A couple of weeks ago I got my first ever parking ticket. I NEVER park anywhere I shouldn’t, and on this particular occasion, I really thought it was a correct parking bay. It looked just like one. I was so cross, it just was NOT FAIR! I have tried contesting it, but to no avail. I think our town council is onto a nice little earner there…Grrrrrr. Even going back and looking again at the spot, there is no way I could have known it wasn’t a true bay. I got punished for not knowing!
Pharaoh on the other hand, had no such excuse (Exodus 9:13-18). God told Moses to explain to him in no uncertain terms that he would be facing the full force of plagues sent by God if he would not comply with the request to let the Hebrew people go, “so that you might know that there is none like me in all the earth.” And the full force of the plagues was nothing compared to what God could mete out to them if he so chose; indeed he could wipe them of the face of the planet. Oh Pharaoh knew alright! God showed kindness, patience, mercy; he gave him every opportunity to repent. The resultant disaster was fairly and squarely on Pharaoh’s shoulders. He blatantly chose not to heed.
But what about my friends and neighbours? Do they know the disaster they are courting if they choose not to come into the grace and lordship of Jesus Christ? What if they won’t listen to me? And if Moses, with all the force of the plagues and the demonstrations of God’s power, could not turn Pharaoh and the Egyptians, why would anybody listen to me? Yet I have something not even Moses had. The indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit. If I can live as a demonstration of God’s glory, love and power, then maybe they will know that God truly is alive and active in our world. If they can see him in me, then they might know that there is none like him in all the earth.