The judgments were swift and debilitating, declaring the supremacy of Jehovah over the gods of Egypt. Rivers turned into blood; hordes of frogs filled the land of Egypt; the dust of the ground turned into lice; thick swarms of flies polluted the country; a plague killed all the Egyptians’ cattle; another plague of boils and blisters broke out upon the Egyptian people; an extremely severe hailstorm devastated Egypt’s agriculture and killed many of the nation’s farmers and livestock; locusts consumed whatever the hailstorm did not destroy; thick darkness covered the land for three days; and the firstborn of every person and animal throughout the country perished. With her multi-billion-dollar economy in shambles, Egypt, the world’s greatest superpower at the time, was reduced to nothing. Did it have to happen this way?

What would have happened if Pharaoh had chosen to release Israel after the first plague? Would it have affected the outcome of God’s judgment? I believe so. Pharaoh could have spared Egypt the grief associated with her great losses. He could have humbled himself beneath God’s mighty hand for the sake of his people, their families, and their livelihoods. But Pharaoh refused, and thus experienced God’s judgment. He ultimately paid for his decisions with his own life.

We may not have control over our immediate circumstances, but we can control our attitudes and our responses toward them. We can choose to be happy or sad, self-centered or outgoing, submissive or stubborn, proud or humble, bitter or forgiving. These choices will, in turn, affect the circumstances which follow, causing a chain reaction which will overflow into the lives and circumstances of others.

The day after all the rivers in Egypt turned to blood, Pharaoh had to make a choice. Because he made the wrong choice, he and his people suffered. The choices you make today will likewise affect you and others. Allow the Word of God to influence them, and you will choose your way out of life’s “dulldrums.”

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.