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Plagued by Plagues? Part Two

Posted Jul 16 2009 11:04pm

Practical_Christianity column

Last week we visited Exodus 8 and unveiled how today's Christians can become victims of various plagues much like the ones that God sent on the Egyptians. We explored the "Plague of Overabundance"(represented by frogs) and how a Christian's spiritual life can be infected in much the same way. Today we are going to unravel the mystery of one more plague.

The Plague of Improper Perspective

Bug The second plague we encounter in Exodus 8 is insects emerging from the dust of the earth. No one knows exactly what kind of bugs made up this hideous plague, but it's safe to assume that, by sheer numbers, they made the Egyptians extremely uncomfortable.

Unlike fogs, bugs can be found everywhere. We aren't too surprised when we find them crawling in our homes, gnawing on our clothes, and sometimes burrowing in our bodies (yuck!). Since one of the sacred things the Egyptians worshiped was a scarab (fancy name for a dung beetle), we shouldn't be surprised that God used bugs to "bug" them. However, another interesting aspect of this invasion of bugs is where they originated. . .the dust of the earth; the world.

In this second plague a small, insignificant bug burst forth from the earth, and became one huge problem when it united with others of its kind. In much the same manner, we allow small, insignificant thing s to burst forth and cause big problems in our lives when they unite with other small, insignificant thingsor ideals, skewing our perspective. The world is a place where many small, yet perverted ideas or actions burst forth and gain a foothold because they are not kept in a proper (or godly) perspective. And, much like the bugs emerged form the dust of the earth, our improper points-of-view often arise from the world.

It amazes me how much of our society is driven by a small percentage of the population with specific causes. If many of the "politically correct" attitudes and actions holding much of society captive, were put to a public vote, they would be defeated. Another thing I don't understand is how true scientific data is often suppressed and replaced by the "brilliance" of many Hollywood stars and "has been" politicians who promote things without a proper perspective and scientific validity.

Don't think this plague only affects issues on a national or world-wide level; it infects our personal and church lives as well. Both Christians and non-Christians can go overboard. When my oldest son was in preschool, he was a typical boy . . .active and alert to life. One day when a group of church women were preparing for their monthly luncheon, Brian climbed up to the podium Churchlady and started preaching . . .preschool style. He wasn't being obnoxious or causing any problems and the ladies giggled at his youthful exuberance. All except one. She promptly removed the preaching-preschooler from the podium and told him to behave. I suppose he wasn't acting enough like a pious and seasoned church lady to suit this woman's perspective. I don't expect most preschoolers would, but that is a good example of a lost perspective allowing something small and insignificant to loom large. There are many things in the Christian realm that fall victim to an improper perspective and many are far more serious than my son's experience. But, just like the bugs of Egypt probably chased people away, improper perspectives can (and do) chase people away from God . . .especially young seekers.

Improper perspectives are everywhere. The Apostle Paul persecuted Christians because he suffered from the symptoms of that plague. Thankfully, God got hold of him and Paul develop a proper point-of-view. Through much Bible study and walking with God; he grew and matured as a Christian because he sought God with a hungry heart and didn't allow worldly attitudes to stunt his spiritual growth. Paul went on to turn the world upside down for Jesus. Improper perspectives, like the bugs of Egypt, breed death, domination, and division. Proper perspectives, like those we see in the Bible, are a well spring of life, liberty, and unity. What are you breeding in your everyday and spiritual life?

Are you annoyed by small things that band together with a worldly attitude to become unnecessary, larger-than-life issues? If so, you may be exhibiting symptoms of the "Plague of Improper Perspective." The best antibiotic to cure this spiritual illness is the Bible. For example, if you are struggling in a certain area like patience do a word study on "patience." Is there a person who constantly irritates you? Maybe a study on Jesus' love will help you build a healthy new perspective. Another helpful place to visit is the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7. Not only does Jesus give us the beatitudes, but He teaches about anger, lust, giving to the needy, prayer, money, and heaven. It is a wonderful study to help establish a godly foundation in many areas.

Practical Christianity doesn't want to be infected by any plague whether it is the "Plague of Overabundance" or the "Plague of Improper Perspective." Next week we will close out this series with the "Plague of Whatever".

Shona-writer's page

(c)2009 Shona Neff

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