Posted in Devotions, Lent, Ministry

2020 Lenten devotion #8 – Water into blood (part 2)

Photo by Jack Anstey on Unsplash

“Thus says the Lord, ‘By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood.’”

Moses has a huge task ahead of him. He is to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let God’s people, a nation of slave-laborers, to go free. Moses knows this will not go over well with the sovereign of Egypt. Pharaoh will need a little convincing. The first of ten plagues on Egypt will be turning the waters of the Nile into blood.

That sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? No water to drink, no water to wash your clothes in, no water for bathing. All the water is now thick, red, blood. It clots. It stains. It turns your stomach. Some faint at the sight of blood. Some scream in horror. The thought of a thick red substance trickling from the tap would be enough to convince me to comply with whatever a prophet of God demanded!

We are so blessed to have access to fresh, clean water in our homes. There are too many places in the world where clean water is not readily available. The same rivers from which you draw water for drinking and bathing are used for laundry and toilets. The water you walk hours to obtain is laden with dirt and disease. But you have no choice. For better or worse, that is the only water available to you.

In scripture, paradise (Eden) was found near rivers. Life giving water flows through the city of God in Ezekiel and Revelation. Jesus invites the thirsty to come to him and drink. There is nothing quite like a tall cool drink of water when you are thirsty. There is nothing like the life-giving water of Jesus to quench your soul’s thirst for his grace, either.

Thank you, Lord, for the water that quenches my thirst. Amen.

Posted in Devotions, Lent, Ministry

2020 Lenten devotion #6 – Water into blood (part 1)

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

“If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.” (Exodus 4:9)

So Moses has to convince an entire nation, all of Israel, that he is to be their leader who will bring them out of slavery. Not an easy task.

No problem. God will give you a few tools, a few impressive feats to convince them. A staff that turns into a serpent. A hand that becomes leprous and then whole again. And water from the Nile that turns into blood. You got this Moses!

You had me at “staff into serpent.” You have that kind of power at your disposal? I’m all ears. When do we leave? What should I pack?

Well, maybe. How did he do that? Is this for real? In a world of lies, fake news and scams, who do you believe? Who’s telling the truth? Who should you listen to? We’ve got scripture, history and eyewitnesses to shape our faith. Israel had ancient legends, bedtime stories and desperate prayers. We still have our doubts. So did they.

One way or the other, God was going to deliver his people. It didn’t matter whether or not they believed. It didn’t matter if Moses had to pull out all of the tricks God gave him. These folks were not going to stay in Egypt. They were going home. And they would know that it was God who made all the travel arrangements.

Drops of blood on the ground where Jesus was flogged and where he was crucified testified to the power of God to save us. Travel arrangements, right? Because of that blood, we’ll get to go home, too.

Chances are you’ll pour out some water today and it will turn into coffee, tea, lemonade or soup. We take those things for granted, but it’s really amazing when you think about it. Maybe one of those things will remind you to recall the powerful things God has done and the travel arrangements he’s made for you for eternity!

Thanks for the tickets to go home, Lord. Amen.