"Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment."
Delivering His people from slavery is a great act of judgment from the Lord. Against whom is this judgment?
Exodus 1:13-14 says the Egyptians ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter. Exodus 2:23-25 tells us the people groaned because of their slavery and when they cried out, God heard. God has seen what has been done to them and promises to bring them out of their affliction in Egypt.
The Hebrew word for judgment is shapat. It is a judicial word which refers to a third party sitting over two parties who are at odds. After listening to the case of each party, the third party decides what is right and what to do about it. The third-party fulfills the role of both judge and jury.
So, the LORD judges Egypt for the treatment of His children. Zechariah 2:8-9 warns the nations against plundering His children by describing them as the "apple of his eye." Matthew 18:5-6 describes God's extreme response to those who cause His little ones to sin. These "little ones" must also be the apple of His eye!
Thank You, Father, for the perfect care of Your children. Thank You for telling us we have angels watching over us who always see Your face. Thank You for hearing our cries.
"Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves."
I often forget the truth of Jesus' statement, "I am sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves." I fear it is because I don't remember the seriousness of my task as a disciple of Christ Jesus. Jesus instructs us to proclaim the Good News that the Kingdom of God is near, but He warns us of our surroundings. It is so easy to think I am capable and forget the opposition I face. The only way to accomplish what I am called to do is under the authority and protection of the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). These passages remind me of Romans 8:36-37, where Paul refers to Christ's disciples as conquering sheep.
Chief Shepherd, strengthen me for the tasks You give me as one of Your sheep. Remind me I am like a sheep among wolves, but in You, I am a conquering sheep.
“Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days?"
Job is not the only one to ever wonder why it seems God is so slow in dealing with the wicked. In Psalm 73, Asaph examines this concern in great depth. He acknowledges God is good, but when he sees the prosperity of the wicked, it almost causes him to stumble. He gives an extensive description of how it seems the wicked are materially blessed, and how that thought caused him almost to stumble. It is only by spending time in God's sanctuary that Asaph realized the destiny of the wicked.
Father, forgive me for envying the wicked and their apparent prosperity. I know You are a just Judge. Your slowness is Your patience wishing none would perish, but that all should reach repentance.