Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Before God’s Final Judgment
“As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live” (Exodus 33:11 NLT).
Sometimes, I think people believe that God is simply waiting to strike out and bring judgment. Actually, it’s the very opposite.
The Bible teaches that God takes no delight in the death of the wicked (see Ezekiel 33:11 NLT). God doesn’t want to bring judgment, but He will because His Word is true. And He tells us there are penalties and repercussions for disobedience.
For instance, the Lord gave Pharaoh chance after chance to cooperate when He spoke through His servant, Moses, and commanded him to release the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Instead, Pharaoh resisted, and his heart got harder.
As a result, a series of 10 plagues, or judgments, came upon Egypt. Pharaoh was finally worn down by them, but then he tried to mislead and deceive Moses through a series of compromises. Thankfully, Moses didn’t give in to them.
That left one final judgment, which would be the deaths of Egypt’s firstborn. Some might see that as cruel, harsh, and extreme on the part of the Lord. But let me say that for all practical purposes, Pharaoh decided his own fate.
Moses warned Pharaoh that he would be treated the way he treated the Jews. The Lord was very clear about that when He said to Moses, “Then you will tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. I commanded you, “Let my son go, so he can worship me.” But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!’” (Exodus 4:22-23 NLT).
The Lord was very gentle with Pharaoh in some ways. He sent plagues, each gaining in intensity, to get Pharaoh’s attention. But Pharaoh’s heart only grew harder. And in the end, Pharaoh had no one to blame but himself.
Never play chicken with God because you’re always going to lose.
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