We are not in a position to bargain with God. God had a purpose in the plagues and it was to demonstrate His power and declare the majesty of His name. That sounds a bit familiar…something I read in Job last week about the purpose of Job’s suffering was so that God could demonstrate His power.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you don’t, I will send more plagues on you and your officials and your people. Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth. By now I could have lifted my hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth. But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth. But you still lord it over my people and refuse to let them go. So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm more devastating than any in all the history of Egypt. Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields to find shelter. Any person or animal left outside will die when the hail falls.’”
Some of Pharaoh’s officials were afraid because of what the Lord had said. They quickly brought their servants and livestock in from the fields. But those who paid no attention to the word of the Lord left theirs out in the open. (Exodus 9:13-21)
I admit to not always having the bigger picture in mind. All too often I have my two feet firmly planted on this earthly plane rather than on the Rock that is Christ. It was not always just the Egyptians who suffered under the plagues, especially at first. Even the Hebrews were grumbling about how difficult their lives had become.
One of the things I find interesting about the passage I quoted above is that some of the Egyptians did begin to fear God and heed His word. God warned them what was coming next, He warned them to take certain actions if they wanted to save their lives. Some did, some did not. Again, it puts me in mind of people today. God has told us what He plans to do. He has laid it out pretty specifically. And He has given us a way out of the judgment to come, of the consequences of our sin. All that is required of us is to believe. And He even gives us the faith to make that possible. The question I am asking myself today is, “do I trust Him.” Do I grasp that all that happens in my life is so that His power may be displayed? And if so, how does that change my attitude towards the trials that come. How does that change my attitude towards the people God places along my path? It is a whole lot easier to give in to annoyance than to surrender my will to God’s purpose and plan.