1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”
16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.”
18 Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord.
Exodus 10:1-2,16-18 (New International Version)
In Exodus 10, the Lord reminds Moses that He has hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and that even after a devastating plague of locusts, he will not let Israel go free. The king may admit of his disobedience and ask for deliverance, but his heart would not submit to the Almighty. If one was to look at this chapter for the first time, they would think that God was unfair about the way He treated the Egyptians. Why would the Lord inflict such suffering?
Understanding God’s Plan
There are things that happen to us or to people that we know that leave us asking, “Why did God allow them to happen?” Things like a medical crisis, financial burdens, or times of emotional pain leave us confused about the intentions of the Almighty. “If God truly loves us,” we would say, “Why is He allowing these horrible things to occur?”
These questions are hard to answer, but there is one thing that we must remember about the Lord. When God works, He does not do it out of a whim. In fact, all the things that He does in our lives is for a purpose.
The First Point
This purpose that the Almighty is getting across to us is two-fold as He explained to Moses in Exodus 10. First, His works in our lives are to remind us that He is the Lord and that everything is under His control. With that in mind, it would be wise to obey the will of God and not get on his bad side.
The Second Point
Secondly, the Lord works in a way so that we would remember them, and thereby tell them to the next generation. Children learn about God not through teachers or pastors, but through a model of Godly living demonstrated by their parents. For example, suppose a child is having a hard time in their studies at school. A parent could use this as an opportunity to share with their child about a time when they had a difficult time and how they turned to the Lord for help and they were helped. When the child listens intently to this testimony of God’s provision, they may seek the Lord themselves in their own crisis.
Everything that the Lord does in our lives is for a reason. However, when we are in hard times, it is really easy to lose sight of the big picture that God sees. That’s because our attention is focused on the pain that we have in the here and now.
Even the bad things that happen to us are designed to help us in the long run. We may not enjoy it at first, but in time, we will understand why these hardships happened to us. It is not because God hates us, but it’s because He wants the best for us. Therefore, let’s hold on to the Lord during these times of training, so that when we are through with it, we will be able to teach it to the next generation of believers.