April Monthly Scripture Memorization Challenge:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Weekly Devotional (April 6-12)
I’ve always looked at the plagues of Egypt from the same standpoint ever since I was little kid. During Andy’s sermon something new occurred to me. Yes, God was making Pharaoh choose between a punishment and something he didn’t want [freeing the Jewish slaves], but really God was giving him opportunity to be something great. I’m sure Pharaoh couldn’t see it that way, but he had the opportunity to be a leader who freed a people group, people would remember that. If he freed the people before any of the plagues ever came, he probably would’ve been remembered as a more generous leader. Instead he focused on pride and selfishness. I’m sure he thought freeing the slaves would leave repercussions for his civilization; less workers might mean his own people would be angry and it would mean less buildings and statues for him. Perhaps in his mind he was doing the “right thing” for his people. However, as he continued to squander the opportunity God gave him, it created worse and worse situations for his people. Eventually it was less about him doing what was right for his people, and more about his pride, stubbornness, and hardened heart. Pharaoh could’ve been known as one of the great leaders who freed people even though it wouldn’t benefit him, but was instead remembered as a leader who allowed catastrophe to happen to his people.
Proverbs 29:1 “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.”
What opportunities is God giving you right now? Sometimes they don’t appear to be great opportunities from our perspective, but they are from His.