“Thus says the Lord,.. ‘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. This time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt… Now get your livestock and all that you have in the field into safe shelter, for every man and beast that is in the field and is not brought home will die when the hail falls on them.’ Then whoever feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses, but whoever did not pay attention left his slaves and his livestock in the field.
“Then… the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. [He] rained hail upon the land of Egypt. There was hail and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail… The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast… [and] every plant, and broke every tree… Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail… But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he… hardened his heart.” Exodus 9:13,16-21,23-26,34
It’s been said the devil doesn’t try to convince us there’s no God, or that life has no meaning, but that we have all the time in the world. Pharaoh in his pride had yielded to this nefarious scheme, hardening his heart against any sense of urgency toward the word of God. And he would reap the whirlwind. (Hosea 8:7)
It’s interesting to note that some of his servants had grown to fear the Lord, this strange God of Israel. They’d hurried to shelter both people and livestock from the promised seventh plague of hail. Six had been enough to convince them of God’s authority, might, and determination to judge. But not the stubborn Pharaoh.
How about us? We have daily display of the Lord’s power and glory. We see breathtaking beauty, and the ravages of sin on physical and mental health and natural decay. We observe Almighty God’s daily mercies and faithfulness, as well as fractured relationships due to hyper-sensitivity and arrogance. Do we fear Him enough to shelter our livestock, to heed His warnings and align with His word? (Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 19:1-3)
This may not be the most popular choice or stance, but it is the right one. God’s purposes will come to pass. God will certainly be exalted and His name will be proclaimed. On which side will we be- those who stand with Him, sheltered by Jesus’s name and blood, or those caught in the hail and fire? (Isaiah 14:24)
Do I love and revere God enough to heed His warnings and follow His instructions? Do I esteem Him more than I do myself, and cherish His words to me? If so, what evidence do my actions give to His supremacy in my heart?
Lord, may I take You and Your word seriously every day, fearing it appropriately and honoring You as You deserve. Please cause my active faith to draw others to Your shelter, that they also might know Your protection and peace.