Life's busy, read it when you're ready!

Create a free account to save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Browse thousands of RP articles

Articles, news, and reviews with a Biblical perspective to inform, equip, and encourage Christians.

Get Articles Delivered!

Articles, news,and reviews with a Biblical perspective to inform, equip, and encourage Christians delivered direct to your inbox!

Create an Account

Save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Advertisement

Most Recent



The Rest


Daily devotional

May 27 – Life during the night of death

It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the LORD by all the people of Israel throughout their generations. – Exodus 12:42  Scripture reading: Exodus 12:33-51; 2 Peter 3:1-13 What is this watching? It’s more than observing from a distance. It’s a word meaning sheltering or caring for or protecting. Our translation follows the Latin translation of the Hebrew to use the word ‘pass over’ in verse 23 to say that the LORD will ‘pass over the door’ and not let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you. We can sometimes think of this almost like God ‘skipping by’ the houses of the Israelites, saying, “Oh, not that one.” But there’s more here. In the night of judgment, God actively protects and guards His people. The LORD watched over these homes, like an eagle hovering with outstretched wings over a nest, so that the destroyer would not enter. This is the imagery we find in Exodus 19:4 where God reminds them, “You have seen how I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself.” Here’s the big point: it’s true of the judgment which is still to come! God will not merely skip by those who believe in Him. He will actively shelter you beneath His wings while judgment falls upon the heavens and the earth! God will hold you tight and secure. You won’t ‘miss’ the judgment as it skips you. You will be taken from the scene of judgment so that you will only behold it while resting secure in the arms of your Saviour! Christ spent three days in the tomb - watching over you! He sealed you with Him into His tomb of death - so that you might also rise with Him! Suggestions for prayer Thank our Merciful Father for sparing us and covering us in His arms of love, mercy, and peace! Rejoice in His Covenant Faithfulness to His Chosen People and pray that many more would find peace and rest in Christ Jesus. In the words of Psalm 17, “Hide me in the shadow of your wings” so that I “will not fear the terror of the night” (Psalm 91) This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 26 – Life when the destroyer comes

None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. – Exodus 12:22-23 Scripture reading: Exodus 12:21-38 Now God is poised and ready to strike Egypt for her sins against the LORD and His people. The previous plagues left the land of Goshen like a shining light, unscathed and untouched, but now God is saying, “This is a judgment that shall strike all.” In Genesis 7, Noah was commanded to enter the ark and not to leave it. We’re told that God sealed the doors of the ark before sending the waters of judgment. Now the LORD commands them to enter their homes and not to leave them. The Israelites’ very dwelling places became a way to pass through the judgment as their doors were sealed with the blood of the lamb – sealed up to pass through unscathed in the night of death in Egypt. One lamb’s life is shed and blood poured out for the many who gathered within and they are sealed into these vessels of deliverance from God’s wrath and just judgment of sin. The destroyer went out and struck all the firstborn – see how specific verse 29 is. God showed no favouritism – the highest born to the lowliest. The only difference on this judgment day was whether they were covered by the blood of the lamb. Even before their Exodus from Egypt and the power of Pharaoh, they must pass through the judgment ordeal which God is sending by the hand of His destroyer. And who can stand when the angel of death appears? Only those who are sealed and covered by the blood of the Lamb! Suggestions for prayer Pray for our Heavenly Father to make us ready for the Day of Judgment and make us thankful for the way of escape He has provided to us. Ask Him to renew our confidence in His unfailing promises to deliver us from all harm and the judgment to come! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 25 – Life before the night of judgment

When your children say to you, “What do you mean by this service?” you shall say, “It is the sacrifice of the LORD's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.” – Exodus 12:26-27 Scripture reading: Exodus 12:1-32; Psalm 91 God’s people were to take a lamb into their homes, care for it for four days and then kill it at twilight. Especially for the children, this must have been shocking! "Dad, what are you doing?" And when they said this, their fathers were to answer: “It is the sacrifice of the LORD's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.” God had His people make special preparations packed with meaning as a display of their faith in the face of judgment. They were to honour the LORD’s Passover by killing the lamb on the fourteenth day, marking their dwellings with its blood, and remaining within these blood-marked dwellings until the dawn broke. And, in a truth that is profoundly significant, the blood of one lamb would cover the life of all who dwelt in that blood-marked dwelling. In Egypt, all who acted in faith were delivered, while all who ignored His promised coming saw death’s cold hand in their homes. Do we similarly live with faith in the face of God’s coming judgment? The LORD has decreed that He is coming again to judge the living and the dead. In Luke 18, Jesus Christ asks, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Be sure that you are trusting in Jesus, the Lamb of God who has been provided for you and enables you to live with confidence as you await the coming JudgmentDay! Suggestions for prayer Tell our Gracious God that we cherish His wondrous love and the Lamb Whom He has provided to us for our deliverance! Thank Him for His Blood and Righteousness which gives us both forgiveness of sins and righteousness in His Presence! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 24 – Reset your clocks to Exodus time

This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. – Exodus 12:2 Scripture reading: Exodus 12:1-2; Hebrews 4:1-13 Have you ever thought of why we gather for worship services on the first day of the week? Christians, ever since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, have gathered on the Lord’s Day to worship and break bread together. We gather on the day of our victory in Christ! We gather on the day when our guilty verdict was replaced with the verdict of our vindication in the resurrection of our Saviour! The Christian Church, in the hope and joy of the resurrection, established a new starting point to the Sabbath celebration in the aftermath of Christ’s victory. Where the LORD appointed a Sabbath rest for believers before the coming of Christ that required labor for six days and then a day of rest, we consciously see that now we begin each week in the Sabbath rest we enjoy in Christ and then we carry out our callings in the aftermath of our reconciliation in Him! We are living in the aftermath of our glorious exodus from the grave in Christ our Risen King! This pattern of orienting our lives to the great works of God was shown to us in the first place at creation, and we see this in Exodus 12 when the LORD marks out a new highlight on the peoples’ calendars and tells them to reset their clocks to exodus time. When God carries out His work of redemption, it permanently impacts the shape and rhythm of our lives! Suggestions for prayer Thank the LORD for the spiritual rest that we enjoy in Christ! Praise Him for His wondrous acts of reconciliation and deliverance! Ask Him to move our hearts to gratefully worship Him on this coming Lord’s Day as we give witness to and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and our exodus from the grave in Him! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 23 – Not a dog shall growl against you

Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die... There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. – Exodus 11:5-7 Scripture reading: Exodus 11:4-10 This is a fascinating comment here about the dog’s growl. This is more than just a way to say that the Israelites won’t suffer even a scratch. On such a night with so much death in the land, one god of the Egyptians would be especially busy. Anubis, god of the dead and embalming who was represented like a dog in Egyptian images. And on this night, God declared, “The dog shall not growl against any of the people of Israel.” It’s as if the LORD is saying, “Your dog-god will be busy, Pharaoh, dealing with all your dead bodies – but won’t even growl against my people! For I will spare my people so that you may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.” How amazing this is! And the story becomes even more amazing when we see the provisions that the LORD set in place for His people to be spared His fierce anger and powerful hand of vengeance. In the next few chapters, the LORD makes His people prepare for the night of terror in Egypt. He sets them apart and sets a covering over them to guard so that not a dog shall growl nor shall a single hair be touched by the LORD’s avenging angel. In Romans 9, we read of how God says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then, Paul reminds us, it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” Suggestions for prayer Praise God for protecting and preserving your life and granting you the righteousness of Jesus Christ your Saviour! Praise Him for securing the salvation of His people and guarding us against the powers of death. Thank God for His Mercy! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 22 – He will let you go from here

The LORD said to Moses, "Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely.” – Exodus 11:1 Scripture reading: Exodus 11:1-3; Exodus 3:13-22 In human history, great warriors have made a name for themselves by winning on the battlefield. But God does something far more amazing than win on the plain of battle against an outmatched Egyptian army. He takes up, with His hand, the very things He has created in the beginning and wields them like His Sword. We can say that creation plays an active role in Israel's release from slavery. The LORD unleashes natural powers and also brings them to a conclusion. Both are remarkable! If you remember, God attacked the symbol of Egypt, the serpent, in the first sign. Then, in the first plague of blood, there was a visible symbol of coming bloodshed. It was a warning sign. Then God attacked the Nile again when He made frogs come forth from the Nile to again bring a defiling presence into the land. Then God attacked the land (plagues 3-6) and then He attacked the sky (in plagues 7-10). God struck the three great sources of so-called divine powers in Egypt: the Nile, the Land and the Skies. By the end of it, Stephen Dempster explains, “The people must think that it is as if all of creation has become unhinged.” What was the right response? To acknowledge and worship God alone! As the Apostle Paul explains, “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6). Suggestions for prayer Pray to our Father in Heaven, His name be hallowed! His awesome deeds give us hope and confidence in His constant care for us. Thank Him for the light of the knowledge of the glory of God which He has shone in our hearts! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 21 – God commands the darkness to swallow Egypt

They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived. – Exodus 10:23 Scripture reading: Exodus 10:21-29; John 12:27-50 To blot out the light of the sun over the whole land of Egypt for three days is incredible. To simultaneously provide light to the people of Israel is even more incredible! In Egypt, they worshipped the sun god Ra who rose steadily every morning and then departed into the place where Egyptians believed death dwelt. But they always expected the light to return – and sure enough, through the rotation of the earth, the sun would reappear and the Egyptians would be heartened, thinking, “Our god has come through death’s place and returned to us alive and so shall we also be sustained!” The ninth plague begins without warning and it strikes a powerful blow to the whole idea of Egyptian worship of the sun god Ra. Where is this god who is suddenly cast down? For three days they experienced a darkness so thick and oppressive that they were filled with the terrors of the night. They knew the sense of dread that perhaps the sun and its light would never return. And what was the response of the Egyptians to be? The same response that many gave in Luke chapter 7 when Jesus performed a miracle in their presence: “And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and ‘God has visited his people!’" (Luke 7:15-16). The LORD continues to reveal His glory and might in creation and calls us all to follow Christ Jesus with eager devotion and persistent gratitude. Suggestions for prayer Praise our Holy God, for His awesome deeds and wondrous power! Thank Him that Christ Jesus is our Lamp and Shining Light in the midst of the world’s darkness. Thank Him for being the Light of the World! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 20 – God commands the heavens to strike and the locusts to destroy

“By now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” – Exodus 9:15-16 Scripture reading: Exodus 9:13-21; Psalm 29 Pharaoh’s sorcerers were humiliated. These lurking shadows, with power to frighten Pharaoh and wield authority in Egypt, were driven away by their boils in the last plague. Whatever threat they possessed was neutralized. They are never mentioned again. Egypt’s whole system of command and control is being decimated by these waves of judgment on Egypt. And the LORD explains what He is doing: "I am showing you My power so that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth!" This is the whole point of the plague cycle. The LORD’s power is being shown in increasing magnitude. “The hail, rain, thunder and fire came as a barrage,” writes Phillip Ryken, “an opening of the arsenal of judgment to pour out his deadly wrath on Egypt.” So Pharaoh’s servants ask, "How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?" This judgment scene in the Old Testament serves as a preview of the all-out destruction that shall occur on the Last Day. As a hymn writer puts it, At His call the dead awaken, rise to life from earth and sea; all the pow'rs of nature, shaken by His looks, prepare to flee. Careless sinner, what will then become of thee? But to those who have confessed, loved and served the Lord below, He will say, "Come near, ye blessed, see the kingdom I bestow; you forever shall My love and glory know." Suggestions for prayer Rejoice in the LORD’s goodness that ‘the free gift following many trespasses brought justification’ for all who believe in Jesus Christ! Ask the LORD to give you courage as you testify of the blessings which you have received through His grace to you! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 19 – God commands the animals to die and the dust to bring distress

“The LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die.”And the LORD set a time, saying, "Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land." And the next day the LORD did this thing. – Exodus 9:4-6 Scripture reading: Exodus 9:1-12 God has an amazing way of getting His point across, doesn't He? He has said to Pharaoh, “You shall let my people go and you shall know that I am the LORD.” Now the signs and judgments are being displayed for all to see and they are steadily increasing in power and consequences until at last God will slay every firstborn of Egypt and then drown the remainder of the powerful of Egypt in the Red Sea! The LORD’s purpose in all this activity in Egypt was to make His name known among the nations and to bring His treasured people out of their bondage into the land of promise. Those two great purposes – to glorify God and restore the Israelites to the land of the promise – are on full display here. He strikes all the beasts of Egypt, but spares all that belonged to the Israelites. And then, the very dust which coated the Hebrew slaves from the brick kilns of their slavery is cast upon Pharaoh and his hosts and they are oppressed by these wretched boils. Even still, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. One godly congregant wrote recently, “Pharaoh grieves me. He grieves me because his hardened heart and unwillingness to accept God’s sovereignty remind me so much of my sister. Her heart is hard towards Jesus and her will is unyielding to God’s sovereignty ... she and Pharaoh have too much invested in sovereignty over their own lives... Why doesn’t she see that lasting peace comes only from knowing Jesus?” (Cited in Phillip Ryken, Exodus, p 275) Suggestions for prayer Pray that the LORD’s message would be heard and received in faith by new generations. Pray that the LORD would give us greater joy in the news that lasting peace comes only from knowing Jesus. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 18 – God commands the dust and the flies to afflict Egypt

The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said. – Exodus 8:18-19 Scripture reading: Exodus 8:16-32; Psalm 66 In the third and fourth plagues, the LORD chose small and seemingly trivial bugs to make a serious point: the Egyptians were being confronted by the LORD of heaven and earth. The gnats (or lice) were taken from the dust of the earth to afflict the Egyptians. The flies were taken from the skies to drive the Egyptians mad. These plagues testified that the LORD’s power was incredible. It’s almost amusing that the magicians – who had created snakes, blood, and frogs through their dark secret arts – are now stumped by the most insignificant of critters – the gnat! These demonically empowered men now confront the truth: “This is God’s doing!” But Pharaoh refuses to heed the Word of the LORD. He tries to trap the Hebrews by offering them a chance to make sacrifices in Egypt. He tries to twist God’s commands and keep the Hebrews in a place of compromised loyalty to God. Yet what do we see? Moses and Aaron confront Pharaoh’s lies and attempts to cheat them. God was bringing the powers of Egypt to its knees and humbling every refuge, every so-called god that they turned to, by displaying His absolute power over them. Charles Spurgeon explains, “God’s demand is not that his people should have some little liberty, some little rest in their sin, no, but that they should go right out of Egypt... Christ did not come into the world merely to make our sin more tolerable, but to deliver us right away from it.” Suggestions for prayer Pray that our Father, as He instructs us as His children, gives us discernment to see the temptations which are placed in our path to turn aside from Him or to offer compromised sacrifices to Him. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 17 – God commands the frogs of the Nile to invade Egypt

Moses said to Pharaoh, "Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile." And he said, "Tomorrow." Moses said, "Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God.” – Exodus 8:9-10 Scripture reading: Exodus 8:1-15 Surely a frog was nothing, right? Well, it shouldn’t surprise you that the Egyptians reverenced the goddess Heqet as the Egyptian goddess of childbirth. She was depicted with the head of a frog as a symbol of fertility. This is the false god that God attacked in this second plague. Heqet is undone through a sanity-stretching invasion. The frog goddess is toppled from a place of reverence and respect as the Egyptians begin to mutter every time they find another frog in their beds, their pots, their ovens and their kneading bowls. So Pharaoh cries out – he wanted relief, as one writer put it, from the punishment for sins, but not relief from sin itself. Pharaoh was coming to know about God through Moses but he was not prepared to come to God for deliverance from sin – Pharaoh wanted no part in salvation, just a respite from the plagues and these curious people. We look upon Pharaoh crying out for relief from one plague and we realize the powerful difference between a true cry of a repentant heart to the Servant of the Lord and the false cry of those who remain hardened in sin and unrighteousness. Only those who repent and believe in Jesus can find true relief and lasting peace with God! Let us cry out for deliverance to the One Who hears our cry and answers our request as we humble ourselves before Him! Suggestions for prayer Pray for the salvation of many in this world who are following false gods. Pray that your faith in Jesus would be strengthened as you cry out to Him in all of life’s troubles and hardships. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 16 – God commands the water to become blood

Thus says the LORD, "By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood.” – Exodus 7:17 Scripture reading: Exodus 7:14-25; Revelation 16:1-16 From the perspective of the pagan Egyptians, it made good sense to worship such a mighty natural force as the river Nile. The name given to the Nile River god was 'Hapi' and she was depicted as a mother who had given birth to Egypt. The fertility of Egypt depended on this great river which allowed life in the middle of the sands. After Moses and Aaron present the serpent-sign in Pharaoh’s presence they are told by God to meet Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. It is likely that Pharaoh was there for a religious ritual. What were they to do? “Go out to the place where Pharaoh interacts with one of his gods,” the Lord is saying, “and put that god to death by striking it with your staff.” It's a powerful one-two punch combo! Your royal serpent figure? Swallowed. Your powerful and life-sustaining river god? Defiled and dead. Say what you will, but God has an amazing way of getting his point across, doesn't He? No other god can save a people from the hand of the LORD. Judgment awaits every foe of God. What a precious gift it is to believe in the Son whose shed blood now cleanses and renews us.  And never forget Jesus’ testimony, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” Suggestion for prayer Pray for the blessing of the LORD for the ministry of His Gospel in all places around the world. Pray that many more would believe in Jesus and pass from death to life in Him! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 15 – The Lord warns and Satan still tries to deceive Pharaoh

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. – Exodus 7:10-11 Scripture reading: Exodus 4:1-17; Exodus 7:8-13 Pharaoh and the Egyptians are about to be swallowed up by the might of the LORD God! The proof is directly in front of them. Pharaoh, represented by the vivid imagery of a cobra head poised and ready to strike, was confronted by a live snake on the ground before him which was poised and ready to strike. The serpent's appearance was a warning and a declaration of intent on God's part. And then the most deflating thing happened, didn't it? Through dark demonic powers, Pharaoh’s magicians did the same by their secret arts. The magicians and sorcerers bring into Pharaoh's presence another threatening force – poised to strike. TheSerpentmakes an appearance. In Revelation 12, the Prince of Darkness who rebelliously confronts the LORD is named as the ancient serpent. Satan, the deceiver, presents through these sorcerers an imitation of God's threat. Which threat would Pharaoh respond to? God threatens, “I will destroy you and swallow you up.” And in response, the prince of darkness responds with his own threat through these other sorcerers and magicians: “for each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents.” And Pharaoh thinks, “If you have one snake and my magicians have many snakes, I think I'll stick with them!” And then? “Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs.” Don't you love that? God is superior to any challenger – and God's servants cannot be thwarted by the Serpent or by the powers that he gives to his followers. Suggestions for prayer Rejoice in the saving power of the LORD God! Pray for greater faith to be confident in the face of discouragement and doubts. Ask the LORD to give us joy because Christ has overcome the powers of sin, death and the evil one. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 14 – They shall all know that I am the Lord

Though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them. – Exodus 7:3-5 Scripture reading: Exodus 6:10-7:7 Up until now, the action in the book of Exodus has been more small-scale. Yes, the burning bush scene was quite something – but even that was a fiery scene witnessed by one man in the wilderness. Now we're at the doorstep and ready to dive into the ten plagues. Why did the LORD bring the plagues? He had previously explained this to Moses: “You shall know I am your God. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”  In this chapter, we read that the signs and plagues will also be a testimony to the Egyptians who will come to acknowledge God’s supreme power over them. The mighty deeds of the LORD will be legendary! It’s disturbing, but unsurprising that we live in a time where many people ignore the truth that the LORD is sovereign over all. His might was displayed in Egypt and His saving purpose was foreshadowed in the events of the Exodus. The amazing impact of the good news of our salvation in Christ emerges when we remember that the LORD’s judgment of Egypt pales in comparison with the coming judgment for sin that shall take place on the last day. Yet, in Christ, every believer is assured that we have already undergone the judgment for sin because Jesus Christ has borne our judgment in His body on the cross! Suggestions for prayer Praise our Holy Father for graciously providing us with a Mediator Who was judged in our place. Ask Him to graciously open the hearts of our loved ones so that they may know that He is LORD and that He will save all who call out to Him in faith. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 13 – Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night (Jesus I come to Thee)

Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery. – Exodus 6:9 Scripture reading: Exodus 5:19-6:9 In John 12:46, Jesus declared, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” What wondrous news this is for sinners who need to be redeemed from the darkness! He came to bring the blessing of a new life to every believer. He came to bring us into a world of light in Him! The exodus from Egypt serves as a vivid preview of Jesus’ greater ministry to bring us out of a state of darkness and into the light of His presence. We do well to remember the dramatic change which the LORD brought to His people. As God said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do”. The LORD’s people were broken in spirit and burdened by harsh slavery. Their hope was fading. Pharaoh’s rejection of God’s command was emphatic. Their slavery was worse than before. What good could come out of this? Moses speaks in despair: “Since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all." Our experience of hardship leaves such a mark on our faith. We begin to question God’s ability to actually help us. The LORD calls on us to look and see that His hand of deliverance has gone out to bring us from darkness into light! In the words of a familiar hymn: Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night, Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come! Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light, Jesus, I come to Thee! Suggestions for prayer Praise God for rescuing you from the darkness of sin and bringing you into the light and joy of His presence. Ask Him for strength to overcome fear and despair as you remember that Christ has overcome all our enemies and shall soon return to bless us with everlasting life! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 12 – I am and I will

The LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land." – Exodus 6:1 Scripture reading: Exodus 5:22-6:12; Acts 4:1-31 God takes us places in our lives that we think are entirely backwards – entirely opposite of what we want or expect or think can in any way be a good thing. “Why have you done evil to this people?” Moses asks, “Why did you ever send me?” The despair of Moses resonates for so many who've known struggles and pain. Yet God will display that “everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.” This truth emerges in this scene which previewed the coming deliverance of God’s people. For “this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Remember this as you gather to worship the Great I AM today! After all, Pharaoh thought he was in control. Pharaoh boasted, “I will not let you go, I will not help you, and I will not let you rest.” God's response is even clearer: “I AM and I will deliver My people and give them rest.” As our passage unfolds, God again promises deliverance and declares that He will be vindicated. His character will be proven through the events that follow. God's name is now to be fully known and He is to become famous for what He does to Egypt. We can trust the LORD to do what is right even in the harshest of circumstances and when we face the most strident opposition. Suggestions for prayer Praise our God Almighty and marvel at His splendor, power, and righteousness! Thank Him for saving us from our distress! Ask Him to strengthen our hearts to serve Him with greater confidence. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC...

Daily devotional

May 11 – I’m Pharaoh and I will not

“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.'" But Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go." – Exodus 5:11-12 Scripture reading: Exodus 5:1-21; Isaiah 51 After narrowly escaping death through the emergency circumcision of Moses' son, Moses met Aaron in the wilderness and they traveled to Egypt. Incredibly, the people believed the message they heard and then bowed their heads and worshipped the one true God. You could say Moses is on a roll! Moses must be expecting even greater things to happen when he brings God’s Word to Pharaoh. Surely, all that had been promised is about to come about! But things don't go according to plan, do they? At least, as we see so often in our lives, according to our plans. In Exodus 5, we see two sides to one great showdown. Here we are ring-side and we hear the boast: “I'm Pharaoh, and I WILL NOT. I will not listen to your God and I will not let you go. Whoever you think you and your people are, I will not take orders from you.” Moses is shaken by Pharaoh’s refusal. Yet, in the picture here of everything going awry – of the oppression becoming greater and not less – we see a distant preview of another Servant of God Who came to His own and His own disciples struggled to understand how good could come from His rejection. The children of Abraham did not receive Him. Jesus came with a message and mission of freedom and faced the great powers of the evil one head on. When it seemed like the powers of darkness triumphed at Golgotha, Christ Jesus demonstrated His power by rising again on the third day and silencing the boastful mouth of Satan! Suggestions for prayer Ask God to show you how to ‘count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds’. Pray for a renewed heart that trusts that the LORD shall bring us good even when others refuse Him. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 10 – Let me go

Moses took the staff of God in his hand. And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.” – Exodus 4:20-21 Scripture reading: Exodus 4:18-31; Romans 8:18-39 In Romans 8, we read, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” God is for us – what a precious truth this is! Do we consider this as we struggle to be freed from the things which keep us from serving God as we should? Do you let the knowledge of what God has done, and is still doing, power your life? The good word of the gospel provides you with every reason and encouragement to strive against sin! For when our cry for help comes to the LORD, He declares, “I have freed you!” This is such a key part of the Christian life. All who believe in Christ live in a newfound freedom! We no longer live as those who remain in rebellion against God and captivity to sin. Here in Exodus 4, Moses’ hesitation has been overcome and he tells Jethro, his father-in-law, that he must go and do what God has called him to do. God has reassured His struggling servant repeatedly. Why? He is a God who saves His people! In a harsh world filled with many trials and hardships, the Lord comforts His people every day. In this age with its many troubles, the Lord provides a vivid display of His will in action in the story of the Exodus – hardening and softening hearts, addressing doubts and fears and calling all to service. Suggestions for prayer Pray for a deepening awareness of God’s gracious care for you. Pray that He would help you to be more and more willing to live as He calls you to live. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 9 – Are we sufficiently equipped for what lies ahead?

Then the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak." – Exodus 4:11-12 Scripture reading: Exodus 4:1-17; Hebrews 13:8-21 “Who am I that I should go?” Moses asks the Angel of the LORD. And God responds with 27 more verses of exhortation and encouragement for His servant Moses! Remember, God is not so distant from His people that He doesn't understand our weaknesses and our fears. He even holds back His anger over Moses' continued objections. But Moses’ fears are real and he’s not wrong – he gets a lot of the predictions he makes right! He's doubtful of Israel's reaction to him – and for good reason! He's fearful of Pharaoh's reaction to him – and for good reason! He's even correct that the signs which God has set before him are still going to be questioned and even rejected by the people! The LORD's plan of deliverance ultimately required someone with more to offer than a trembling heart and the signs which God gave him. Jesus has come with His unblemished obedience and divine power to remove our guilt and rescue us. Yet, as believers awaiting Jesus’ return, we can likewise see real threats and wonder if we are sufficiently equipped for the struggles we face. We face temptation, growing hostility, and personal hardship. And as He reassured Moses, He assures us that He is with us. He gives us His Word to shape our lives. He provides us with the signs of baptism and the Lord’s Supper to deepen our faith. And He assures us by His Spirit that He will “equip you with everything good that you may do his will.” (Hebrews 12:21). Suggestions for prayer Rejoice in the LORD’s continued mercies. Thank Him for being patient with you in your weakness. Ask Him to give you a renewed resolve to serve Him without compromise. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC. ...

Daily devotional

May 8 – It shall not harm you

The LORD said to Moses, "Put out your hand and catch it by the tail"--so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand-- "that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you." – Exodus 4:4-5 Scripture reading: Exodus 4:1-5; Psalm 121 "Put out your hand and catch it by the tail.” Now, don't try this at home. You can throw sticks on the ground as much as you like – that part is just fine. But grabbing a snake by its tail is a very risky business. A venomous snake moves most swiftly to strike anything which touches its body. That's why when you're snake catching, you try to nab it right behind its head and grasp it there. The tail flails around, but the head can't move if you have it securely grasped. God gave Moses a remarkable sign. He was to confront Pharaoh, whose emblem was a coiled serpent, and demonstrate that the serpent would not strike them. No harm would come to them from actual serpents, from Pharaoh as the Serpent Ruler of Egypt, or even the ancient Serpent who was anxious to harm God’s people. Moses will seize the serpent by the tail – and its mouth will be shut – its power will be stripped – and it will yield to the rod of the shepherd and literally become a rod again. The sign given by God to Moses makes plain that the serpent shall not harm his people. We know this with even greater clarity because Christ Jesus has bound our great adversary and tempter, Satan. By rising from the grave, Jesus has conquered every foe. By His action, He has gained us the victory over the powers of sin, death, and the darkness of the evil one! Suggestion for prayer Praise our Heavenly Lord for His victory which has gained us an everlasting peace with Him and an everlasting security from our foes through Jesus Christ! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 7 – Who shall I say you are?

Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:13-14 Scripture reading: Exodus 3:13-22 Jesus shocked the crowds in the temple when He declared, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” In a misguided attempt to protect the name of the LORD, they picked up stones to throw at Him. What was His offense, in their eyes? Jesus was declaring that He was God. Yet, Jesus was rightly revealing His Name to the crowds just as He had previously revealed Himself to Moses. For it was the Word of God Who spoke from the burning bush and provided assurance to Moses that it was by divine authority that Moses was to carry out his calling. In a way, we can identify with Moses’ hesitation, can’t we? Moses doubted himself, he feared the people and Moses was worried about Pharaoh. And amazingly, the LORD provides a powerful reassurance to His wavering servant: “Say this… I AM has sent me to you.” I can't do this. Lord, you call me to an impossible task. What is that for you? What part of your life feels impossible right now? Particularly, what area in your heart feels like a no-go zone in your fight to root out sin? What struggle do you face with others that feels like it is an insurmountable challenge? If we focus on Moses, we miss the much greater revelation happening: The LORD God, the maker of the heavens and the earth, made plain this everlasting truth for all who trust in Him: I AM with you to deliver you! Suggestion for Prayer Pray for the LORD’s name to be hallowed on earth as it is in heaven. Pray for assurance that His power is so great that we need not be anxious about anything! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 6 – How can we come near?

God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." And he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. – Exodus 3:4-6 Scripture reading: Exodus 3:1-12; Hebrews 12:18-29 To come into God’s presence, we must be pure of any sin and holy in heart and conduct. Like Moses, we are defiled by sin and need a priest who can cleanse us. This was why Moses was told not to come near to the burning bush and the Angel of the LORD who spoke to Him. Yet the great news in Hebrews chapter 10 is this: “Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith." We are invited to draw near through Christ our High Priest Who has washed our hearts and bodies clean of sin and corruption. Particularly in the aftermath of Jesus’ wondrous work of redemption and the offering of His shed blood and body for our sins, we are granted a new confidence and assurance to draw near to the majesty, splendor, and glory of our God! Jesus Christ has opened up a new and living way for us to come into the presence of our Holy God and live with joy in His presence! God comes near to Moses in the wilderness and gives Moses His Name to proclaim, His plan to carry out and His power to display signs of God’s intent to set His people free. He wants Moses to be His ambassador in Egypt. All that Moses will do serves as a preview of when Jesus would come to rescue His people from a greater foe and secure us forever. In Him, dear Christian, we draw near with newfound boldness and holiness! Suggestions for prayer Praise the Lord that He has completely provided what you need to draw near to Him without terror or dread! Pray that Jesus would be exalted in your conduct as you live in renewed holiness because of His perfecting work in you. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 5 – God’s ways are not our ways

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9 Scripture reading: Exodus 2:15-25; Isaiah 55 How was anything good to come from Moses’s sudden exodus from the land? Wasn’t he saved from the Nile River for a special mission? He’s 40 years old and well trained. He’s strong enough to be a powerful foe to the Egyptians, single-handedly taking the large lid off the well and imposing enough to drive away the aggressive shepherds. If you were a casting agent for social revolution, you would say Moses was your guy. But God’s ways are not our ways. The might of Moses will be diminished during his 40 years as a shepherd in the wilderness away from the Hebrews of Egypt. It will not be mighty, well-connected Moses who leads the charge into the battle for Hebrew independence. No, God’s plan is to send an 80-year-old Moses to be His voice and a messenger with signs of power. Is this surprising? Yes! Just as a child born in a stable was a surprising turn of events for those who expected a king. Yet Jesus Christ was the Word of God Incarnate and the only One who could bring life to us through His death and resurrection. There is a lesson in the life of Moses that we need to learn too: that God’s perfect plan of deliverance involves times of suffering, hardship and pain for us to endure. But through it all, God is in control! Suggestions for prayer Pray that the Lord would give you peace in your circumstances as you await the day when you will enter the Promised Land of rest for all of God’s people. Pray for contentment when God’s plans for you seem hard to understand or experience. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 4 – The defender of the oppressed

When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. – Acts 7:23-25 Scripture reading: Exodus 2:11-15; Acts 7:17-29 What was Pharaoh’s fear? In chapter 1 vs 10, he fears that the Hebrews would join the enemies of Egypt and fight against them and escape from the land. Amazingly, that’s exactly what Moses does here. Here’s a son of esteem and privilege in Pharaoh’s court, next in line to the throne according to the ancient historian Josephus. What does he do? He joins the enemy. What’s more, he fights for them and escapes from the land. In this remarkable scene, Moses served as a defender and avenger of the oppressed. This is the inspired interpretation which the martyr, Stephen, sets before us in Acts 7:24-25. Moses strikes the first blow against Pharaoh’s forces. Yet the weary hearts of the Hebrews were not prepared to see that God was giving them salvation by Moses’ hands. They looked at the prospect of deliverance and thought it was too far-fetched and they rejected Moses. When Stephen preached on this text before the Council, he made the point all too clear for them: you are acting with greater disdain and danger to your soul if you reject Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, Who has come to defend the oppressed and avenge all wrongdoing. For unlike Moses, who shrank in fear once he realized what he had done, Jesus unfailingly overcame our great enemy and now He opens the gates of Heaven to all who believe in Him. Moses’ actions were only a preview of the glorious way in which God has now given us salvation through the pierced hands of His Son! Suggestions for prayer Pray for God to remove every obstacle in the hearts of those who think salvation from sin is either unnecessary or simply impossible. Pray for courage to be a witness of Christ our Defender and Redeemer! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 3 – Delivered

By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. – Isaiah 53:8-9 Scripture reading: Exodus 1:15-2:10; Isaiah 53 We can read many stories in the Bible of times when the LORD miraculously and powerfully delivered His people from the spear and sword of their enemies. He spared the Hebrew children through the faith-filled actions of Shiprah and Puah, the Hebrew midwives. He delivered baby Moses from the very river in which he was supposed to be killed. Moses was brought to the site of death. He was spared. He was rescued from certain death by means of an ‘ark’ – a vessel of deliverance which was safeguarded by the LORD so that Moses might be rescued by a most unlikely rescuer – Pharaoh’s daughter! These are important testimonies to the love God has for you. He hears your cries and answers your pleas. He promises you deliverance from the judgment to come and He sets before you everlasting life. Amazingly, then, the greatest testimony of our deliverance is found in the scene of a man brought to the place of death who was not delivered. Our Saviour was not spared at the site of His judgment. Even though He was entirely pure and innocent, He laid down His life so that we might be saved in Him. This salvation through the payment of our sins and the bearing of our judgment is now finished! You are delivered because Christ was not spared. He was stricken for our transgressions. Through His death and resurrection, we now confidently tell Satan and his whole dominion that we do not fear their power for we have been delivered and we shall be raised again with Christ! Suggestions for prayer Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Praise the name of the LORD for His unfailing mercies and wondrous deliverance of sinners who call upon His name to receive life through His death! This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 2 – The collision of two great powers

But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. – Exodus 1:12  Scripture reading: Exodus 1:1-14; Revelation 12 The Pharaoh of Egypt was shrewd and cunning. He did not know or care about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was most willing to become an enemy of God's people. In this, Pharaoh was taking up the vain battle cry of Satan and all who follow him in rebellion against the LORD God. He thought his human powers could overcome the problem posed by the rapidly multiplying people of God. In these events in Exodus, Satan saw that his attempts to wipe out the people whom God loved were futile. With Satan behind him spurring him on, Pharaoh would see first hand that no ruler or power can stop the LORD God! No chains can deter the LORD’s purposes for his people. No army can ever stand in His way. No waters can hem in His people and not even a wilderness without food and water can actually disrupt God's purpose to save His people! Jesus, our great Saviour from the powers of sin, death and the devil, says to His followers, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Those words are true for all who suffer for His name’s sake as a part of the people of God. When it seems like we're caught in the collision of great powers – when we face grave threats or increasing pressures, we must be and are reminded of this glorious testimony of Christ our Lord: “I have overcome the world." Suggestion for prayer Thank the LORD for delivering us from our bondage to sin and the powers of the evil one. Pray for strength to withstand temptation. Ask the LORD to increase your trust in Jesus Christ alone for deliverance from the powers of evil in this world. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC....

Daily devotional

May 1 – The central Character in the story of all our lives

Introduction to the month of May This month we will be looking at Exodus 1-13 in order to see the tremendous way that the historical exodus of God’s people from Egypt foreshadows the wondrous exodus of all who are redeemed from sin, suffering and the tyranny of the devil. Our prayer is that we will see more fully the way that God’s people can have hope and confidence in the work of Jesus for us as sinners in need of God’s mercy and grace. There are a remarkable array of characters in these pages of Scripture and every one of them has a message to tell us in our time of awaiting our entry into the Promised Land (Hebrews 12:22-24)! You will meet villains who oppose the LORD and His anointed (Psalm 2:2). You will meet a people who are reluctant to listen to a man whose presence has seemingly made things worse for them (John 6:66-69). You will meet a redeemer and judge who is reluctant to take up his calling until the LORD gives him a name to proclaim, a series of signs to perform and a stirring message: My people shall be set free to worship Me (Hebrews 10:5-7). In this series of devotions for the month ahead, we’ll look at the story that the martyr, Stephen, appealed to in Acts 7:17-36 to explain that the coming of Jesus Christ was always anticipated in scripture and that He is truly our Saviour and King! **** Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Scripture reading: Psalm 48, 2 Corinthians 1:1-4 God is the central character in the story of all our lives. As Scripture says, “In Him we live and move and have our being” and “we are His offspring.” So when the story of your life is written, it is always the case that God is the central character – whether He is recognized in this role or not. We might think we’re the central character in the story of our lives. It feels like we are! Yet, one part of our faith-filled response to God is that we learn to humble ourselves before Him and see that He is the most important figure in our story. Yet, if a story-teller dropped by your house and wanted to capture your story, I wonder if he might be caught off guard if you said, “First, I need to tell you about God because He is more important and central a character in this story than I am!” The story of the Exodus is first and foremost a story which highlights the greatness of the LORD God. His plan brings comfort to His people. His actions reveal His glory. His mercies reveal His steadfast covenant faithfulness. His powerful triumph over the armies of Pharaoh reveals the splendor of His holy Name to all! As we proceed through this account of trouble and triumph, we will do well to keep reminding ourselves that God is truly the central character in the story! Suggestions for prayer Praise God for being the One who comforts us in all our affliction. Pray for humility to submit to God’s will for our lives and to rejoice that He is the most important character in our life story. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church in BC. ...