The writing and teachings of Nicole Love Halbrooks Vaughn 

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Home Devotional Studies Through the Bible >Responding to Judgment and Mercy
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>Responding to Judgment and Mercy

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When Pharoah does not listen to you,
then I will lay My hand on Egypt
and bring out My hosts,
My people the sons of Israel,
from the land of Egypt by great judgments. Exodus 7:4
We are now about to dive into the great judgments that God would use to bring deliverance to the children of Israel. Moses is now resolute. His face is set like flint. He has no more questions and no more complaints. Moses has submitted himself to God in complete trust. He knows that God is with him. He knows what he must do. In Exodus 7:6 we read “So Moses and Aaron did it; as the LORD commanded them, thus they did.”
As we go through the next few chapters of this amazing book we will look closely at each plague that God sent upon the land of Egypt. We will compare how these plagues affected the hearts of the people, especially the heart of Pharaoh. We will also compare these great judgments to the great judgment that is to come.
Friend, as we read, as we study, take inventory of your own heart. Examine yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to probe deep within your soul. Let him see if there is any wicked way in you. Allow him to expose it to you. For if it stays hidden, it cannot be destroyed. It only grows stronger in the dark and seeps deeper into the abyss of your being.
God’s judgment is for our good. “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:32) God’s judgments may come, but His mercy comes with it. 

Let him give his cheek to the smiter
Let him be filled with reproach
For the Lord will not reject forever
For if He causes grief
Then He will have compassion
According to His lovingkindness.
For He does not afflict willingly
Or grieve the sons of men.
To crush them under His feet
All the prisoners of the land,
To deprive a man of justice
In the presence of the Most High,
To defraud a man in his lawsuit-
Of these things the Lord does not approve.
Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?
Why should any living mortal, or any man,
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
Let us examine and probe our ways,
And let us return to the Lord.
Lamentations 3:30-40
God’s judgments are never for just punishments sake. He receives no pleasure from our pain. “The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9) Yes, His mercies are over all His works, even His judgments.
His judgments are meant to wake us up. To cause us to look within ourselves and see our sin against Him. They are meant to lead us back to Him. In Isaiah 26:9 the Word declares, “…For when the earth experiences Your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” When we fall under the judgment of God we are to cry out to Him for His mercy and when He gives us His mercy we are to never return to the wicked ways that brought His judgment upon us.
This, however, is not always the case. Sometimes God’s mercy hardens a heart. In Kay Arthur’s Precept Upon Precept on Exodus one of the statements she made was “judgement softens some and mercy hardens others.” How true this statement is. As we dig deeper into the heart of Pharaoh we will see this played out.
Oh precious one, as we continue our walk through Exodus, examine yourself and probe your ways. I implore you to take a close look at your own heart. Take a close look at your own responses to the judgments and mercies of God. Make sure my friend, that you are where you need to be in your relationship with God. Are you truly reconciled to Him?
Oh Father,
May Your Holy Spirit go before me as I read through these chapters. Let me not be afraid of my own flesh (Isaiah 58:7). Open my eyes so that I may see what You see. Help me to examine the deepest regions of my heart and mind and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Oh Father if there be any part of my heart that has been hardened by Your mercies, bring it to my attention that I may seek Your forgiveness. I never want to take Your mercy and Your grace for granted.
My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,
Amen

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