Tell . . . how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.
As we look at Israel’s Red Sea moment recorded in Exodus 14, we notice a marvelous example of the sovereignty of God. God said to Moses, in essence, “When I lead you along this unexpected route, Pharaoh is going to think you are just wandering around aimlessly. Then I am going to harden Pharaoh’s heart and make him chase after you.”
I do not understand how this works with free will, but I do understand this: God is in control; He can do whatever He wants to do. God has the ability to harden someone’s heart to work out His purpose. In Exodus 10, God instructed Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the Lord” (10:1-2).
God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order that He might be glorified. Isn’t it encouraging to know there is no person in your life over whom God is not in control? Sometimes we have a difficult person in life–maybe an unbelieving employer, an unbelieving mate, or an unbelieving parent–and we think, “God cannot work through that person in my life. This person is free to do whatever they want to do to hurt me.” No, they are not. The Bible says the heart of the unbelieving king is in God’s hands to turn whichever way He wants (Proverbs 21:1).
A striking example of God’s sovereignty over unbelievers is found in the book of Daniel. During this time, Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon, the first world empire. As the world’s most powerful man, Nebuchadnezzar set himself up as god. He built a golden idol of himself and forced everyone in his kingdom to bow down to it. Clearly, this was a king with an ego problem.
One day, King Nebuchadnezzar proudly congratulated himself, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30). God declared His judgment on the unbelieving king: for seven years, Nebuchadnezzar would be driven away from civilization as a madman–that is, God said, “until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes” (4:32). Before the king had a chance to protest, the Bible says, “immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled” (4:33).
No matter what circumstances you may be facing, God is in control. There is nothing that comes into your life that God does not allow for His good and perfect will. Don’t you find that comforting–to know that God is control of everyone who is in your life? No one can bring harm into your life unless God allows it for a good, loving, and perfect reason.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Seizing Your Red Sea Moment” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2005.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.