GETTING THE MOST FROM GOD'S WORD:

"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

January 20 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 7-9

Why does GOD allow ‘EVIL’ people to ‘RULE’ on this EARTH? "But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now." (Exodus 9:16-18)

For over eighty years, and probably much longer, the Egyptians had oppressed the Israelites, and patiently God had borne with their persecution of His people. But the time had arrived when He was to interpose on behalf of His “firstborn” (4:22) and take vengeance on Pharaoh who had reduced Israel to menial bondage. The Lord is slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, but, “He will not always chide; neither will He keep His anger forever” (Psalms 103:9). A succession of ten terrible judgments known as “the plagues of Egypt” had now descended upon Pharaoh and upon his land. The main purpose of these plagues was to give a public manifestation of the mighty power of the Lord God (9:16) that even the magicians of Pharaoh acknowledged (8:19).

We should note that Pharaoh had as fair a chance as any other person to hear and obey God, but he used his encounters with Moses and Aaron as opportunities to prove his determination and might. Being a strong-willed individual, Pharaoh kept complete control over his decision not to let his cheap labor force – the Israelites – depart from Egypt and thereby resisted God’s plan. We find another case of hardness in the New Testament, where a chronic refusal to respond to God produced a hopeless condition for some believers (Heb. 6:4–8).

In the case of Pharaoh, God reminds him that He had spared Pharaoh in order to demonstrate His power and spread His fame. God used Pharaoh as an example of what happens to a person who is determined to resist the power of God. In his letter to Romans, Apostle Paul argues about the justice and mercy of God with these words: "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.' Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." (Romans 9:16-18)

Pharaoh was not only an evil ruler in a powerful state, but he was an ungodly, unrighteous, and proud man who had set himself up as a god to maintain the stability of his kingdom. God had raised up this evil Pharaoh for two main reasons: (1) to demonstrate His power; and (2) to declare His name throughout all the earth. God’s purpose was to allow Pharaoh to experience Jehovah’s mighty wonders. As a result, God’s character would be declared throughout all the earth. The resulting declaration of God’s name “throughout all the earth” was later incorporated into the Song of Moses in 15:14–16 and was also graphically illustrated in Joshua 2:9–11.

Let us be clear that God shows His power even in those who defy Him, and His judgments are always tempered by mercy. He withheld total destruction so that the Egyptians might know His power and repent (v. 15). Further, God’s judgments against Pharaoh would cause His name to be proclaimed to the nations. This is the reason why God allows evil people to rule on this earth – even today!

King Nebuchadnezzar was similar to Pharaoh in displaying his pride but when his understanding returned back to him, he uttered the following truth about God that we need to understand very well about Almighty God: “For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Dan. 4:34-35)

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