Godly Characteristics – Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth…………..Chances


Mercy

Exodus 7:14-11:10 The ten plagues of Egypt

As I continue on my journey in Christianity I am yet to experience a dull moment as I delve deeper into the word of God and attempt to mirror Him in everything I do.

I’ve gone back to the beginning (Genesis) and as I read, the realization of how amazing and marvelous God truly is, has me intrigued. The characteristics which God harbors are far beyond anything I could imagine comprehending. It’s baffling that the most powerful being in the world has the capacity to show mercy on us even when he knows we’ll definitely disappoint Him. I experienced a new exhilaration as I read of the mercy God showed Pharaoh in the midst of His hardened heart toward the children of Israel.

When God told Moses to ask Pharaoh to let his people go, he forewarned him that Pharaoh’s heart would be hard and Moses’ request would not be granted. In fact, God said HE would harden Pharaoh’s heart so generations to come would remember what He did and the power He demonstrated before he delivered the Israelite people.

Knowing that his request will not be granted, Moses was obedient and went to Pharaoh every time God instructed him to and did as he was told. Time and time again he went to the Egyptian king and asked him to let the Israelite people go. Each time he was denied, a plague was released upon the land which caused Pharaoh’s heart to grow harder. While I understand the process and the reasoning behind God hardening Pharaoh’s heart the mind blowing revelation was when I realized that in the midst of the plagues and the fulfilling of God’s plan, Pharaoh was shown mercy.

Yes, that’s right, God had mercy on Pharaoh!

After Moses stretched forth his rod and released the second plague of frogs upon the land of Egypt, Pharaoh called and asked him to intercede on behalf of the Egyptians that God would remove the frogs. Upon his request Pharaoh was given the honor of indicating when he wanted the frogs removed and as promised, Moses entreated God on behalf of the king and the frogs were removed from the land of Egypt. Once his request was granted however Pharaoh did not let the people go. Following the frogs, Pharaoh asked Moses to intercede on his behalf again when flies swarmed the land of Egypt and again Moses interceded. God answered the prayer of His servant and for the second time Pharaoh went back on his word. After dishonoring his word a third time Pharaoh asked again that a plague be removed from the land. When the seventh plague of hail overtook Egypt Pharaoh confessed his sins, acknowledged the righteousness of God and asked that God end the plague. Again God ended the plague, showing mercy on Pharaoh.  A fourth time Pharaoh beseeched Moses to intercede and have the ninth plague of Locusts removed from the land and a fourth time, upon his request, God granted him that desire, knowing that yet again Pharaoh would not stay true to his word.

What an amazing characteristic to embody. God knew that Pharaoh’s heart would be hard, he knew that Pharaoh would not honor his word, he knew that although Pharaoh was saying the right words his heart wasn’t in the right place to release the children of Israel and yet when Pharaoh could no longer bear the extent of the plagues God showed him mercy. He showed mercy knowing that the heart of the man he showed mercy to was not in right standing with Him.

Reflecting on my life I realize that this type of mercy and grace was given to me time and time again at different seasons in my life. There were times when I asked God for his blessings and his favor and made promises to Him if he should grant me the desire of my heart. Being the loving God He is, He gave me what I asked for knowing that I would re-neg on my part of the agreement. He never withheld his blessings because I did not have the capacity to love Him the way he loved me.

Examining God causes me to examine myself. My heart’s desire is to love the way God loves. To see people through God’s eyes and not my own and to have the right attitude and heart disposition to especially serve those who are considered the least among us. God’s demonstration of mercy and kindness is now at the forefront of my mind. I can’t say that I currently have the capacity to continue being kind to, loving or serving someone who continuously disappoints me but knowing that this is the way God demonstrates His love is enough to help me aspire to that place.

I know I won’t always get it right and I’m aware that I’ve messed things up in the past but I’m certain that with the right attitude and an open and willing heart I too can demonstrate this kind of love to everyone I come into contact with. I’m embracing every part of this journey and I’m happy with the way God continues to reveal himself to me. My encouragement to you is that you LIVE the word of God. It’s good to know what the bible says and to have a clear understanding of it, but ideally we should use what we learn in our daily lives. Where ever you are on your journey to see the King I pray that you embrace His revelations to you and aspire to live the way He’s showing you to by characterizing Him in everything you do.

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