power

When the Heart Becomes a Black Hole {ex11}

Photo © Unsplash/Ed Robertson

Photo © Unsplash/Ed Robertson

by the time
God announced
the plague
on the firstborn
for the /second/ time
didn't Pharaoh know
God could and
would
do exactly
what He said

after the
blood
frogs
gnats
flies
dead livestock
boils
hail
locusts and
darkness
was there anything left
more dark
than Pharaoh's heart

how dark does it have to get
to not understand
that your opponent
controls
the very elements

-all of them-

didn't Pharaoh know
that if God said
his son was going to die
he would /in fact/
be planning a funeral
if he didn't
change course

why wouldn't you change course

in ancient egypt
the only person more important
than the firstborn son of the Pharaoh
was Pharaoh himself

why wouldn't you change course

is there anything
in this world
more powerful
than the human heart

is there anything
more capable
of being more implacable
than the heart
bent on rebellion

is there anything
more wild and dangerous
than the freedom to choose
and the power
it imparts

the power to
so harden ourselves
to truth
that /in the end/
we could sacrifice
what is most important
to us

and be ourselves
swallowed up by
allconsuming
darkness

 

All Hail {ex9:23}

Photo © Brian Gary

Photo © Brian Gary

A monstrous storm of hail
fell
such as Egypt had never seen before
and hasn’t seen since.

It smashed trees.
It smashed crops.
It smashed people and flocks.
It smashed everything it touched.

But the one thing it didn’t smash
was Pharaoh's implacable heart,
that dense little rock
beating in his chest.

God could undo Egypt,
but He couldn’t undo the king.

All hail the power
we’ve been given
to fortify or destroy
our own personal dynasties.

 

God exercises true power.

God exercises true power.

2 Samuel 20

There is an interesting parallel between this chapter and 2 Samuel 8. Both contain a list of David’s officials. The list in 2 Samuel 8 comes after David has advanced to the throne, subdued the enemies of Israel, and returned the ark of God to Jerusalem. In other words, he has followed God’s leading all the way to victory for Israel. The second list (in this chapter) comes after the mess David created for himself with Bathsheba, Uriah, and the ensuing family chaos. See if you can spot the difference between the two lists:

God is a mighty man o' war.

God is a mighty man o' war.

JOSHUA 10

I was thinking today about my old college choir days, and one of my favorite pieces that we sang was called Elijah Rock. There was a line in that song that we women sang with a valiant, chesty tone: "My God is a mighty man o’ war." I always loved that part of the song, and reading today’s chapter from Joshua brought it right to my mind. So, I thought I would muse for a few minutes on this mighty man o’ war who is our God.

God wants you strong.

God wants you strong.

JOSHUA 1

Here’s one of my favorite Bible passages (from The Message paraphrase): "God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels." (Eph 6:10-12)

God champions women's rights.

God champions women's rights.

NUMBERS 27

Long before there was the National Organization of Women, there was God. In this chapter, the daughters of a man named Zelophehad came to Moses to plead their case: their father had died, never having had any sons, and under the current rules of ownership in Israel, they would be left without any land inheritance. So they said, "Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives." (vs 4)

An Etheree on Woman Power {gn21:10}

Photo © Unsplash/Geran de Klerk

Photo © Unsplash/Geran de Klerk

Eve
enticed
Adam to
stomach the fruit.
Sarah expertly
bent Abraham to her
will — "Get rid of that woman!"
Hagar summoned (with desert-hot
tears) Jehovah Almighty Himself.

Who says Biblical women were bridled?

 

Etheree: A poem consisting of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables, respectively.

God cannot be manipulated.

God cannot be manipulated.

EXODUS 10

I know I’ve read the stories of the plagues in detail at least a dozen times in my adult life. But as I write these daily blogs, I am once again struck by Pharaoh’s audacity. Once again, in chapter 10, it’s his officials who are trying to talk some sense into him: "Pharaoh’s officials said to him, 'How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?'" (vs 7)

God knows what He's doing.

God knows what He's doing.

GENESIS 41

Well, it was only a matter of time before this was the blog title! It’s difficult to read Genesis 41 and not just see God in charge all over the place! He’s sending dreams to Pharaoh. He’s got His ready-made interpreter (Joseph) in place. He’s gearing up to save the whole world from a terrible famine, and He knows just how to do it.

God is not a hoarder.

God is not a hoarder.

GENESIS 40

How should we expect an all-knowing, all-powerful Deity to act? As a dictator? A celebrity? A self-absorbed ruler? No matter what we expect, God blows the expectations out of the water time and time again. In this chapter of Genesis, what I see is a God who is more concerned with making His creatures look good, a God who shares His honor with His subordinates.