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January 23rd - Meaning and Miracles

Meaning and Miracles

(Exodus 5 - 8)


The Ten Commandments

From Paramount Pictures

1956


“Let My People Go.”


The Lord God sent Moses to Pharaoh to ask him to release the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, so that they might travel to the wilderness to worship Him. God announced to Moses, right from the start, that Pharaoh’s heart would be hardened, and he would not allow the Israelites to leave (see Exodus 7:1-7).


God performed a series of visible miracles, sending plagues upon the Egyptians to demonstrate His mighty power. Still, Pharaoh would not listen.


The Nile and all of its waters turned to blood. Frogs appeared everywhere in Egypt. Gnats became as prolific as dust. Flies swarmed all over Egypt. The Egyptians’ livestock began dying off suddenly. Boils sprang up on the Egyptian people. Thunder crashed, and hail fell from the sky.


(Tomorrow’s reading will include additional plagues of Egypt.)


Still, Pharaoh did not seem to get the message. He refused to free the Israelites.


Check out this animated music video, taken from the 1998 motion picture, The Prince of Egypt:


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Why does God do miracles?


How often we beseech the Lord to demonstrate His mighty power through miraculous signs and wonders. We pray for divine healings and other God-sized answers to our needs. We claim Bible verses that pertain to faith and God’s promises:


“You can pray for anything,

and if you have faith,

you will receive it.”

(Matthew 21:22, NLT)


“If you remain in Me

and My words remain in you,

ask whatever you wish,

and it will be given you.”

(John 15:7-8, NIV)


Often, the Lord answers our prayers directly. However, He often graciously chooses otherwise.


Can we surmise why God might work miracles in certain circumstances?


Although the Lord’s motives are always loving and just, He has higher purposes than we generally imagine. As with Pharaoh and the Egyptians, individuals (including ourselves and those around us) may have hardened hearts.


Do we stop and consider Who the Lord is and what He has done in our lives?


Will a miracle glorify God? If it will, then it is certainly worth petitioning Him for an answer. If divine signs and wonders will simply serve our own purposes, rather than God’s will, perhaps we ought to reconsider our request.


Not long ago, I faced a very scary personal health crisis. Privately, I prayed for a miracle. Astonishing, God’s answer only came when I shared my concern with several faithful friends, who were blessed by participating in the Lord’s response. At the same time, these dear brothers and sisters encouraged me by standing with me and interceding for me when I needed them most.


Would God have been glorified by a confidential miracle? Perhaps. But How much more is the Lord honored when many can share in praising Him for answered prayer?


What do you desire from the Lord today? Do you need healing from sickness, addictions, financial woes, personal danger, relationship troubles or other concerns? How might God be exalted by meeting your need?


May God guide our prayers according to His loving and just purposes.


Will you pray with me?


Most Holy God,

You alone hold the world,

The past,

The present

And the future

In Your mighty hands.

With You,

Anything is possible.

Nudge us to pray boldly,

That You may be glorified

In answered prayers.

Let others come to know You

Because of Your power

Demonstrated in our lives.

May we pray

That Your will be done

In our lives,

So that we may

Honor only You.

Amen.


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