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I recently broke up with my christian boyfriend because as far as I could tell,he had no vision.I believed God placed us on earth for a higher purpose than to make sure your family is comfortable and can afford family vacactions.It seemed he worried more about money than his spiritual life.After we broke up,I listened to a teaching on how wives are called to be helpers,how God had given Adam his mission first(Gen 2:15...take care of the Garden..)then gave him a helper...how a wife should submit to hers husbands mission(SUBmission).So marriage is not just about companionship it's also about working together to fulfil your God given mission on earth.
I think God doesn't like divorce because of the pain it inflicts on the people involved...especially the children who feel it's their fault...
God bless you all

Exodus 5:22-7:25


We are a people of comfort and status quo. No matter how miserable we are in a comfortable place, we find comfort in our misery. I believe the plagues and Pharaoh’s stubbornness were needed to challenge the Egyptians’ gods but also to set up both Egypt and Israel to disengage from each other. Israel had to become a stench in the nostrils of Egypt and Israel needed to become reacquainted with the power of their God. God was making sure bridges were being burned.

Being oppressed and or being in slavery destroys self-initiative because a hopelessness sets in and then one develops a sick heart (Proverbs 13:12). When your heart is sick, blood circulation is hindered and the “body” doesn’t “act” the way it is suppose to. So, not only was it necessary to bring Egypt to her knees, Israel had to move from the mindset of a slave to one of freedom. Freedom isn’t free and requires a purchase price of responsible mind. But freedom means you become aware of your value to yourself, to others and most definitely your value to God.

Moving from welfare/dole, being enslaved or dependent on the government requires one to believe that there are gifts, talents, and abilities inside that can make one sufficient. Many times that means one has to get in touch with God to discover the gift God has placed within and how to use that gift in the market place. I know about moving from welfare to work and what it takes to cross that divide, courage. However, usually, that courage comes by way of crises.


Grace and peace,
Ramona

In Exodus 4:21 God told Moses that he was going to harden Pharaohs heart, so doesn't that mean it is Gods fault that Pharaoh made the Israelites life worse and also that all the plagues had to happen. The thought that God hardening Pharaohs heart really bothers me cause it takes away the ideal of a free will and also that children were killed and it was basically set up by God.

Joe - very good question! I meant to post up about this earlier, as I know others are having this question come up too.

Paul in Romans gets at this in Romans 9:14-21, below. (please don't see this as a harsh answer to you personally to your question - just Scripture interpreting Scripture here... :)

"What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?"

Also, Bible.org gets at this point at this link - http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=218 Surf down to "The Permissive Will of God" section. A brief excerpt is below here -

"Other parts of God’s plan He permits. The permissive will of God embraces only the moral features that are evil or contrary to His desired will. Though God does not actively promote this aspect of His sovereign will, He uses them to accomplish His purposes, since He knows before hand just how every person will respond to every possible situation, and decreed to allow it or not. Regardless, God always places the responsibility for these acts and their results with men or angels, as in the case of the fall of Satan and then of man (Acts 14:16; Ps. 78:29; Isa. 10:5-14; Acts 2:23; Rom. 1:18-32). A classic example of this is perhaps the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in the book of Exodus.

Ten times it is said that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (7:13, 14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34; 13:15), and 10 times that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17). Paul uses this as an example of the inscrutable will of God and of His mercy toward men (Rom. 9:14-18). Seven times Pharaoh hardened his own heart before God first hardened it, though the prediction that God would do it preceded all.

The fact that God permits these things does not make them less certain, nor remove them from the sovereign plan of God, but it does remove the responsibility for the sinful acts of men and fallen angels from God"

Hope this helps? Thanks for asking this question / bringing up this point that I know others are thinking about too!

Grace,
Mike

A few other websites that I found helpful surround this question are at these links (Please know that I may not personally agree w/ everything you read in these websites, but thought that they had some good food for thought at various points) -

http://www.biblehelp.org/pharaoh.htm

http://www.rationalchristianity.net/pharaoh.html

http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/text/exo4_21.htm

Joe,
Re: free will
I really struggled with this concept after salvation. I have come to like Stephen Hawkings attributed quote:

'Free will or predestination? (pause) Predestination. But since we do not know the path or the outcome, it may as well be free will!'

I believe God is sovereign, so only he has "absolute free will". that means by defintion man must have something less. But what? the following excerpt with link at bottom attempts to explore this issue. I realize everyone will not agree - I just offer it up for thought and those who have not thought about the issue.

"In Biblical theology, the terms free will and volition are NOT synonymous, but convey related ideas. Unless misused, the term free will communicates a sense of ultimate or absolute freedom, whereas volition simply implies the power of choice. For example, a prisoner locked in a 10x10 prison cell would not be considered free, but could still exercise the choice to either lay down, sit, or stand, etc. The individual has certainly lost a large portion of his freedom, but he has not been stripped of his volition. Thus the concept of freedom is not fixed, but must carry the added sense of degree. It is this need to recognize the degrees of freedom that has led theologians to differentiate free will from volition, and thus it is erroneous to characterize the issue in terms of black and white-- i.e., having "free will" or being a "puppet"....."

http://withchrist.org/volition.htm

Joe,
re: killing children

If you look at it from an eternity concept instead of an earth lifetime, it is actually a good thing.

Egyptians were pagans. Doubtful that any of those children would have grown up to be folllowers of Jehovah. Most theologians agree that children dying before the age of reason end up in heaven. The comparison is: getting to live 60-80 more years here on earth and then be condemned forever, or die young and spend eternity in heaven.

Regardless, as Mike said - it is God's call. HE is Soverign.

Mike's link in his post brings up the question of evil and why does God allow it to exist. The article touches on something I heard, but does not elaborate.

When Satan chose to rebel, I agree with Erwin Lutzer's conjecture, he "...miscalculated both the consequences of his decision and God's reaction to it."

Think about it. Up to that point in time, Lucifer had seen nothing but God's good side and his glory. Which brings me back to: why allow evil? God could certainly have just annihalated Lucifer.

If the Creation and mankind is all about God's glory, then God's full glory can not be shown unless there is evil.

The qualities of mercy and grace, were not neccessary before evil existed. God's mercy and grace to mankind is abundant and bountiful. God's glory is magnified by these qualities.

Justice and righteousness did not exist before evil came into being. God's perfect judgement and righteousness toward sinners (people who chose to sin) glorifies his name.

Finally Good cannot annihilate and triumph over evil unless evil existed.
God's throwing of satan and his minions into the pit of fire and subsequent judgement of all non-believers will show his complete and total triumph over evil and glorify his name.

It all happens in God's time and according to his will.

I wanted to share what I thought the hardening of Pharoahs' heart was about and perhaps why it took so many unfavorable outcomes for Moses.

It looks like a "public" witnessing between the Word of God and Pharoah's own sorcerers and magicians being able to duplicate the same which Moses commanded. But all for the sake of the final commands which none of them could perform. Thus leading Pharoah in the end to dismiss everyone least they themselves all be destroyed: livestock, food supply and the Pharoah. I don't believe he was even thinking of his own people......just himself at the final hour.

Okay, I am perhaps the only person who is "stuck" on the concept of a "talking" serpent in the Garden of Eden. I don't think any of the other animals talked, did they???

Was this a test (the serpent) which God himself put before Adam and Eve??? I don't believe there is any reference to maybe another being who God created to test Adam and Eve and then cast him down as a "serpent" after the 1st original sin. Inquisite and one confused mind wants to know. I hope this isn't one of those questions I am going to regret asking after seeing the answer.........

In Exodus 10:12 is the statement "I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt" the first time there is an actual reference to "other gods"???

Mary's ?
Re: talking serpent

Bullinger in "The Companion Bible" has an extensive appendix on "The Serpent of Genesis 3".

His premise is the Hebrew word rendered "serpent" is Nachash - with a root meaning of "to shine" and means "shining one". From 2Cor11:14 Satan is referred to as the "angel of light", so Bullinger thinks Eve ran across the "angel of light" (Lucifer) in the garden.

Since Adam and Eve had communed with God, Eve would not be afraid of a glorious, attractive, shining being - who was articulate and obviously of a higher created order than other garden inhabitants.

The dialouge stays the same, the Apple is eaten, and mankind is changed forever.

God's curses on the serpent are explained as a type of figure of speech called Hypocatastasis or "implication". Just a real picture resemblance to strike home the punishment awaiting Lucifer. Later on, the snake would pick up the name "Nachash" as it was a shiny creature and its resemblance to the curses of Satan.

Quick and dirty summary from a very long appendix. Bullinger is huge on linguistics, and I find some charm and more than a little truth in his interpretation.

This is offered as an alternate explanation - albeit not a very widespread interpretation of scripture.


Mary's ?
re: other gods

"In Exodus 10:12 is the statement "I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt" the first time there is an actual reference to "other gods"???"

Gen 31:30 and 31:32 and 35:2 and 35:4

I guess technically Satan referred to "gods" in Gen 3:5

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