Seeing past the obvious

Have you ever "lost" something and searched frantically for it, only to finally realize it was right in front of you? How about giving up on finding your glasses when they are on top of your head the whole time? Sometimes the hardest things to see are those things which are in our line of sight.

Back in Moses' day, Egypt had a similar problem. God had called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, but to do so Moses would have to confront Pharaoh. When Pharaoh wouldn't comply, God used Moses and his brother Aaron to be the catalysts for bringing about several plagues that were designed to not only show God's power and make His name great but also to force Pharaoh's hand into letting them go.

These plagues that God thrust upon Egypt ranged from turning all of their drinking water into blood, being invaded by swarms of flies and frogs, festering boils all over their bodies, and death of their livestock just to name a few. In each case Pharaoh wanted the plagues to be gone but he also wouldn't change his mind about letting the Israelites go.

When it was time for the seventh plague (Exodus 9:13-35), Moses warned Pharaoh that a terrible hailstorm was going to strike the land and any man, woman, or beast left out in the open would be killed. But God instructed Moses to do something interesting: He instructed Pharaoh on how to save his people from certain destruction. If they would simply go inside then the hail wouldn't harm them or their animals. Some of Pharaoh's officials feared the word of the Lord and brought their servants and animals inside. And why not, since they had already seen what God could do.

But then there were those who "didn't take the Lord's word seriously" (Exodus 9:21) and suffered the loss of their servants and livestock when the hail came. They had already endured 6 nasty plagues and yet when God warned of another they didn't take Him seriously. Did they think He was joking and was gonna yell "Psych!" to those who went inside to avoid disaster?

Oftentimes the obvious is right in front of our faces and we look right past it. God has continued to be faithful yet we continue to doubt Him. We've suffered harmful consequences from bad decisions in the past yet we still make these bad decisions thinking that the outcome might somehow be different. Someone we love is crying out for attention or help and we dismiss it as just a phase or an act.

God isn't about playing games or keeping us guessing. He's pretty direct with His truth when it comes to His Word. We serve a God who keeps His word to us and has yet to ever contradict himself. So it's best that we take His word seriously so that we can no only experience His blessing but also save ourselves some serious heartache and shame.

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