Egypt and Goshen

Exodus 15:26

And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

There is, in this passage, a presumption of sickness. Do you agree? Why do we need a healer if there is not disease in the world? However, God makes a distinction here between the Egyptians (the world) and the Hebrews (believers). He reveals that believers are not subject to the curse.

Think about what was going on here. The Israelites were in slavery to the world, if you will. The Egyptians were their slave masters. God had called Moses out of exile to lead God’s people out of slavery and into the land of promise. The land of Egypt is cursed. God has sent plague, boils, gnats, frogs, locust, turned the river into blood, and rained down hail in such a violent storm that it killed everything which was outside, even trees. The curse is wreaking havoc in Egypt. God was available to remove the curse, even from the Egyptians if they would only obey His word. If Pharoah would only “earnest(ly) heed to the voice of . . . God” Egypt would be spared. However, Pharoah’s heart was hard, and he would not hear the Word of the Lord. His land was devastated as a result.

The curse is still operating in the world, but God would have us understand that the curse is for the Egyptians, not the Hebrews, i.e., for the world, not believers. When Moses lifted his staff in obedience to God, the plague struck Egypt. Meanwhile, over his shoulder, the land of Goshen, the place where the Hebrews lived, was untouched. God made a clear distinction. The thing which is interesting in this is that the land of Egypt didn’t have to suffer all those plagues either. God was willing to save them from their plight anytime they said so. Pharoah begged Moses to remove the frogs from the land. Moses agreed and told Pharoah, “You set the time!” (Exodus 8: 9) meaning that he would pray for the removal of the frogs whenever Pharoah wanted him to. Pharoah could have said, “Do it now!”, but he didn’t. He told Moses to pray tomorrow. What???? You see, Pharoah, like all people, had the right to remain under the curse or to be free of it. Why didn’t he say, “Pray now?” Why does anyone choose to live under the curse? See, even the Egyptians, even Pharoah himself could have chosen for the curse to leave his home. Instead, he opted for another day of frogs.

I know this is long but let me share one more bit from Exodus with you that goes right to the substance of today’s verse. I mentioned the hailstorm. You will find the account of it in chapter 9 of Exodus. What is so amazing about it is that God actually tried to save the Egyptians and their stock. He told them that a hailstorm was coming at “this time tomorrow.” He advised the Egyptians thusly, “Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields. Every person or animal left outside will die beneath the hail,” (Exodus 9: 19). Isn’t that amazing? God warned the fools. He didn’t want to kill the Egyptians. He wanted them to listen to Him. They needed only to do as today’s scripture teaches, “Give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments.” Many people could have survived that day and their livestock too.

So, what is the message from today? Well, I believe it is in several parts and we will see them revisited. However, let us record these three points as we begin our journey. First, heed the voice of God. He is forever trying to steer us away from sickness and harm of every kind. I will say this now though we are sure to hear this again. Sometimes healing is in the advice God gives you and sometimes that comes through another person. It may be advice about diet, exercise or emotional well-being. If we ignore it, we get hailed upon and it is no fault of God’s. Second, the curse was never meant for believers. The curse is in the world, but you are supposed to be living in the land of Goshen, not Egypt. My advice, don’t go to Egypt. Don’t live in that space. Lastly, number three, God is our healer. He knows there is dis-ease in the world and that we need a healer. He has volunteered to be that person for us. That is not to say that He won’t use physical therapists and doctors and acupuncturists, etc., but first and foremost, He is our healer. He is the attending physician who coordinates all the other modalities.  We must begin with Him and constantly heed His advice.

This healing journey begins with these words, “Give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep His statutes.” The path of health starts here.

Not My House

Psalm 91: 10

No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.

This verse was written for today. There are many great utterances from the Lord which are appropriate for our current situation and I will be sending them to you over the next weeks but is there any verse more timely than this?

Psalm 91 is such a great chapter anyway. If you have not read it in a while, take some time to read it. You will find it greatly encouraging. You may find yourself thinking that the author was looking through a crystal ball when he wrote it. You know, sometimes working with God is that way. You are in the present, but He also has His mind on the future.

We can use this verse a couple of ways. First, as a prayer, and while I am in this thought, “Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray these words over every single person who reads this devotional. Lord, put a bubble of protection around them, their families and their homes. Father, I declare in the authority I have in the name of Jesus, that evil will not befall them and that no evil, plague or virus shall come near their abodes.”

Now, you can pray that every day – which brings me to the second use of this verse. Simply speak it over you, your family and your household daily. That is how we activate the gifts of God. First, of course, believe them and believe they are for you even if written a very long time ago. Second, believe these God utterances which have been captured in the Bible have actual meaning and power for you and for today. Then, speak them as if they are true, as if you believe them. What does that look like? “No evil shall come nigh me nor shall covid-19 or any other dis-ease come to my house.” Or, “I will not contract covid-19 nor will I get the flu.” It’s all about positive declarations made continually.

And here is one time I use them which sometimes puts people off, but we are talking about life and death here. If someone speaks fear in my presence or if someone asks if I am worried, I come out with “No evil shall come near me and no disease may enter my house.” Does it make you sound a little weird? Well, yeah. I don’t care. My health and my relationship with my God are more important than anyone’s opinion. This is key. It is very nice to receive the great verses, but it is critical that you know how to use them. That is why I am spending the extra time to write to you about application. You are getting training on how to walk in them and I am very much hoping you are applying yourself to using these teachings. I know this makes the devotional longer, but I feel a strong responsibility towards you. I am going to work hard to deliver to you the good news and a fresh Word from God daily.

God wants you safe. I want you safe. He has given you His good word and I am going to teach you how to wear it like a holy robe of His grace. You are clothed with the Word of God and it keeps you. Blessed be the Lord and praise to His name.

Plague Barrier

Psalm 91: 10

No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.

Do you believe this scripture? To whom do you suggest it is directed? Is it for you, or for someone else? Yesterday’s Word of the Day holds the key to making this verse real and viable in your life. The key to having no evil befall you and to keeping all plagues at bay is belief. Do you believe this verse is for you? Do you believe it speaks truth? Do you believe God is able to make this a reality in your life?

Psalm 91 is truly one of the outstanding chapters of the Bible. It is rich with the promises of God. What good does any of this do, though, if we do not understand that these words were written for each one of us individually? God has provided protection for you among His many gifts. You need to understand your rights as well as other allowances God has already made for you. There is chapter upon chapter of Bible promises, all meant for you. The activator for each and every promise is your belief. If you believe a promise is for you, then you activate it in your life. If you believe today’s verse, that no plague can come near your dwelling and that no evil can befall you, then it’s true. If you really want to add power to your punch, start saying what the Bible says, “No evil will befall me.” When people at work begin talking about all the sickness and disease you say, “No plague shall come near me or my household because we are a household of faith.” Then, you shall have what you say.