Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sola Scriptura: Knowing God's Power

Credit: Christian Media Ritchie

"For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth."
~Exodus 9:14

While reading these passages of Moses, Pharaoh, and the plagues of Egypt, I always wondered, "why did God express His anger on Pharaoh and his people if He knew that He was going to harden Pharaohs heart? What is God doing here?"

I finally got my answer while reading chapter 8 of Exodus. God spoke to me subliminally. God wanted to show Pharaoh His power (Ex. 9:14). God also wanted to show Pharaoh that He is the one and only God and that there is none like Him (perhaps because Pharaoh did not know God [Ex. 5:2]  nor was he acquainted with His mighty power).

But Pharaoh was stubborn. In fact the more stubborn he was, the mightier God's power was in Egypt.

The ten plagues of Egypt. This was all part of God's plan for Moses (his calling to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt), for Pharaoh (to witness God and His power), for the Egyptians (the plagues being God's judgement), and for the Israelites (for deliverance out of the hands of Pharaoh). At the beginning of Exodus, Pharaoh was overwhelmed with the massive amounts of Israelites in Egypt; they were too many (Ex. 1:7-14) so he made them toil as slaves. But the more they were burdened, the more they multiplied. The Israelites then cried and groaned because of their heavy burdens. God heard them and He had a plan for them to be delivered.

God then wanted to use Moses to execute that plan--to bring the Israelites out of the land into the wilderness so they can serve Him. But God knew Pharaoh's heart and that he needed to be humbled and more believing. Pharaoh's people suffered terribly because of his stubbornness. He had to see over and over again that God and His power are real and it was only because he refused to let God's people go. The more Pharaoh refused God's command, the more God unleashed His wondrous power. But Pharaoh finally released the Israelites after the tenth plague, only to change his mind about it later.

God's power is also manifested in Moses who was believed to have had a stuttering problem (Ex. 6:12). He was not very eloquent and very fearful, but God still chose to use him anyway and He gave moses the words to say to Pharaoh. God also gave Moses power in his rod to show Pharaoh God's mighty power. This shows that when we are at our weakest, God is at His strongest (2 Corinth. 12:9); I cannot stress this enough! He used someone like Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (by means of splitting the Red Sea in half and ultimately drowning Pharaoh and the Egyptians) into the land flowing with milk and honey. A new law--The Ten Commandments--was then established by God.

It is amazing how God works. He can use anything for His glory. Anything! In Exodus, He used flies, locusts, and frogs under His command. He used a bush to speak to and call Moses. God used the forces of nature (hail, fire, waters to blood, and darkness) to show His limitless power. I also love how God kept Moses, Aaron, and the Israelites untouched by all of these plagues (because they were God's people).

A few more insights I pulled from this:

  • There is nothing too big or too small that God cannot handle or use for His glory. He never ceases to amaze us..
  • God used Pharaoh's situation as an opportunity to show everyone who He is (and also to expose Pharaoh of his ignorance and stubbornness).
  • God has wonderful reasons behind everything He does. Anything we go through is only for our good and for His glory to be seen.
  • God uses ugly circumstances for His stunning beauty to pierce through the darkness of the situation.