An interesting piece of Scripture today – a word for us all about tomorrow. It starts partway through the story of Moses and his approaches to Pharaoh asking him to release the Children of Israel so that they might go to the land God had promised them.
We pick it up in Exodus chapter 8….
8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land. 3 The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’”
5 [b]Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise the staff in your hand over all the rivers, canals, and ponds of Egypt, and bring up frogs over all the land.’” 6 So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the whole land! 7 But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their magic. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord.”
9 “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.”
10 “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.
“All right,” Moses replied, “it will be as you have said. Then you will know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River.”
Isn’t it true, we want to be better. We want to do better. But it’s almost tomorrow.
You may know this story – it’s just a story but it reveals a truth about us and evil….
Here’s how it goes…
Satan called together fledgling demons to test them.
“Before I let you loose in the world,” Satan said, “I need to know what deceitful message you are going to whisper in the ears of people so that they end up here in hell.”
“That’s easy,” said the first devil. “I’ll tell them there is no heaven.”
“That won’t work,” said Satan. “Whenever people look at the beauty of the earth and feel the wonders of creation, they know that heaven exists.”
“I’ll tell them that there’s no hell,” said the second devil.
“That won’t work either,” said Satan. “The world is full of so much pain and suffering, injustice, and cruelty that people know hell exists as a place of punishment for the unrepentant and wicked.”
The third devil thought for a moment and then said, “I’ll tell them that there’s no hurry.”
And that lie has continued down through the ages to today. It is that lie that Pharoah believed and acted on – “do it tomorrow”.
Tomorrow is not really a word of the gospel. The gospel lifts up the word today…
When God rescued the Children of Israel from the Egyptians:
“So Moses said to the people, “This is a day to remember forever—the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. Today the Lord has brought you out by the power of his mighty hand.
In the call of God to His people to renew their covenant:
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life so that you and your descendants might live!
Jesus taught the disciples to pray like this:
Give us today the food we need,
Jesus assured the dying thief on the cross:
And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Paul preaching in Corinth quotes the prophet, Isaiah:
For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
The writer to the Hebrews says:
That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts…
It seems like the word is today, not tomorrow….
So what’s your word?