Live on the Side of God’s Mercy
In Ex 7:14-12:30, we read the story of the 10 Plagues in Egypt. It is a contest, really, between Almighty God and the gods of Egypt. Pharaoh, in his stubbornness, defied the power of the God of Moses and essentially belittles the Lord. God proved not only to Pharaoh, but to all of Egypt (and to all of Israel), that He not only was greater than Pharaoh, but greater than all Egyptian gods as well.
Scholars state that the number 10 refers to fullness. Just like the 10 Commandments represent the full statement of God’s moral code, so the 10 Plagues form a full company of judgments against a regime seeking to thwart the will of God. There were many gods in Egypt (different authors suggest varying numbers and even use various spellings). What’s especially interesting is how each of the plagues showcased God’s power at the expense of an Egyptian god. The chart below gives a cursory portrayal of the contest.
In the end, God’s purposes were not thwarted. In the end, Pharaoh did not listen to God and instead fought against the Lord and faced judgment (see Ex 12:29, 30). How incredible it could have been for Pharaoh had he listened to God and chosen God’s mercy over judgment.
This incredible story reminds me of many truths, but I want to list three here.
1. I must not ignore God’s Word.
2. I must not trivialize God’s judgment.
3. I must not frustrate His purposes.
Ignoring God, minimizing the consequences of disobedience, and frustrating His purposes puts me on the side of His judgment, like Pharaoh. I want to live on the side of His mercy by being passionate about living out His Word, revering His Name, and living my life to advance His purposes. How about you?