One of the helpful ways to get closer to the accounts in Scripture is to try to imagine yourself in the scene.  There are visceral elements that upon careful reflection are nothing short of shocking.  Take for instance the report of the stench recorded in the first two plagues in Ex. 7:14 – 8:15.  In both narratives, there is an emphasis on the smell caused by the dead fish and frogs. (See Ex. 7:18 & 8:14)  God will make use of all our senses to get our attention.  Right now our crabapple tree is in full bloom.  There is a delicate aroma of spring that is exquisite.  I can recall some working experiences around dairy cows that caused the exact opposite effect.  Even after taking a shower and washing my clothes I could still smell the dairy “air.”  Back to Exodus: The Israelites were not protected from the odor caused by the dead fish and frogs.  But it must have instilled a notion of HOPE.  God was work.  The long awaited deliverance was coming to pass.  The Egyptians (along with their idols) were being “defeated” by Yahweh, who Moses had spoken about.  It reminds of a passage from the pen of the apostle Paul, “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.” (II Cor. 2:16)  Our lives will be received differently according to how people are responding to Christ.

Pastor Mark

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