Weekly Devotion – Exodus 10:4-6

Published 4:34 pm Sunday, September 24, 2023

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By Mike Caton

Exodus 10:4-6, “‘If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians – something neither your parents nor your ancestors have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.’ Then Moses turned and left Pharaoh.”

God has blessed man with free will. But with those free choices also come consequences. Pharaoh’s position is firm and he has made it clear to Moses, Aaron, the Israelites, his officials, and the rest of the Egyptians; he is not going to let the Israelites go. That is his choice. But God also has the choice to punish Pharaoh as well.

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Moses, from God, promises the worst invasion of locusts the Egyptians have ever seen. When we in eastern North Carolina think about locusts, we are really thinking about cicadas. (It seems the earliest settlers in America had never seen cicadas before, and had no idea what they were, but there were so many of them they reminded them of the plague of locusts here in Exodus.) Locusts are a subspecies of grasshoppers, cicadas are more closely related to crickets. But this type of grasshopper is very destructive, especially when they are swarming. And they come through eating basically everything that is green. So, obviously, the more locusts there are, the more they eat. North America does not specifically have locusts, the only place other than Antarctica. But we still hear about locust swarms in Africa and Australia specifically and how devastating they are to the crops there. Just imagine the worst plague of locusts ever, in the history of Egypt. These things are going to be everywhere, even in your houses, where there is really nothing for them to eat. And they will eat everything the hail left behind. Commentators think this was a month or two since the hail.

How often do we see the clear warnings, from God and from other places, about the dangers that are ahead of us? How many times do our friends and families warn us about some destructive behavior we are engaged in, about some poor plans we have made, about the peril that is before us, and yet we continue to ignore them and plunge headlong into the thing we have decided to do? Free will is a great blessing, but misused it can be a real curse. We need to think carefully about what we want to do, and why we want to do it. As Christians, our goal should be to make the Lord happy, to put a smile on his face. And we need to consider whether the course we are on is doing that.

Father, help me use my free will to honor you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.