We read yesterday that “all things work together for good for those who are called according to his (God’s) purpose” (Romans 8:28). Today we read an example of this as Paul writes about Moses and Pharaoh in a series of questions and answers about the way things happened leading to certain results God had intended.

Paul examines the scene and says, “Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed …’” (Romans 9:14-17).

The point we must grasp is that all need God to show mercy to them – and we are most unwise to question the morality of God as to where He shows mercy and where He does not! Let us meditate on what he causes to happen “in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy” (Romans 9:23). God “has mercy on whomever he wills” (Romans 9:18).

Therefore, as we are reading in Exodus, God is using Moses to confront Pharaoh and as a result God’s “name” (His reputation) is “proclaimed in all the earth” as the all-powerful God of Israel who wonderfully delivered them from Egypt. Many nations are in awe of Israel as a result. But note how, at the same time, God in His wisdom first allowed His chosen people to endure a period of difficulty. They had been content to dwell in the relative ease of life in Egypt after the death of Joseph, they had largely forgotten the God of their fathers … God sought to make ready their minds so they would seek His deliverance! After that He tested them in the wilderness to see if they appreciated all that had happened.

Now consider the twenty-first century. Are we likely to see in the increasing challenges to our lives what could be a comparable situation? May God show mercy to us in the traumas that develop as our godless unsuspecting world counts down to the day Jesus Christ returns to this earth.