We are told that Moses is 80 and Aaron is 83 when they begin this journey together. I find it very interesting that Aaron throws down his staff, not Moses, and it becomes a snake. The magicians do the same thing, but Aaron’s staff eats their staffs. That would have been a sight to see. Then Moses turns the water of the Nile into blood, the first of the plagues. But Pharaoh’s heart is hard and he does not even attempt to negotiate a peace, yet.
We come to the part of Exodus that so many of us remember from Sunday school, the Plagues! The second of the plagues is frogs. Pharaoh begs for the frogs to be taken away, they are covering everything. He agrees to let Israel go worship and so Moses asks God to end the plague. Once they are frog free, Pharaoh reigns his promise.
The third of the plagues is the plague of gnats. Gnats were more than a nascence, they were unclean. They swarmed everywhere. For the first time Pharaoh’s magicians could not mimic this sign and openly tell Pharaoh that this is the work of God, but Pharaoh will not listen.
The fourth of the plagues is the plague of flies. God sends flies to cover everything. However, for the first time, God makes a difference between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The land of Goshen is free of flies. Moses agrees to pray for Pharaoh and end the plague with the promise that they can go worship. Pharaoh is not a man of his word.
This section gives us two parables. The Parable of the 10 virgins and the Parable of the talents. Matthew is found of allegory and this seems to be what he is using here. The bridegroom symbolizes Jesus. The virgins symbolize the church and the oil symbolizes the fruits of faith. The point of this parable is that we must be told that half are foolish and half are wise, we cannot judge them by their outward appearance or description. We only learn as the Bridegroom is delayed just how unprepared they are. There is futility in these women running out in the middle of the night to buy oil. No stores will be open. Being ready in Matthews Gospel is living the kingdom life now.
The same is true for the Parable of the talents. The servants here are challenged to take the money of the master and oversee it while he is gone. Two of them invest the money, giving it out and returning a profit. But one buries the funds, not wanting to loose what little he has. The landowner returns and finds that he has some good and faithful servants, but also learns that one servant did nothing with what was given to him. Matthew seems to be saying here that what good is our salvation if we do not share it with others in any way we can?
My name is Cardelia Howell-Diamond and I pastor a congregation in Alabama. I'm a clergymama, with a clergymama! I have three lovely littles and an amazing clergyman husband. I love life in the church, even when I don't! I knit, crochet, read, write and sew, though none of these as often as I'd like.