“And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be,” Exodus 8:23
I really admire people who can or preserve their own products at home. I had a neighbor who does her own canning and her strawberry preserves were really sweet. You didn’t need to add much of it to flavor whatever you were using it on. Delicious!
I think it’s an awesome thing to grow your own produce out of your own garden or to make your special homemade soup and such, and then store them for future use. Everything I have read about canning encourages me, but also frightens me a little bit. It encourages me because it gives the idea that this is something special I produced. Look how beautifully they are lined on the shelves for me to take down and use at will. But, it also frightens me a bit because of the potential for bacterial growth if everything is not sterilized and handled correctly.
I know somebody out there who is an experienced canner is shaking their head at me right now. That’s okay, I’m not offended. But, you guys are awesome!
If you read through the book of Exodus, you will come across the story of the plagues. With that, you will also read about the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart each time a plague had come. Even after dealing with an invasion of lice and flies he still refused God. Some people have to learn lessons the hard way, I guess. Ever been there?
As you continue reading, you will come to Exodus 8:22-23 where it says, “I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.” This is what had me thinking about the ability to preserve and can one’s own stuff.
I am amazed at the keeping power of God. Thinking from a human perspective, how difficult would it be to keep flies and other plagues from entering a land adjacent to the one being afflicted for their wrong? This wasn’t a “bother-you-at-a-picnic-fly-issue.” This was a completely nasty situation!
Verse 21 really opens our eyes to the severity of the situation that God, through Moses, was warning Pharoah of. “Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.” – EWW! Flies all over the ground that you are stepping on – YUCK! I can imagine the difficulty of opening your mouth to speak to one another without a fly taking refuge on your tonsils – GROSS! It is what God warned of, and it is what happened.
It was very intense, but through it all, God kept His people separated from that nasty situation (vs. 22). He put a division between good and evil; between those who were for Him and those who were against Him. Those that were for God didn’t end up with flies in their mouths and in their land and in every other place and thing they weren’t supposed to be. Can you feel your skin crawling at the thought of it all?
God is a keeper of them that put their trust in Him. Psalm 16:1 says, “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.” There’s a lot of junk that goes on around us each and every day but God has a special watch over them that belongs to Him. What seemed like an impossibility of not having any flies enter Goshen, God did it! “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:37; emphasis mine).
There are a lot of things swarming around us every day. Whether it lands on us or not, God is my keeper in the midst of it all. Trust Him today! He is preserving you to take you off the shelf to use one day. I may not be confident in my abilities to sterilize, keeping bacteria from entering in (I need a garden first, anyway). But, I don’t have to question God’s ability to properly preserve me. “CAN ME UP, LORD – AND KEEP ME!”
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