Snapshots: Day 55
The Snapshot: “Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord.” (Ex 8:30) Moses prayed to the Lord on Pharaoh’s behalf and the Lord answered. We can pray blessings on our families or friends or whoever else is apparently showing interest, and the Lord will again and again answer, but that doesn’t mean that that is the Lord’s heart, just to hand out goodies. God wanted Pharaoh to surrender to Him; the Lord wants your family, friends or whoever else it might be, to surrender to Him. Full blessing and life transformation can only come to a truly surrendered life otherwise that person will still continue to have tendency to go in godless ways. Pray for surrender, for repentance, for that is the doorway to salvation, nothing less.
Further Consideration: It is so easy to have a religion that is there in the background, an add-on that you turn to on odd occasions, or remember when you ‘go to church’ weekly, monthly, or annually. Yes, it is so easy to have this sort of approach to God who is ‘out there somewhere’, and yet that is not the approach or reality that the Bible conveys. It is of a God who interacts with His world and wants to interact with His people.
And who are His people? They are those who have come to see and accept that Jesus is His Son and when Jesus died on the cross he then rose from the dead and later ascended back to heaven, and his death constitutes the punishment that is due to each one of us because of our sin. We can thus enter into sonship, a relationship with God whereby we see Him as Father, there for us, providing for us, and guiding us by His Spirit. We are forgiven, cleansed, adopted as His children, and indwelt and empowered by His Holy Spirit. THIS is what a Christian is, not an occasional church goer, not someone with some fuzzy ideas about God.
But why am I saying all this? Because, as I said in the snapshot, when we pray for people and God blesses them, that is only half the picture. It’s like giving someone a packet of sweets, whereas they could inherit the sweet-shop. A poor analogy but I hope you get the picture. Yes, God answered Moses on Pharaoh’s behalf and gave him relief for the current plague but that didn’t mean He was happy with Pharaoh. He wanted Pharaoh to come to his senses and bow his knee to God and let Israel go; that was the ultimate goal, and so Moses occasionally praying for him and seeing God answer merely gave Pharaoh another chance to repent. The apostle Peter knew this when he wrote, “he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:9) If God delays judgment and even blesses temporarily, that is Him giving us a second chance. Take it!