In Exodus Chapters 9 – 12, we see an electric short-circuit of the Cycle in Pharaoh’s responses to God’s commands to let his people leave Egypt. While Moses was in unity with God, Pharaoh was not. So Pharaoh allowed temptation to determine his response to God’s commands, resulting in disobedience through dishonesty.
God treated Pharaoh fairly. He gave multiple warnings and the first plagues of judgment were not severe. Pharaoh had every chance to repent. But as the warnings and the subsequent judgment became increasingly severe, Pharaoh pretended to repent and promised to let Israel depart. But as soon as he was delivered from each plague, he reneged in blatant disobedience.
God even offered Pharaoh a bit of his never-ending love, warning Pharaoh to get his livestock under cover before the hail came, but the advice was rejected. Only then, judgment came down on Pharaoh with vengeance this is hard to comprehend.
So what is the difference between the Cycle for a child of God and for one who does not believe in God?
Lack of belief is the same as lack of unity with God. The next steps in the Cycle appear the same at first – God gives commands; we are all tempted and exhibit disobedience and disunity. We are all warned through the word of God and judged when we do not listen to the warnings.
But then we see a fork in the road, the short-cut of disunity to bypass God.
The unbeliever ignores the never-ending love of God and does not repent. Worst of all, the unbeliever is therefore not restored to unity with God, completing the Cycle.
In these chapters, God tells Moses clearly that he allows those who do not acknowledge him to remain alive only for the purpose of showing God’s power to proclaim his name in all the earth.
Even more dramatically, God says he uses unbelievers as a way for those who do believe to tell future generations of the mighty works of God, and of the mockery God makes of those who oppose him.
God’s stated purpose is so that we who believe will know the God is I AM!
Which fork in the road will we as the church of Jesus choose today?
I believe the church is being warned and judged today. Which cycle will it be?
Don’t short-circuit. Don’t blow the fuse with God. It is time to join together in repentance.