Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.’” Exodus 9:1 ESV
Exodus 9 begins with a warning of a fifth plague upon Egypt, which comes to pass after Pharaoh hardens his heart yet again. It is followed by four more plagues, each ending only to be followed by Pharaoh stubbornly refusing to let the Hebrews go and worship God. Pharaoh’s obstinacy was destroying his land and hurting his people, but he was still too proud to obey God’s commands.
Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not understand that Egypt is ruined?” Exodus 10:7 ESV
Pharaoh did not represent all the Egyptians. Many of them were tired of his refusal to follow God and the destruction it brought upon their country. In fact, God gave the Egyptians who humbled themselves before His Word the opportunity to save their belongings.
“‘“Now therefore send, get your livestock and all that you have in the field into safe shelter, for every man and beast that is in the field and is not brought home will die when the hail falls on them.”’” Then whoever feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses. Exodus 9:19-20 ESV
God did not punish those who feared Him and told Moses to warn them of the impeding hail. This entire episode almost seems to reflect the Redemption Story as the God-fearing Egyptians who believe God and act in faith are saved while those who refuse to believe God’s words face destruction. God’s mercy on those who trust in him is again reflected in the story of Zacchaeus, a dishonest tax collector who came to hear Jesus’ preaching. After Jesus comes to Zacchaeus’ house, he repents of his sins.
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9 ESV
While many judged Jesus for going to the house of a tax collector and a sinner, Jesus states clearly that His purpose on earth was to seek after those who are lost, including the Gentiles, social outcasts, and the disabled.
And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” Luke 19:45-46
Jesus’ cleansing of the temple is probably one of the most dramatic moments of His ministry as He overturns tables and drives the salesmen out of the Court of Gentiles. The Court of Gentiles itself was suppose to be a place where the foreigners could come and worship the LORD as they were not allowed further into the temple, however, Jesus entered, He found it overrun with salesmen hoping to make a quick buck due to the Passover being close at hand. He was dismayed that the place where the outsiders came to worship God was instead crowded with those who only cared about making money. The cleansing of the temple foreshadows the moment when the veil of the temple is torn and when Paul is told the preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. Jesus was making a way for those who sought God to approach Him. Those who seek Him will find Him.
And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes were seeking to destroy him, but they did no find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words. Luke 19:47-48 ESV
Dear God, Thank You for making a way for sinners to come before Your throne. Please help me follow Your Words and obey Your commands. In Your Holy Name, Amen.