“For This Purpose I Raised You”

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me. For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go. Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now.’ 

Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth… flashing continually in the midst of the very heavy hail, such as had never been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast, every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field… But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart.” Exodus 9:12-18,20a,23-25,..34-35

The God of kings and servants is the God of weather and life. He who sends ruinous hail and quiet snow also gives breath to creatures and hope to man. The Lord makes the human heart– some are soft, some are hard. All the while, and through all of God’s doings, his plans will be accomplished. His ultimate purpose is to display His power that He might be known and His holy name exalted.

We may try to put fences around our lives to keep them untouched by the cruelty, the wasting viruses, the hurtful bullying of the world. We may try to order and control every aspect of our calendar and intentions and safety, but what God desires, He does, and He will complete all that He appoints for each one of us. (Job 23:13-14)

Do we scheme against His orchestration for our own interests and ends, or enter ourselves into the flow of His grand and good plans? Do we cut ourselves off in fortresses of self–protection, or make ourselves available for his kingdom work, to serve and speak for Him, that His name and attributes be known, embraced, and trusted?

When world events are testy and difficult, God opens opportunities to be His hands and feet, to spread His infectious love, to emulate His character, to tell of His grace and the power of the cross. We are His agents to help others consider the eternal, the God who reigns above the hail of violence and disunity, the plagues of indifference, resentment, and self-righteousness.

Lord, who has called me by name, mold me as your servant. May I wholeheartedly live out Your purposes for the spreading of Your name and the praise of Your glory. (Isaiah 49:1-3)

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