Today you should read: Exodus 11
God has just sent nine incredible plagues upon Egypt to display His power to them, but Pharaoh, in his stubbornness, will not let the Israelites go. God has now told Moses to prepare the people because the tenth and final plague (striking down the firstborn child of all Egyptians in the land) will be the one that breaks the will of Pharaoh and forces his hand to allow the Israelites to leave.
There are a number of hard questions that come to mind from this passage. Why does God allow children to take the punishment for what Pharaoh is doing? Why does God continue to harden Pharaoh’s heart toward letting the Israelites go? Why couldn’t God just kill Pharaoh or miraculously transport all the Israelites to the Promised Land and skip all these plagues? These are questions we may struggle to understand. I know from other places in the Bible that God was hardening Pharaoh’s heart so that His power would be displayed and His name would become famous, but this is hard for me to comprehend.
Many people wrestle with these questions and they often become a stumbling block in trusting Jesus. They wonder how a loving, good God allow children to be killed, or more generally, how can a good God allow bad things to happen? I don’t have any complete answers; no human does. But think about this: what kind of God would our God be if we could give an adequate explanation for everything He said and did? What kind of God would He be if we could completely understand Him and there were no mystery about Him at all? He would be like our equal, and that is not the God that’s revealed in the Bible.
The truth is that we can’t understand the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:16) and we can’t think His thoughts or fathom His ways (Isaiah 55:8). It is much like a young child’s relationship with his parents. A toddler doesn’t really understand why certain decisions are made or why he has to take medicine or why his parents act the way they do. God’s ways are so high and His thoughts are so far beyond us. It is the mysteries of life and the tough questions about God that make Him a wonder to us, that draw us to know Him more and to cling to Him as our loving Father. Although we do not have all the answers, we can trust the One who does to be good, true and faithful.
Posted by: Robbie Byrd