Please read Psalm 144; Exodus 10; Hebrews 13:1-16…
At first glance the plagues sent on Egypt by God seem a random selection of suffering. The Egyptians, and the Hebrews, would have understood them differently, however. Each plague was the representation of an Egyptian god, a capricious god the Egyptians thought they needed to appease in order to avoid plagues and death and famine. The plagues that came in response to Moses’ outstretched hand did not only show that the God of the Hebrews was greater than the people of Egypt and their Pharaoh, they also showed that this God was greater than the false gods of the land.
Fear of false gods kept, and keeps, people in fear. False gods are unpredictable. No wonder the Psalmist says, “happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” Our God is trustworthy.
Because false gods – be it the false gods of Egypt, or contemporary false gods of wealth, or popularity, or success – are temperamental, we can never be really sure how to please them. The Egyptians constantly tried new ways to appease their gods in times of difficulty, never sure what might work.
The God revealed in Jesus, the writer to the Hebrews makes clear, is very clear about what we are to do. Doing good and sharing what we have are sacrifices that please God.