The Lord Separates (Exod 9)
From God’s perspective, in Exodus 9, there are two groups of people: the children of Israel (His people) and the Egyptians. The fifth, sixth and seventh plagues (recorded in Exodus 9) devastated the Egyptians but not the children of Israel. What principles can we learn from this account in the Bible?
The Lord separates His chosen people from the unbelieving world. The Greek word for “church” means “called out ones.” Believers, separated by God from the world, experience His special grace and mercies. Many Christians today have forgotten that they are the “called out ones,” the “separated ones.” They want instead to be identified with the world. Do you belong to the Lord and identify yourself with Him? Is He your safety and protection? Remember that it is a privilege to belong to God.
Pharaoh hardened his heart against God over and over again, which led God to harden Pharaoh’s heart. God separated Pharaoh from His own by judicially hardening Pharaoh’s heart. Only unbelievers can harden their hearts against God. No true believer can harden his heart against God (Rom 9:17-20).
If the unbeliever keeps hardening his heart against God, the Lord will separate him from His own. There are those who hear the Gospel, but do not believe as their hearts are hardened against it. The unbeliever must not harden his heart. He must not take the Lord’s mercy for granted.
In the seventh plague, there was hail (with fire and thunder) in Egypt, but there was no hail in Goshen. The Egyptian crops were destroyed but not the crops which belonged to the children of Israel. Thus, God showed His care and special providence. Believers today also have God’s special care and providence. As we go through difficulties, we know God is with us, and He cares for us. Do you see God’s providential hand in your life?
When Jesus comes again, God will again separate His own from the unbelievers. The unbelievers will be left behind on earth. Will you be left behind? We must be sure that we belong to God.