Locusts

Locusts

I wonder if you have ever tried to tell someone something they needed to hear, and they simply would not listen.  Perhaps you’ve tried to warn someone of a trajectory they are on, and though they may acknowledge it for a time, they are still drawn to the same patterns.  We see that in the case of Pharaoh, as Moses continues to warn him about his sin and rebellion against God.  As he continues to afflict the people of God, he takes a stand against God Himself.  

In Exodus 10:1-20, we see the plague of the locusts.  As Moses warns of the plague if God’s people are not allowed to go and serve the Lord, Pharaoh even seems to convince himself that Moses is asking not for all of God’s people to be allowed to go, but only the men.  We see Pharoah descending further and further into irrationality.  Sin does this–it causes men to do anything they can to avoid what is true.  

As the plague of the locusts falls upon the land, it brings utter desolation.  The locusts destroy even the crops that were left after the plague of the hail.  You may have at some point read a work of post-apocalyptic fiction.  Even what is described in those books can’t compare to the desolation that has fallen in this chapter on the land of Egypt.  

Pharaoh is driven once again to acknowledge his sin, but we are told he does so hastily.  He has not truly grappled with the fact that his sin has offended a holy God.  He does not go truly to the Lord for mercy.  One of the privileges of the Christian life is confession of sin–in God’s grace and kindness we may go to the Lord for mercy, knowing that Christ has paid for our sins.  But Pharaoh will not turn from self unto the Lord.  

Even in the midst of this, we are driven once again to the hope of the Gospel.  It is implicit in the passage that the plague does not fall upon the people of God.  The people of God are spared by His grace.  All of these plagues are of the judgment of God, and they point to a more severe judgment–eternal judgment.  The Good News of the Gospel is that Christ has stood condemned for His people so that His own would be spared and would have the hope of life, not having to endure the eternal despair to which this passage points. 

Join us this week as we consider these things more fully.  We meet for worship at 5 PM at The Commons at St. Andrews’ Church.  If you need directions, contact us, or click here for more information.  You can also watch on FacebookLive@RiverCityARP or on YouTube. 

Hail

Hail

There have been some storms in history that have been described as historic. Hurricane Katrina is one clear example that comes to mind. While this next example may not quite be considered historic, I can remember being in Jackson, Mississippi in 2013 when baseball sized hailstones fell upon the ground, causing much damage to property. It’s hard to forget an event like that one.

In the book of Exodus in the seventh plague, God sends an historic storm upon the land of Egypt. Pharaoh has persisted in his rebellion against God, and he has refused to let the people of God go. In persecuting the people of God, Pharaoh has blasphemed God Himself. The plague of the hail represents something of a turning point, as it is the most severe of the plagues yet, and as it is directed toward Pharaoh and his servants.

The passage is really a terrifying one. We see destruction, but we also see judgment upon Pharaoh as his heart is further hardened against God. Yet even in a passage like this one which warns against the hardening of one’s heart and warns of judgment for sin, we also see the kindness of God. The hailstones do not fall upon His people–they are spared by His grace and mercy; however, there are also some Egyptians who heed the Word of God and take refuge.

The judgment of hail points us to a greater judgment–the wrath of God against sin. But the Good News is that there is a refuge to be found in Jesus Christ, the Savior of sinners. He has been our refuge from the wrath and curse of God by bearing it Himself. In His death, He has satisfied justice and exhausted the wrath of God for His people. We see in His resurrection that He has been triumphant over sin, death and hell. Refuge is found in Him. Do not harden your heart as did Pharaoh, but rather run for refuge to the true Shelter from the storm of judgment, Jesus Christ. There you will find all that you need.

Join us this Lord’s Day for worship at 5 PM at The Commons at St. Andrews Church in Little Rock as we consider these truths more fully. If you need directions, click here or contact us for more information. You can also watch on FacebookLive@RiverCityARP or on YouTube.

04/03/2022 | “Condemned He Stood” | Luke 23:1-25

04/03/2022 | “Condemned He Stood” | Luke 23:1-25

What we see in that scene is the innocent condemned in the place of the guilty.  Is this not what Jesus has done for His people?  The Spotless Lamb was condemned so that His people might go free.  The old hymn, “Man of Sorrows, What A Name!” by Philip Bliss uses the phrase, “In my place condemned He stood.”  Christ stood condemned instead of His people.  Though we deserved the judgment of God, Christ Himself took it upon Himself at the Cross. Because Christ has accomplished all this on behalf of His people, we may go free.

05/29/2022 | “Fear Not!” | Luke 21:5-19

05/29/2022 | “Fear Not!” | Luke 21:5-19

“Fear Not!” is common in scripture.   But how can we possibly obey it?  After all fear is a response to circumstances we cannot control.   Our finitude creates anxiety.   We are not in control.  We never were.   But what God commands, He provides.   The remedy for fear is faith in the one who is in control.   Luke 21:5-19 appears fear-filled.  But closer examination reveals assurance and victory.   Listen as we consider how God equips us to advance the gospel through this tremendous assurance.