Cruelty or Kindness?

Author: Michelle Isenhoff — Host: Emily TenterPosted on: June 5, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Cruelty or Kindness?

The Exodus is my favorite Bible story. It’s an edge-of-your-seat narrative where an underdog hero defies the most powerful ruler in the world and rescues his people from slavery. Unfortunately, sometimes we look at the ten plagues as evidence that God is cruel. Was God spitefully tormenting the Egyptians? Or could He actually have been showing them an extraordinary kindness? Today, we have the benefit of seeing God’s whole plan of redemption laid out for us in the Bible—Jesus, God’s Son, died to take the punishment for our sins and resurrected from the dead so we can live in right relationship with God for all eternity. At the time of the Exodus, however, God had only just begun to reveal Himself. The Israelites knew of Him dimly through promises made to their ancestors, but the Egyptians worshipped false gods. Instead of leaving them in darkness, God designed a series of supernatural events that would prove, both to the Egyptians and the Israelites, that He was the one true, living God. And He did it in a way they could not miss! The ten plagues struck at Egyptian deities and rendered them powerless. Hapi, god of the Nile, should have prevented the water from turning to blood. Heka, god of medicine, could not heal the people’s boils. Ra, Egypt’s highest (sun) god, failed to lift the darkness. I think many Egyptians were beginning to take heed by the ninth plague. But when the death angel passed through, making a distinction between the obedient and disobedient, very few could have denied that Moses’ God was real. The Egyptians could not worship a God they did not know, so God revealed Himself in spectacular fashion. This is just one example of the great lengths God has undertaken to draw all nations to Himself—He even sent His own Son to die and raise again so all people could know who He is. It’s a reminder that God wants me to know Him too. • Michelle Isenhoff • Why is it important to understand the Bible in its own context? • What other extraordinary things has God done to draw you to Him? “And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.” Exodus 7:5 (NIV)


Read Verses:

Exodus 6:1-8; 7:1-5; 12:12-13