Today’s #f260 reading is Exodus 8-9. And I was struck by the amount of absolute chaos that must have been taking place. Frogs covering the land. Then gnats everywhere you look. Flies taking over. Livestock begin dying. Powerful hail falling from the sky.
Confusion. Chaos. Fear.
But, in the midst of the swirling drama, God says two things that I believe can give us hope in today’s chaotic world.
👉The Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt (Exodus 9:4.) What looks like chaos to us is perfectly clear and calm to the Lord. Nothing is spinning out of control. 2 Timothy 2:19 tells us that the Lord knows who are His.
👉The Lord put Pharaoh in power so that the Lord’s power could be shown and His name glorified. Instead, Pharaoh chose to exalt himself (Exodus 9:16-17.) Daniel 2:21 and Romans 13:1 tell us that the Lord places people in places of authority. It doesn’t matter who sits on the throne, in the Oval Office, or any other authoritative position – God is the one in control.
Jesus tells them to put out their nets to catch some fish. The weary and worn fishermen reply with, “We just tried that. It didn’t work.”
But, because Jesus asked them, they tried again and caught so many fish the nets were breaking.
What is it that you are trying to do on your own and you’re just failing miserably?
👉Make peace with someone? 👉Fix your marriage? 👉Find meaning or purpose for your life? 👉Find healing for an old wound? 👉Make a Kingdom impact? 👉Be a better parent? 👉Forgive someone?
What is that thing that you feel like you’ve “toiled all night and took nothing?”
The difference between the men fishing the first time and the second was Jesus. Jesus can turn our nothing into nets that are bursting at the seams. But we have to be willing, like Simon, to say, “I’ve tried it already, Lord, but at your Word I’ll try it again.”
God was offering the people freedom and deliverance. He was offering them Himself. But they wouldn’t listen.
Two things stood in the way of the people believing and accepting what was offered to them: harsh circumstances and broken spirits.
It’s difficult to imagine a life of deliverance and delight when all you know is oppression and bitterness. We want to shake people and say, “Can’t you see?!?” But the reality is that, no, they can’t see.
Sometimes, it’s frustrating because we can’t always change a person’s harsh circumstances. The enemy will whisper, “Why bother? Nothing will change.”
But here is what the Lord has been speaking to me lately that ties in beautifully with this passage.
What if we worked on mending broken spirits? Because there is where we find common ground. We may not share a single life circumstance but, by golly, we all know heartache and brokenness. We can meet one another there.