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Reflections on Romans 9:17 (Thu)

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click here for the Net Bible link to today’s passage

Today’s verse brings to mind the idea that God raised up Pharoah–giving him great power and influence–for the sole purpose of showing God’s far greater power. Think about it: if Pharoah had been created weak, the miracle of the Exodus would have been minimized and God’s power less noticed. Instead, God had made the notariety of Pharoah and the Egyptians known worldwide, so that when they were defeated at the Red Sea, God’s name was “proclaimed in all the earth.”

So it’s apparent from this passage that God can and does raise people to positions of power and influence as a way to display how much greater He Himself is.

We tend to think that God can only be glorified though godly behavior or leadership. For example, I know many people who suffered deep despair when Mr. Obama won in November, thinking that God had somehow lost the election. I believe that kind of thinking limits God. Could it be that God might have raised Mr. Obama up for His great purposes? I would suggest that He did according to Romans 13:1! (I blogged about this subject last fall, so I won’t go into all that again here.) The point here is that God isn’t limited by any powerful leader, but can use them for his purposes in ways we wouldn’t necessarily predict.

On a personal level, the fact that God can even use hard-hearted Pharoh for His great glory really encourages me. I don’t have to be perfect for God to make something useful out of my life. This takes the pressure off of having to appear to have it all together all the time. This is why I often pray that God would work not only through me but also in spite of me for His glory!

Lord, even use my failures and shortcomings for your glory!

Any other initial thoughts on today’s lonely verse? If you have any insights, stories, or thoughts about today’s passage, please comment below! Thanks!

4 Comments

  1. Your comments caused me to go to 1Tim.6:1&2, Isaiah 40 & 45, and the many verses in Proverbs about rulers, e.g. 21:1–the king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes;
    8:15,16–by me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule and nobles, all who judge rightly. God is sovereign. “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.”Ps.115:3. Thanks, Mark. (But no
    thanks to the political bait you threw out there today). Diane T.

  2. This verse tells me that God has His purpose and that even a leader that thought he was god and was so powerful could be used to glorify the One True God!It is encouraging that God is not limited by leaders or by us.

  3. Martha, I hadn’t thought about the Pharoah being considered a god himself. Makes the point all that much more poignant! Thanks for pointing that out!

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