3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
Exodus 7:3-5 (New International Version)
Where Was God?
In Germany, in the 1930’s a man named Adolph Hitler took power, promising to restore the country to its former glory. However, his dream became a nightmare for the rest of the world. Under Hitler’s regime, the world was plunged into war, and ethnic groups (predominately Jews) were gathered together and systematically exterminated. I can imagine that people who were directly affected by Hitler’s tyranny were asking where was God in all this?
God is in Control
Why does the Lord allow such things to happen? If He is all-powerful, why doesn’t He stop such people from rising to power. Answers to these questions are very difficult to answer. Despite this, as Christians, we must trust the Lord in how He manages the affairs of the world; even the darkest of situations are under His control.
The Source of Evil
Now I am not suggesting that God makes bad things happen, for that would suggest that He has evil in Him which is not true. Instead, the source of all evil resides in the sin which dwells within ourselves. Now since bad things happen because of our sin, why doesn’t the Lord just force us to not follow through with our sins?
Such an act, would go against what God intended for us. When He made mankind, He made us not to be robots that obey all His commands. Instead, God made us with free will, giving us the choice to choose for ourselves the path we ought to take, and recognizing that choosing God is far better than following our own way.
Unfortunately, not everyone sees choosing God as the best choice and decided to do things their way. Nevertheless, God is not surprised when people choose sin over Him. In fact, He uses their choice as a means to reveal His power in their lives.
Being Stubborn by God
In Exodus 7, Moses is getting ready to enforce God’s will upon the land of Egypt in order to compel them to let Israel go free. Before approaching Pharaoh, the Lord warned Moses that the king won’t listen to him at first. That’s because God Himself, will make Pharaoh stubborn against His will.
Revealing His Power
Why would the Lord do such a thing? The nation of Israel had been in Egypt for hundreds of years; and throughout their tenure in the land, they have been immersed in the idolatrous Egyptian culture. In order to reveal His great power before His people, the Almighty had to perform awesome miracles, showing Israel that hope in salvation is not found in the Egyptian gods, but in the God of their Fathers. Such demonstration of His power wouldn’t be possible if Pharaoh gave in after the first two miracles.
The Lord is in Charge
Nothing happens without the Lord’s hand in it. When the Lord allows evil to run rampant in the world, there is a reason for it; to reveal His great power in the face of all darkness. Therefore, as followers of Christ, when we see forces of evil run rampant, let us pray and trust in the Lord to resolve it. We may not know why it is happening, but we can be sure that the Almighty will be quick to remind those who stubbornly refuse His will that it is He who is in charge.