and I would say the song I am thinking of is talking about being a rebel. Whenever I see a bar or club in a movie or t.v. show they are always pictured as being dark inside. In fact it used to be in westerns the bad guy always wore a black hat. Everything pointing to the darkness and whether people wish to admit it or not the darkness of the soul. Even trying to wear all black clothes is us trying generally trying to hide our weight, which spiritually agains has the potential to suggest we are hiding how lightweight we are in that area of our lives.

Did you know we cannot create darkness? It is true. Even when we turn the lights off we are not in actuality making it dark. Our mind says we are but truth be told all we are doing is turning off the light. We can dim the light or we can turn the light on so high it can blind a person but we cannot turn on the darkness. Darkness is the absence of light.

In the darkness of the womb we are conceived in sin (Psalms 51:5). That darkness reprents the darkness of our souls because thanks to sin we are all born spiritually dead. Contrast that with Jesus, who through the power of the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35) His human body was conceived thus no sin in Him. Jesus came into this sin filled world as the Light (John 8:12). Light to shine into our blackened souls to reveal to us our hellbound condition.

Because of that hellbound condition we are in desperate need of His light. The problem with that is that people kinda like the way they are and don’t want to leave their confortable darkness. They believe the darkness is on their side. It feels good where they are at and they don’t see any need to change. What they are missing because of shortsightedness is that the darkness of this world which has the light of Jesus in it will one day end in Hell which is described as a place of outer darkness (Matthew 8:12). That means the darkness will become visible to them, no light at all for the rest of eternity. Darkness so thick you can feel it. Yes I know Hell is supposed to be fire so how can there be such darkness? Because the fire there will be so hot it will burn up the light normally generated and the payment for the sins of this life will insure a person there is never able to finally die (Romans 6:23).

The darkness is on nobody’s side. Jesus asks that we put our trust in Him and His light and be saved. Have you? If not, will you?

Dead air

I was listening to the radio the other day when a commercial came on the air. Since I didn’t feel like changing the station so I listened. The commercial was set up like a question and answer session. The announcer asked the first person a question and in turn received the desired response (it was the advertiser after all) and then the same question was asked of the other participant. Quickly the sound of crickets chirping began to play for the next couple of seconds. Being on the radio an audio presentation must be made to allow the listener a mode of “visualizing” what is transpiring. If instead of the crickets all that there was was silence the listening audience would be left to conclude that they had missed something due to technical problems, the DJ falling asleep, or some interference with the signal. Because they can’t “see” the other person standing there with their head hung down with no response to offer. Silence is dead air and it costs money to send out, can cause a loss of listenership, and is unprofessional. Dead air is a complete waste and is symbolic that something is wrong with the broadcaster. Thus the use of the crickets chirping away, it keeps the listener from thinking something is wrong.

Job had a near dead air experience, at least that was his opinion (more or less). He wanted to hear from God yet he heard nothing, just his friends coming and accusing him of secret sin. What he didn’t know was that their accusations were really God’s crickets filling in the gap before God would finally speak. God was avoiding giving His servant Job dead air by sending thise guys. Without their attacks on Job he might have starting blaming God and cursed Him. 

Silence can be deadly. That silence will leave us with impression that God doesn’t care about us. It will get us focused on the silence of God really meaning He is incapable of helping and thus leaving it up to us to figure it out. The Devil wants us to focus on the silence and forget that the teacher is silent during the test. For me, silence drives me up the wall and I lose my focus, get off task, and soon lose interest and quit. Satan will be happy with any of those results from us.

To prevent the dead air God sends those crickets into our lives. They might be very annoying but they serve a purpose. Our problem tends to be that we strive to squash them or move away from the sound because we are so bothered by them. Yet they could be the distractions that God is using to help us. Job’s friends accused him of secret sin and in the process of defending himself he declared his secret sin without anyone realizing it (chapters 29&31). His pride had to be confessed and broken so that God could continue to shape and use him. That doesn’t happen with dead air.  Church it goes the same way for us. In those moments of doubt and pain stop looking for the seeming dead air from God and listen for His crickets. What is He trying to convey to us that we would otherwise ignore?

A quick take away: Pray

God doesn’t want His children living in the world, and as such there are times when He will send someone to pray them through. Genesis 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Abraham knew where and how his nephew Lot was living. God came and laid it on his heart to pray for his nephew’s deliverance from that place. Is there someone God has laid on your heart to pray for?

Has it become a nuisance?

Several years ago in honor of my wife’s first Mother’s Day I built her a rose garden back by the shed. A few years after that I planted a honeysuckle between the roses and the shed with the goal of covering the shed with some nice foliage. After three years orange flowers began to appear on it and I was beginning to be satisfied. The plant was slowly covering the shed as desired.

Things however had changed for me in 2016 though. I was in an accident which has made my gardening difficult. My neighbor has been mowing my lawn but that honeysuckle has gone unchecked. It enjoys the sunlight just as much as the roses but with the advantage of being taller. The plant has a pretty good grip on the shed so it’s branches have begun to shoot outward. That means there is this cover that is overshadowing the rose bushes. They were there first and literally stand for my family. 

Finally I felt well enough with cooler conditions outside to go prune that honeysuckle. Because it had not been done all season long it doesn’t look very nice now but it had to be done for the sake of the roses. It was that or risk letting them die.

In Mark 6:31 we find this, And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Ministery is good but it should not be consuming everything about us. We must take care of our families and our own health. My pastor has one day a week set aside for family day, it is only for him and his family. He still prays and reads his Bible but church business has the day off. The above verse happened because Jesus made the disciples get alone and if He did it for them then it goes for us to. Otherwise our ministry could become a nuisance to our family like the honeysuckle to those roses. Conversely the ministry must be allowed to grow as well as the family.

Allergic to light

Due to my concussion I am sensitive to light. This requires me to wear sunglasses more. Even when I am at work I close all the garage doors to cut down on some of the stimuli that my brain is having to process.

After a few hours yesterday our afternoon guy showed up to load the empty trays on the dock into the semi trailers. He is healthy and just doing his job but when he walked in the first thing he did was start opening the doors up. It was beautiful outside, nice breeze, and perfect temperature so I don’t blame him. However it made me question myself; if I am just allergic to sunlight now or what? Of course it is the or what part, it is just frustrating for me.

Spiritually speaking Jesus said that Christians are to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14) and that is because we are to reflect His light. His light though is not something this world is interested in. John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Whether this world is allergic to the True light or not is not our concern. We are to bring them the light of the sacrifice that Jesus made to pay for all of our sins and let them decide for themselves. There will be those who will find out they weren’t really as allergic to the light as they had thought.

Elbow grease

We have a cleaning service that is supposed to come in and clean the offices at work. Do things like empty the trash, sweep, dust, clean the windows, and mop the floor. 

Well maybe not dust, because the dust is pretty thick in some places or was till the guy on light-duty came through and cleaned it. (There are a couple of us on light-duty at the moment.)  They don’t do a very good job on the windows and mirrors in the washrooms either. The floor does get swept though and they do mop too!

In the photo you can see the base of a chair. The dark spot is the shadow from said chair. What can clearly be seen is the difference in the color of the floor. You see the same fellow who did the dusting also cleaned that area that is now lighter in color. He used some elbow grease and got the floor to look and be cleaner. It can be done, it just requires effort. Too many don’t want to give any more of that than they have to.

James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

What James just told us to do in this verse requires more than just a mere swipping at the sin in our life with a damp washcloth. It requires some spiritual elbow grease. A true effort on out part. The good news is, as the verse starts off by saying, if we will put forth that honest effort God will reciprocate and put forth the effort to help us draw closer to Him.

Bonus: using elbow grease not only helps to get a better clean but helps build muscle thus making one a little stronger in the process.