God never does something without purpose, He always has a reason.
Many think of God as this cosmic being up in the sky who just flippantly does and allows things to happen in our lives. Divine intervention, yes. Pre-planned with purpose, no. They assume that He is playing a game and we are just His little pawns.
Scripture and Life Experience(through a correct paradigm) proves many times over that everything God does is Calculated and for a reason.
Lets take a look at Passover in Exodus 12. If you have been in the church for any amount of time, you have probably heard this story or are familiar with it.
The Passover lands on the heels of God sending multiple plagues into Egypt, because the Pharaoh thought He could win a power struggle with the Almighty Living God. Finally Pharaoh gives in to Moses (God’s) request and allows the people of God, the Israelites to go.
God chooses to send one last plague onto Egypt. He is going to kill all of the first born in the land, both human and stock animal.
4 Then Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 ‘and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who [is] behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. – Exo 11:4-5 NKJV
Seems awfully severe dont you think? Pharaoh finally decided to let the people go. God, can’t you just let this go?
The people of Israel had witnessed the effects of the plagues. They had seen what their God was capable of. We have to remember that many of these people had never experienced the supernatural raw power of their God. They had been in captivity, held under a heavy hand of oppression.
God sends this last plague for two reasons:
- To punish Pharaoh for his unwillingness and to drive a defining line between Egyptians and Israel (exo 11:7)
- Test Israel in their Trust of Him
Take a look, God asks Israel to do many specific things, there is a reason!
1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, … 3 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying:
‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb
5 ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year
6 ‘Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
7 ‘And they shall take [some] of the blood and put [it] on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
8 ‘Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread [and] with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it. 9 ‘Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire–its head with its legs and its entrails.
10 ‘You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.
11 ‘And thus you shall eat it: [with] a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It [is] the LORD’s Passover. – Exo 12:1, 3, 5-11 NKJV
Did God really need to have them get a lamb, keep it for 4 days, kill it at midnight, cook over an open fire, eat it fully dressed, burn what is left, and paint the blood over the doorway…? God is all knowing right? He knows who is an Israelite. So why would He really need them to go through all this?
Obedience always leads to blessing. Obedience will always lead you into encounter.
The encounter may not be as grandiose as you think it should be, but your obedience to what God tells you and leads you to do, is connected to how you experience Him.
Your obedience does not determine if you experience Him, but how you experience Him.
If Israel had not done as the LORD commanded, they would have experienced God! Just in a completely different way than God intended! Israel had the choice to be obedient!