Jump Start # 2734
Exodus 8:10 “Then he said, ‘Tomorrow.’ So he said, ‘May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.”
Our verse today is taken from a conversation between Moses and Pharaoh. It’s in the midst of the ten plagues. The plagues were powerful. It seems that each was directed toward an Egyptian god and was calculated to demonstrate that their gods were powerless and useless. The plagues showed that Pharaoh was in the hands of Jehovah. There was nothing he could do to prevent these plagues. And, these plagues humiliated Pharaoh. The God of the slaves was more powerful that the mighty Egyptians. “Do something,” would have been the common cry from the people.
Specifically, our verse today is about frogs. Creepy, slimy frogs. Frogs everywhere. Years later, in Psalms, we find, “Their land swarmed with frogs, even in the chambers of their kings” (105:30). Can you imagine? What a nightmare! You open up a cupboard and a frog leaps out at you. You put your foot on the floor and you squish a frog. Frogs jumping on you. Frogs in your food. Frogs in your bed. Your children screaming because of frogs. You go outside and they are everywhere. You go inside and they are everywhere. You can’t sleep because of all the loud croaking. You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. There is no where to go to escape them. There are too many to kill. They are everywhere. Frogs. Frogs. Frogs.
Pharaoh calls for Moses. He says, “Remove the frogs from me and from my people.” There was a condition attached to removing the frogs. Pharaoh had to let Israel go. He had enough. Pharaoh was throwing in the towel. He gave up and he gave in. Moses won. He’d let the people go. But in a stunning announcement, from our verse today, Pharaoh said, “Tomorrow.” Tomorrow he’d let the people go. But in the meantime there would be one more night with the frogs. One more sleepless night. One more night of misery. One more night of pain and crying. One more night of suffering.
“One more night with frogs,” has been a great sermon topic for most of us preachers, including me. And, Pharaoh’s timetable baffles us. Why not end the misery immediately? Why not get rid of the frogs ASAP? I think it would be hard to tell Mrs. Pharaoh that the frogs will be gone tomorrow, when they could be gone immediately.
And, tomorrow becomes a safe haven for many resolutions, promises and changes. And, with tomorrow, we live one more night in the darkness of sin, misery, missing out on the good that God has awaiting us. Paul told the Corinthians that “Today is the day of salvation.” The Philippian jailer was baptized that same hour of the night. There was no tomorrow in their thinking. Let’s get things right and let’s do it right now.
We do not face frogs like Pharaoh did. What we face is the reality of truth. We stand at the intersection of what is right and wrong. We see the verses in our Bibles. The truth is there. It’s not hard to understand. It’s not a difficulty level. No, for us, it’s the conviction to change. Change is always hard and change comes with risks. The comfortable thing to do is nothing. The comfortable thing is to remain just as we are.
And, so we do. Another night with frogs. Another night in sin. Another night out of God’s grace and forgiveness. Another night separated from God. And, another night to get comfortable with the way things are going. I met a guy who had a serious limp. He couldn’t run. His walk was awkward and it pained me just to watch him. I asked him how it was with that limp. He said at first, very difficult. But now, he said, I don’t even realize I have a limp. And, that’s the problem with another night with frogs. We start naming the frogs. We have frog jumping contests. We draw pictures of frogs. We train frogs. We put little outfits on the frogs. And, right then and there, we’ve learned to live with the frogs. We become accustomed to the croaking. We teach our children not to be afraid of frogs. And, like the man with the limp, life with frogs is not so bad.
- Could this be said of the person outside of Christ. He lives day to day, week to week, never giving much thought about eternity. He has a Bible, but he’s not real sure where he put it. He’s been to church services a few times, but he’s too busy and really enjoys sleeping in on Sundays. Life with frogs is not so bad. But he fails to see that he is on his own. His life could be so much better being guided by the Scriptures and talking to God every day. The way he sees things would change. His priorities would change. Grace, forgiveness, kindness and hope would fill his heart. Pandemics would alter his schedule but it wouldn’t do much to him on the inside. He’d still, in the midst of this storm, find reasons to be thankful to God. But, instead, he chooses another night with the frogs.
- This could be said of the person who is living immorally. He and his girlfriend live as husband and wife, except that they are not husband and wife. Or, here is a person who doesn’t have a right to be married, yet they are married. Happy. Joyful. Having the time of their lives. However, they are living among frogs and they do not even realize it. All their friends are so happy for them, but God is not. They have ignored His laws about purity and marriage. They have chosen to do what they wanted to do, rather than what God wanted. They are so emotionally entangled with each other that they likely will never get rid of the frogs. They’d rather be happy now and take their chances with God, except, there is no chance when one ignores what God has said. Another night with frogs is more appealing to them than walking in the light of God’s holiness and grace.
- This could be said of the person who wants to worship God the way he feels. He doesn’t like be constrained by a book, even if that book is God’s book, the Bible. He wants the freedom to express himself however the moment moves him. He’ll dance, sing, and have a blast at “church,” but in so doing he ignores countless verses and examples of others who did the same things and were condemned by the Lord. Church, for this guy is fun. It doesn’t change him, reform him or move him any closer to the Lord. He’ll feel good, even though he’s living among frogs.
For Pharaoh to get rid of the frogs he had to let the people go. For you and I, we have to repent. We have to let go of feelings and attitudes that are not right. We have to offer forgiveness and grace to others. We have to be willing to follow the Lord.
Let the frogs go…tomorrow. Another night, when it doesn’t have to be that way.