“So That You May Know…”
Lord, You have captured and enraptured me with Your love. Today, continue Your amazing, transforming work in me.
Read Exodus 10:1-11:10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good persons do nothing” (Edmund Burke). That is especially true of Christians.
“To suggest that God might intervene to protect us from the corporate folly of our practices is as unchristian and unbiblical as to suggest that he protects us from the results of our individual folly or sin … our faith has always held that the inexhaustible love of God cannot compel justice or virtue; we are capable of doing immeasurable damage to ourselves as individuals, and it seems clear that we have the same terrible freedom as a human race.” These words of Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams in a recent lecture surely probe us as we enter with the Egyptian people into the horrors of locust invasion and the “darkness that can be felt” (21)—probably caused by the hamsin desert wind. Today the “corporate folly of our practices” relates not only to carelessness about our environment but to recent decades of cynical greed that have caused the massive global economic downturn that affects us all, but affects most severely the poorest people on earth. It is a disheartening situation.
If we are to read this text “over against ourselves” we must surely at some point search our hearts to ask how we are responding, in the “terrible freedom” that God has given us, to these world-encompassing crises. As we live through them, are we coming to know in ways we have not experienced before that YHWH is the Lord (10:2), and that we must respond to him? Have we, like Pharaoh, become so practiced in conditional obedience (10,11) that we have now become the slaves (20,27)? “Every step on the way of sin leads humans further astray from the ethical choice they first had. One becomes more and more entangled in the net of evil” (Archbishop Williams).
How are or could you be responding to the sinful and unwise practices in the world around you? What is your responsibility for them, if any?
Lord God, I want to be salt and light in my world. Help me to act so as to reflect Your good purposes for the world around me.
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