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Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Exodus 9:20-21

Then whoever feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses, but whoever did not pay attention to the world of the LORD left his slaves and his livestock in the field.

For the past few chapters, the focus of Moses’ narrative has been on his conversations with the Lord, Aaron, and Pharaoh, filling in the gaps with birds-eye-view glimpses into sweeping storms and swarming bugs and a whole lot of collateral damage, so, to me, Exodus 9:20 is like seeing a small bud of life bursting up from dead soil, hidden till now from sight. Think of it, friend: how have the Hebrews in Goshen been responding to these divine signs over the past few weeks? What conversations have they been discussing around their dinner tables at night? What once-hopeless hearts have already been converted? What late night prayer meetings are eclipsing years of agnosticism? And that’s just one side of it! Because what about the millions of Egyptians who’ve had their lives derailed by their king’s self-serving ambivalence, whose hands are still sore from digging for water, and whose stomachs are still upset from the stench of frogs piled up out back? What prayers are they praying for the very first time in their lives, not to Ra or to some Nile god or to some dumb idol on their mantelpiece, but to the living God of the Hebrews who they now know is the real deal?

Don’t you see it, friend? The crop of righteousness rising in Egypt at this very moment? Pharaoh’s heart might be hardening, but the soil outside is softening. And gospel seeds are spreading. And from one angle, this story’s about hardheartedness, and plagues, and angels of death; but from another angle—from underground—this story’s about redemption, and a growing harvest, and an angel of Mercy.

And I can’t wait to hear all the unique testimonies of these God-fearing servants, of the harvest the Lord sowed in their homes and communities during these stormy nights in Exodus, when I reach heaven and finally have the mind to take it all in.