Read Exodus 8
Focus on verse 21-22
We had to move a book shelf last week which meant removing all the books from the shelves. As tedious as this may sound, we made it even more tedious by using the opportunity to set apart books we no longer needed. We had three categories: one for books we wanted to keep available to read, one for books we wanted to keep but could put into storage, and one for books that could go to book heaven. (That would be the thrift store or in severe cases the recycle bin)
In today’s reading God obviously sets apart the Israelites from the Egyptians for a very distinct purpose.
Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. (v. 21-22)
With the plague of flies the Lord makes a point of informing Pharaoh that He has set apart the people of Israel for Himself as a sign to Pharaoh that there is only one true God on the earth. This idea of being “set apart” continues to reappear as the history of Israel unfolds and is used by the Apostle Paul when he writes of followers of Jesus being sanctified or “set apart” wholly and holy to God.
It is interesting that it is at this point that Israel as a nation is “sanctified” or set apart from Egypt as God’s people, then it takes forty years of lessons in sanctification, we might call this the process of being sanctified, until they are ready to enter the Promised Land.
This also is similar to the sanctification of the new believer in Jesus, who at conversion is positionally set apart to God at the point of choosing to follow Jesus. This same believer then spends the rest of his or her life on this earth in a process of “sanctification” being molded into the image Christ.