“And I will put a division between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall occur.”
So this Pharaoh, who thought he was a god, gets a memo from The God delivered by Moses and the memo is this: I’m going to lay the smack down on your people and there isn’t thing one you can do about it. My people, meanwhile, will be just fine. This is pretty much how God rolls, in my experience.
See, there are always people who think they can do what they want to or with God’s people. History is littered with fallen empires that tried to destroy Israel. When Christianity showed up on the scene, it didn’t take long (from a historical perspective) for someone to realize that legitimate Christianity is good for an empire. That’s a blog for another day (potentially years from now).
Look through history and there are other places where there is a definite line between God’s people (Jews) and the rest of us. During the time of the Black Plague, Jewish people were not as affected by it. The reason? The sanitary laws in the Old Testament caused the rats that carried the fleas that carried the plague to be off somewhere far from the Jews. No plague-carrying fleas meant few to no people with the plague. There was a division; a distinction between Jew and Gentile. Israel’s history since its reincorporation after WWII has been one of a nation that, statistically and strategically speaking, would have been wiped out multiple times and yet the nation remains. Other nations would have been destroyed. Israel has not. There is a division between God’s people and those who are not God’s people.
Christians, those who are legitimately God’s people (I cannot say whether or not anyone is, I don’t know hearts), are distinct in multiple ways. In the workplace, Christians who are being obedient to Christ will work hard—as if we’re working for Christ Himself—but not be hung up on raises or promotions or anything like that. It’s not that we don’t appreciate those things, they’re just not the be all end all of our workplace experience. In our families, Christians being obedient to Christ will put our family before everything except our relationship with God. Our spouse and children (if any) will take priority. This means you will run into husbands who check with their wives, not to get permission but to verify that there are not any plans that will be interrupted. My friends are getting used to this state of affairs. In my case, it means I need to get up with my alarm and spend my time with God and get out the door early enough to have some time with my wife and daughter before the sun goes down and my daughter goes to bed. It seems odd, but it is just one of a dozen ways that I can prioritize my family and in so doing be obedient to my Lord. And it will be distinct. It will be different.
God is interested in marking His people as His own, but I need to cooperate with that plan. He was interested in making a distinction between Israelite and Egyptian and He is interested still in making a distinction between those who are His and those who are not. He wants the distinction to be evident not to demean those who are not His or to hurt them or humiliate them but that some of them might make themselves His when they see how He treats those who are His own.
God, may I be cooperative with that today … and every day. Please teach me to work with You in showing the difference that You want to show. Not to be obnoxious about the difference or anything like that, but to simply live and work and act as Your child should act.