We are seven weeks into the year 2020, which means we are seven weeks into our Southwest 2020 Bible Project.
How is it going? For those of you who have joined us on this video-watching/Bible-reading plan, while I cannot promise to respond to every email, I would love to hear about your experience at firstname.lastname@example.org. What have you noticed? What have you learned? What questions have surfaced within you? What has the experience been like? Has God shown up in any way?
If you have not joined us, would you consider joining in? It could not be simpler: Either pick up a hard copy of the Project plan in the foyer, or go to www.southwest.org and click on the Bible Project link. Do not even worry about catching up! Just pick up with the story right were we are currently.
Speaking of currently, this last week we read through Exodus chapters 7-18. During this time, we have joined Jewish Superhero Moses as he confronts Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, insisting that he let the Israelite slaves free. A confrontation between God and Pharaoh ensues, and Pharaoh's stubbornness leads to God sending 10 Plagues on the land of Egypt. The last plague involved God sending an Angel of Death to Egypt who would kill the first-born offspring of every person and animal in the land. The exception: If any Isrealite took the blood of a lamb and painted their doorways with it, this angel would "pass over" their home, and their firstborn would be spared. To this day, Jews celebrate an annual "Passover" holiday to remember this epic, paradigm-setting event.
The Israelites are freed, and they head East, only to be pursued by the powerful Egyptian army because Pharoah changes his mind. Trapped between this army and the sea, God splits the waters apart for the Israelites to cross as a giant wall of fire holds off Pharaoh's army. Once across, the wall moves, and they pursue the Israelites through the parted waters only to be drowned in that sea.
The Israelites worship God (who we now know to be named Yahwah), but they have a long way to go before they get to the land that God promised to them in Genesis. We watched this week, as these freshly emancipated slaves still have much to face, much to learn, and many, many miles to go.
As you read through the lenses of love, story, and wisdom, what treasures did you find this week?
There are so many powerful things to be wrestled with as we read, so much of God to know and understand being revealed to us in the narrative, that I hope and pray you are walking with these Israelites through the story.
Today, I will share some observations that I am learning, but we will focus especially on that last plague, along with the "Passover Meal" - that the Bible story also focuses on - and ask God to deliver to us a little bit more about who He is, who we are, what God has done for us.