Today’s Reading: Exodus 8:16-24
Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had said. (Exodus 8:19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God’s finger brought judgment upon Pharaoh and all his idols. Flies and lice soon gave way to darkness, and eventually death, save for those Israelites whose doorposts were covered by the blood of the Passover lamb.
Pharaoh, however, isn’t the only one whose hands have wrought wickedness and sin. We may not worship Ra or Amun like the Egyptians did, but make no mistake, we have our own idols all the same. Who or what is it that we look to for all our good? Who or what is it that we fear, love, and trust in above all things? Because of all the sin our hands and fingers, and sinful hearts have worked, we, too, deserve the wrath of the finger of God.
But that’s not what happened. Israel was saved from God’s wrath by the blood of the passover lamb. You are saved by the One who is the Passover Lamb of God in human flesh: Jesus Christ. What’s more, you are saved by the very same fingers of God that saved Israel in the Exodus.
That’s right, in Jesus, the Son of God and son of Mary, God has ten human fingers that touched and healed the sick. Fingers that took bread and broke it and gave it to His disciples on the night in which He was betrayed. Fingers that writhed in pain as Jesus hung on the Cross to pay for all the sin our hands have wrought.
The finger of God brought wrath and judgment to Pharaoh and Egypt. But in Jesus, God’s fingers have brought you life and salvation forever. God rescued His children of Israel, just as He promised, through the blood on the doorposts, and the water of the Exodus. Our Lord Jesus does the same for each of us as well. He paints the doorposts of our mouth with His Holy Body and Blood and He saves us from bondage to sin, death, and the devil through the Red Sea of your Baptism.
So whenever you see the Scriptures, the font, and the altar, you, too, can say, “This is the finger of God come to save me.” In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Look upon the heart-felt desires of your humble servants, Almighty God, and stretch forth the right hand of your majesty to be our defense against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.