Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Eclipse- the Plague of Darkness

21Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” 22So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. 23No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.
24Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.” (Exodus 10:21-24)

Thoughts: This was not an eclipse, but it shows the power of God to use darkness to affect life.  Some say the darkness was caused by volcanic ash from an eruption as it was so long.  But this was a real humbling thing for Pharaoh.  One of the gods that the Egyptians worshiped was Re, the sun god.  So for Moses to stretch out his hand at the same time that the darkness came was a symbol that the Lord was more powerful than the sun god.  In the ancient world (Chinese and Norse) an eclipse was seen as a dark god trying to fight the sun god (Hades/Pluto fighting Apollos).
      This was not a common darkness but a thick, total darkness.  In an eclipse it is a thick darkness as well.  One of the things that is common in an eclipse is for the temperature to drop- sometimes 20 degrees.  The birds often start to roost, and the animals start to move toward their evening spots (the cows head for the barn).
      Pharaoh's hard heart was softened just a bit, and he was willing to let the people go- but then he retracted it  causing the Passover. Perhaps the beauty of an eclipse combined with the darkness of the eclipse will melt some hearts as well.  Maybe we should seek to let our heart be melted a little bit as we perceive the powerful beauty of a solar eclipse. 

Prayer: Melt my heart by darkness and light.  In the sadness and joy of life, O Lord, may I trust in you.

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