Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country. The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.’” Exodus 8:1-4
Frogs were sacred animals to the Egyptians. They were symbols of fertility. They represented Heka, which was one of the goddesses they worshipped.
It’s interesting how God used the idols that the Egyptians worshipped to become the very things that plagued them.
Bring on the frogs! Frogs, frogs, and more frogs!
The Lord emphasized over and over again throughout Exodus that He wanted both the Egyptians and the Israelites to know that He was God.
Moses replied, “…so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God.” Exodus 8:10
God will have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20).
Last week at church, our youth pastor shared a message about fasting. He said we fast from something for something. He encouraged us to pray about something we can fast from so we can draw closer to the Lord. So I encouraged the 6th and 7th grade girls in my discipleship group to pray about something they could fast from for a period of time so that they could intentionally spend more time with God.
In order to set a good example, the next day I prayed that the Lord would show me something that I could fast from. I tried to think of things I might be putting before God.
Sweet tea? Nah, I love it, but that doesn’t seem to be hindering my time with God.
TV? Nah, I don’t really watch that much television.
I was starting to feel pretty good about myself until…
Suddenly a thought came into my mind.
What? Podcasts??? Surely that wasn’t what the Lord wanted me to fast from! The podcasts I listen to throughout the day are sermons. They are full of wonderful truths that I was sure were helping me draw closer to the Lord.
So I began to dialogue with the Lord about all the reasons these podcasts were helping me grow deeper in my relationship with Him. I didn’t want to give them up. I even called my husband and asked him what he thought about this seemingly ridiculous idea. That didn’t help my case. He said it sounded like the Lord had put that on my heart.
But the more I battled it, the more I realized the strong grip that the podcasts had on me. And I had to admit, sometimes instead of praying, I was listening to a podcast. Instead of spending quality time with my family, at times, I was listening to a podcast. The very thing I thought was drawing me closer to God, I had allowed to monopolize much of my time. Time I should be spending with Him and my family.
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
I am realizing that we can even put good things before God. And just because they are good, doesn’t always mean they are best.
But He is! He’s always best!
So for now, I’m fasting from my podcasts. It’s been hard giving them up, but I am trying to use that time to pray more throughout the day. And I’m also trying to take more time to listen, not to other voices, but for His.
The Lord is a jealous God. He wants to be #1 in our lives. He wants our dependence to be upon Him and not in other things–even good things. If we are not careful, the very things we are trusting in might be the things that come back to plague us.
Watch out for those frogs!
Lord, please show me the “idols” that I am putting before You. I don’t want to have a hard heart like Pharaoh. I want you to be #1 in my life. Only You can truly satisfy. You are my Lord! The One and Only God!
In Jesus’ name, Amen.