A few years ago I went into full training for hand-to-wing combat on fly swatting. We had a plague, you see. The house was full of them. They kept landing on you, and you could hardly eat your dinner without being dive-bombed. I personally murdered at least 20 a day – I became quite an expert at it. We found out that a local farm had been required, due to a change in law, to alter their methods of insecticide, and the flies had multiplied exponentially. So when I read the story of the Egyptian plague of flies (Exodus 8:20-32), I had some idea what it felt like, but I’m guessing a God-ordained plague of flies was a bit more serious than our little infestation. It was the ordinary folk I felt sorry for. Their lives must have been so disrupted because of Pharaoh’s stubbornness. It’s always the way. The big cheeses make some poorly thought-through decision, and the little guys get to live with the consequences.
But there was one group of people who escaped the dastardly flies. The folk who lived in Goshen. Not a single fly there over and above the normal average. Why the difference? Because God was there. He wanted them to know that he was in the land. And this difference was the proof. He was in control, and he wanted them to know it. They were not subject to some fickle, cheating megalomaniac. His presence brought peace, order, freedom. He had power to overcome any earthly ruler, or natural pest for that matter.
In times when politicians, rulers, authorities or bosses make unwise decisions that affect our lives adversely, when we feel we are the small guys, lacking power and control over our own situations, it’s good to remember God is ultimately the final authority. His presence brings peace, order and freedom.
When we feel angry, frustrated or fearful with our lack of power, we need to remind ourselves of his mighty presence, draw into him, and allow him to envelop us in his love. He IS here. He may give us wisdom to respond, or grace to endure, but no matter what, it is his presence that brings us peace, order and freedom.