A guy once told my friend he didn’t need God. “I have a great job, a wonderful wife and family, and a beautiful home. I can take care of myself.” He thought his wealth made him impervious to problems. Yet within 6 months he’d lost his job, his wife had left him, taking the kids, and the mortgage company had repossessed the house. He’d lost the lot.
Don’t get me wrong; wealth often protects us from the worst of the weather – when you are on a low income, and stuff breaks down or wears out, replacing it can get harder and harder. Life is a lot more comfortable with money to cushion the blows. Up to a point, this had happened for Pharaoh when the plagues of Egypt kept assailing his land. His wealth and position had softened the blows, with slaves to find clean water, bat out the frogs, flies and locusts, fetch lighted torches and so on.
Planet Earth is well positioned too. The larger planets and our moon attract meteors and asteroids so we do not face the constant bombardment from space debris as other planets do. Our unique atmosphere shelters us, enabling life to flourish here. We are protected by the mighty hand of God, and his wonderful, ingenious creativity more than we ever realise.
For one brief moment, God was going to remove that hand of protection from Pharaoh and his people, Moses warned him (Exodus 11:4-10). This would render even Pharaoh with all his money and privilege unprotected; a terrible event that no wealth could shield him from. In this Pharaoh would be vulnerable – the loss of his own son, along with the firstborn of all his subjects.
Parents are usually pretty quick to protect their offspring; yet Pharaoh chose to call God’s bluff. Shockingly, he still believed his own personal power was enough. Just like the guy who told my friend he didn’t need God. In the face of all the evidence, it’s amazing just how stubborn people can get. We all need God’s protection.
For those of us who have a paying job, a caring family, or live in a welfare state, that is part of God’s protection, his provision. But there is another part, that should cover everyone. He told us to look out for others, love our neighbour, take care of widows and orphans. No-one is impervious to trouble – money, relationships, health etc, and there comes a time we all need covering, and then we need to be humble enough to accept help from others. And we need to be willing to look our for others. God enlists us all. We are part of his protection plan. We may not be able to stop bad things from happening, but there’s plenty we can do if we are open to be part of the plan.