God’s Wrath–Roman 2 Part 1

Make no mistake, God does not grade on the curve.  We all deserve to be punished for how we behave.  While that was obvious to the Jewish nation, it was not so obvious to the rest of the world.  Paul was trying to explain some of the basic truths about God to a world that barely knew who God was.  The concepts of good and evil were relative and everyone could both justify their own behavior and judge the behaviors of others.
 
In 2016, little has changed.  Most people have a very skewed concept of good and evil.  That concept is further warped by the media, political correctness, generations of independence from God .  In addition, this nation has a judicial system that would rather tolerate crime than punish it.  The Courts refuse even to call those who commit crimes, criminals. 
 
God is not politically correct. He will hold each of us accountable for our actions.  He will reward the selfless and punish the wicked.  As we will see in the days ahead, God realized we were unable to be “Good”. God cannot tolerate sin, but he can and has made a provision for it.  It is his Grace and provision that brings hope to the hopeless and life for those who seek him. 
Thanks, Lord for your provision.
 
God Bless You
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a]

The Passover–Exodus 12

The actual sign that rested above the doors of the children of Israel formed a cross. Even at the time of the Exodus, the Father was previewing the redemption of all his chosen. Without the sign of the cross, every home in Egypt suffered death. Imagine the devastation and pain throughout the land, when each of the 1st born of Egypt died. The most horrific part was that it could have all been avoided—by freeing Israel.

Throughout history from then until now, the story of the Passover was and is still told in households all over the globe. The message, so loudly resonates—when you choose to defiantly oppose the hand of God, the result will be disastrous. Conversely, as his chosen, God will rescue, restore and free you—in his time and by his plan–and there is truly no one or nothing that will stop him.

With that history in mind, we must walk as a chosen child of the Lord. We need not act like slaves to our sin and our fears. Instead, we walk as though we are a free people, redeemed by the blood of the sacrificial Passover lamb. Our hearts, like the doorframes in Goshen, are clearly marked with the blood of the lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Gather up your baggage—It is time to walk as a free people!!!

God Bless You

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped.

The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.

Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.passover

Raising the Stakes–Exodus 9 part 1

Each time Pharaoh lied, God raised the stakes. Level one inconvenience, level 2 annoyance, level 3 devastation, etc. a reasoned person would have noticed the trajectory of the judgments and would have simply submitted to God. Sadly, for the Egyptians, Pharaoh was not a reasoned man. He had decided that He would not submit to God, and as such, he would endure anything God would dish out. Pharaoh had no intention of humbling himself before the God of Israel or even before his people.

Pride and power are a terrible combination. In Pharaoh’s case it continued to destroy the Pharaoh, his people and his nation. All of the miracles and work that Joseph led 400 years before was now being undone by the Pharaoh. What’s more, now that God had made the distinction, Pharaoh watched as his choices were destroying his people and his nation alone. Still, no effect.

Sin in our lives can cloud our ability to reason and our ability to focus on others and not on ourselves. When that occurs, often God raises the stakes to a level necessary to get our attention. It is critical for us to recognize the trajectory, humble ourselves and submit before God has to destroy us and those we touch. The journey back is short, but the price of pride grows exponentially—just ask Pharaoh!

God Bless You

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.”

If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back,

the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats.

The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.”

And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died.

Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.

The Tipping Point–Exodus 8 Continued

There comes a point, when everyone involved has to grasp reality. In the ongoing attempt to free Israel, it was the gnats. God had kindly stopped the frog plague–at Moses’ request. Then Pharaoh hard heartedly reneged on his promise and refused to free Israel. 

So, God sent gnats. They covered Egypt like dust. The land smelled like dead frogs, gnats covered everything and everyone now knew it was God that was in control. Even the magicians gave up. They told Pharaoh this was God.  

Still, Pharaoh refused to submit. He simply chose to defy God and keep the slaves. This tipping point, this direct rebellion, would seal the fate of Pharaoh and Egypt. 

In everyone’s journey, there is a point of decision where all the confusion is stripped away and one has to decide to either submit to or defy God. It is a personal choice–but one that carries great consequence. 

The Bible is filled with accounts of men that chose to defy God. My years of study has revealed, “it never ends well!!!”  God is the creator of and master of all of this. No matter how strong or how smart we may think ourselves to be–we will never compete. Still, God is a gentleman, he will not force himself on us. 

It simply makes sense to trust and follow him. Allow the one that loves you to lead you–don’t push past the tipping point. 

God Bless You

And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields.

They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them.

But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.”

They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats.

But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere,

the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.