Torah reading: Exodus 10:1 – 13:6
Haftorah reading: Jeremiah 46: 14 – 28
The plague of darkness brought upon Egypt was dreadful. Can you imagine living through three days of complete and total darkness, a darkness so thick you could actually “feel” the darkness? It astonished and terrified the Egyptians. For three long days it remained so that it felt like six interminable nights. Why did God do this?
One probable reason is that it gave Pharaoh time to consider his next steps. Spiritual darkness is spiritual bondage; while Satan blinds men’s eyes that they see not, he binds their hands and feet, that they work not for God, nor live with an eternal perspective.
So they sit in darkness. The blindness of their minds brought upon them this darkness of the air. Never was a mind so blinded as Pharaoh’s, never was air so darkened as in Egypt. Consider the dire consequences of sin; if three days of darkness were so dreadful, what will everlasting darkness be like?
Meanwhile the people of God had light in their dwellings, manifesting the favor of the Holy One of Israel upon them. Given the stark difference between the oppressive darkness in Egypt and the light emanating from the homes of the Israelites in Goshen, who in their right mind would not have wanted to align with those who had light?
Is it any different today? A pall of darkness overshadows much of our world today – a spiritual darkness has pervaded cultures and societies in the east and the west, in the north and the south. No nation on earth is neutral. As a matter of fact, the Scriptures know nothing of being “neutral”. Joshua, you will remember, challenged the Israelites:
Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness….choose you this day Whom you shall serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
We do not bargain with God Almighty for His terms of reconciliation are so clear, that though men may dispute them, they cannot possibly alter them, or bring them lower. Repentance and a changed life. That is what God expects and we must submit to His ways; we cannot, we dare not, expect that He should condescend to accommodate our pursuit of selfish pleasures.
Pharaoh had not reckoned with that truth. He abruptly sends Moses away. Had he forgotten how often he had sent for Moses to ease him of his plagues? And now he dares to threaten Moses with death? Has Pharaoh learned nothing? Is it not terrifying to behold what hardness of heart, and contempt of God’s word and commandments, can bring men to!
Darkness has crept into our modern world in recent times, slowly but oh, so surely. That which would not even be spoken of in the last generation is common parlance today, even among our youth. Honor, respect for one’s elders, integrity and courtesy are quickly becoming forgotten virtues.
In the midst of such darkness, there must be lighthouses. Places, people who show forth the light of the LORD. Have we not been called by Him to be a “light to the nations”?
In Tune with Torah this week = Are you a light bulb for God? Is your heart completely His?
The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth to give strong support to those who hearts are completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9