H – Highlight
13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.
Exodus 9:29 – Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s.
E – explain
In the accounts of the plagues in Exodus 8-9, we see a couple of places where God tells us why he is doing what he is doing in the way he is doing it. I’ll pull out three parts of verses that include explanatory words:
- “so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth” (14)
- “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (16)
- “so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s” (29)
As God judges or removes plagues, we see that he has a consistent purpose in his actions beyond freeing Israel from Egypt. After all, had God simply wanted to get his people out of the land, he could have done so in a far gentler way. God, by his own word, tells us that he does these things so that observers can know that there is none like him, to show his power, to have his name proclaimed in all the earth, and so that they will know the earth is his.
A – Apply
We see in this passage that God takes actions that are not politically correct, actions that some today would say they dislike, in order that his power and glory might be on display. God wants us to know that he is almighty. He wants us to know that he owns this world. He wants us to know that none can stand against him. He wants us to proclaim his name. God does what he does in the way that he does for his glory.
If we understand this, we will also see that it is our duty, regardless of circumstance, to know and proclaim these things as well. We exist to give God glory. We exist to tell people that there is none like the Lord God Almighty. We exist to proclaim his name.
In many a modern conversation, people will spend their time attempting to justify the acts of god to a world that opposes him. We need to become more willing to tell the world that the Lord is right and the world is wrong. We need to become more willing to face the disapproval of the world as we tell them that the Lord does what he does because the world is his, because his power is infinite, because he wants his name to be known and glorified. We need to be willing to remind folks that God is not judged by us, though we are judged by God.
R – Respond
Lord, as I read this passage, I am reminded that you are sovereign and almighty. I am reminded that this world is yours. And I am reminded that my purpose is not to make the world approve of you. My purpose is to glorify you. I pray that you will help me to proclaim your words and your mighty deeds with absolute honesty and clarity. I pray that you will use my life and acts to show your honor. I pray that I will hunger to see and savor and proclaim your glory more than I want anything in life. And I pray that you will save people by your power, by your grace, for your glory.