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The Horrible

Exodus 11:1–10

Warning of the Final Plague1

The Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go from here; indeed, when he lets you go, he will drive you away. Tell the people that every man is to ask his neighbor and every woman is to ask her neighbor for objects of silver and gold.” The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover, Moses himself was a man of great importance in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s officials and in the sight of the people.

Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out through Egypt. Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. Then there will be a loud cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as has never been or will ever be again. But not a dog shall growl at any of the Israelites—not at people, not at animals—so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Then all these officials of yours shall come down to me, and bow low to me, saying, ‘Leave us, you and all the people who follow you.’ After that I will leave.” And in hot anger he left Pharaoh.

The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, in order that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land.

Matthew 23:29–36

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.”

God has always been in the business of separating the good from the bad. Our original sin was trying to take that job from Him.Tweet: God has always been in the business of separating the good from the bad. Our original sin was trying to take that job from Him.

“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” – Genesis 3:5

There has been more blood and ink spilled over the practice of judging others. Some adamantly claim that we are not to judge, as if judging others were the one unforgivable sin… and there is scripture they use to justify their belief. Then there are those who would use the same scripture to justify their belief that we have been created and chosen for the purpose of judging between right and wrong. Each side glares judgmentally at one another and draw their lines in the sand while Christ looks on shaking His head at us.

It cannot be denied that God judges between right and wrong, or more precisely, He separates them. We see it as His first act, separating light from dark, His calling out Noah, Abraham, the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, all the way up to and through Jesus Christ on Judgment Day. God judges. He killed every firstborn person and livestock in Egypt to show them that He distinguished between the Egyptians and Hebrews.

While we are certainly called to be holy people – separated out ourselves, there is a difference between standing apart as a witness, and taking the action of separating into our own hands. We cannot separate light from dark. We do not have that power. We cannot separate good from evil, either within individual people, or within groups of people. When we do, we get it all wrong, and it simply becomes prejudice, bigotry, and hatred. We, like the Pharisees may call ourselves holy, but when our holiness only vilifies the world around us, instead of bringing it closer to God, we only fool ourselves. As Jesus pointed out, {anyone can love their friends…](https://biblia.com/bible/esv/Matthew5.43-48). It is our love, not our judgment that truly separates us out, and it is love, not judgment that truly brings people out with us.Tweet: It is our love, not our judgment that truly separates us out, and it is love, not judgment that truly brings people out with us.

What has God separated you from?

When are you tempted to become a separator yourself?

How does Jesus speak about your place and purpose in this world?

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  1. (Ex 3:21–22; 12:35–36)

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