March 14, 2022

Knocked Down by a Thunderstorm

Exodus 9:13-35

The Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.

—  Exodus 9:23-24

Seated on the banks of the Nile River, Egyptian society prospered with abundance and sophistication. It was the envy of all its neighbors. The climate was mild. Water came not so much from rainfall, but by the regular flooding of the Nile, refreshing the whole ­delta with moisture and nutrients. All the land was owned by the Pharaoh, and his priests and officials governed the whole society.

In the story of the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7-12) we see a Pharaoh who refused to recog­nize the God of Israel as the one true God of heaven and earth. So God sent more thunder and lightning, rain and hail on Egypt than it had ever seen before.

This is sometimes another purpose of storms. How ­often in the Bible do we see the proud and mighty being overwhelmed before the power of God? They cannot stand before him. Humans may appear to be strong (at least to each other), but in any storm our weakness is quickly evident.

Rather than standing before God in our own strength, we should bow and pray.

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways. . . . Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

Lord God of heaven and earth, teach us humility. Forgive us for our pride. Thank you for looking on us in grace and mercy and for redeeming us in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema and David Rozeboom

Dr. Jason Zuidema is executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association ( and an elder in the Église réformée du Québec. David Rozeboom serves as chaplain at the Montreal Ministry to Seafarers of the Christian Reformed Church ( The authors thank Kevin Walker, NAMMA director of programs, for editorial assistance.

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