daily devotional

Plagues That Preach

Read Exodus 6:28-10:29

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart once more, and he would not let them go. “Get out of here!” Pharaoh shouted at Moses. “I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!”

“Very well,” Moses replied. “I will never see your face again.” (Exodus 10:27–29)

I’m convinced this dreadful display of judgement in Egypt, this battle between a righteous, holy God and the stubborn heart of Pharaoh, has at least two major truths to teach us. First, when God judges, He does a thorough job of it. Second, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Let’s make this painfully personal. You may be in the danger zone as you read these words. You have played fast and loose with your life, ignoring warning after warning. You have shoved aside essential truths for so long that your heart has become hardened. And the longer you harden it, the more difficult it is to allow God’s light to finally break through.

But there’s a bright side to this dark story. When God blesses, He holds nothing back. It’s called grace. God’s grace rescued the children of Israel in the land of Goshen. As dark as it became in Egypt, the Hebrews were flooded with light. They were a city on a hill, shining through the night, if only Pharaoh had eyes to see it.

You may be one who has enjoyed God’s great grace and favour in your life—His protection, provision, daily blessings, and unmerited favour fill your days. You can thank God for a place in the land of Goshen. You enjoy God’s protection—a careful plan which distinguishes you from those who live under His wrath. Believe me, nothing in this life or the next is more serious and sobering than the wrath of God. Some are broken—blessedly broken—by that wrath. Others only harden.

Life’s plagues are tough to endure—painful to the core. But God has no desire to leave us alone in our pain and distress. Habakkuk once cried out to God, “In wrath, remember mercy.”

And the Lord has done just that. Jesus, who endured God’s wrath to the uttermost on the cross, now invites us to walk arm in arm with Him through the rest of our days. He is our faithful, ever-present Friend. No earthly catastrophe can ever separate us from the grip of His grace or the legacy of His love. Gratefully thank Him for both today.

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.