Exodus 9:19, 26, 29-30
So now, send instructions to gather your livestock and all your possessions in the fields to a safe place. Every person or animal caught in the field and not brought into the house–the hail will come down on them, and they will die!”‘” 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was there no hail. 29 Moses said to him, “When I leave the city I will spread my hands to the LORD, the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth belongs to the LORD. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the LORD God.”
What a merciful God we serve! In this passage, we see God’s deliverance of His people as well as His rebuke of the Egyptians, who held the Israelites captive. What is astounding to me was the mercy that God showed even the rebellious. This is such an encouragement to me, because ultimately, God showed this same mercy to us, who were His enemies. What humility and compassion. He is not willing that any should perish. Right in the middle of demonstrating His power to the lost, He warns them to protect themselves from His judgment!
Even amongst the unbelievers, the Bible says that the “ones who feared God were protected. God is the God of second chances. He is long suffering and administers discipline with a heart of love. God’s people were also protected. God was demonstrating that He differentiates between believers and unbelievers, but He also extends His hand of mercy that maybe some unbelievers will also see His goodness and repent.
God did not judge to condemn, but to wake us up to our folly. The motivation of His blessing is an attempt to encourage us toward righteousness, not to alienate us.
We may not like judgment or discipline, but they are necessary to uphold righteousness. Praise God that He always has a purpose in His judgment and that He has a Holy standard. Praise Him that His love is unconditional and he offers grace mingled with His discipline. Perfect parenting from our perfect heavenly Father.
Lord, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your correction. Help us to walk with You and fear Your Holy Name.