“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Exodus 9:16 (NIV)
I was reading in Exodus recently about Moses and Aaron’s encounters with Pharaoh (the 10 Plagues) and the verse above caught my attention. All throughout Exodus up until this point, God had been talking about how He would continue to harden Pharaoh’s heart and continue to show His miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt until eventually Pharaoh agreed to “let My (God’s) people go.”
It reminded me some of the passages which talk about Judas betraying Jesus and sending him to the cross. While it’s told in all four gospels, here is what it says in John 13:26-27 (NIV): “Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.’”
Lastly, both of these passages remind me of the famous quote in Esther where Mordechai is encouraging his niece to be bold and do what needs to be done in order to save the Jews from the massacre that was being plotted against them. “‘For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’” (Esther 4:14, NIV)
While these are just three examples in the Bible of individuals and their actions which helped change the course for millions, God used them this morning to remind me of something important.
We all have a destiny, a purpose to fulfill. And that destiny is as unique as our individual qualifications and talents. While God didn’t choose for Pharaoh and Judas to be evil, or for Satan to enter each of their hearts, God did know it would happen since God knows everything. He used the choices of individuals thousands of years ago to fulfill His destiny and purpose for the world just as He continues to use the choices of individuals in modern society for His purpose and will continue to until He comes again.
The one common denominator is God’s purpose will be fulfilled. No one would stop Him from rescuing His chosen people (the Israelites) from Egypt, offering His Son as the ultimate sacrifice on the cross so we could all enjoy eternal life, or saving the entire Jewish population in Esther’s time period. The only variables were whether or not Pharaoh would choose to harden his heart, Judas would allow Satan to use him for evil to crucify Jesus on the cross, and if Esther would be bold enough to obey.
Have you asked God what purpose He wants you to fulfill? When we are His children and we give Him our full obedience, it opens the door for Him to use us in mighty ways.
© Cheri Swalwell 2019