The Big Picture

The Lord has made everything for his purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. – Proverbs 16:4

When reading about the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, you may wonder about the phrase, “God hardened Pharoah’s heart.” This may seem counterintuitive. God is merciful and good and not willing any should perish. It’s difficult to imagine God hardening someone’s heart when He is the One who usually softens them. He takes hearts of stone and turns them into hearts of flesh, as in Ezekiel 36:26.

As today’s verse states, He even uses the acts of the wicked for His purpose. God sees the big picture. He saw the suffering of the Israelites under the hands of the Egyptians. When Moses began the process of speaking to Pharoah to let God’s people go, things initially got worse for the Hebrew slaves. But God used the whole scenario of the ten plagues to mightily deliver the Israelites. Through the desert wanderings, though they doubted His presence and rebelled, if they looked at the facts, they could not deny that God was the One who brought them out of Egypt.

Today you may wonder what’s going on with the United States government. Much of it, like Pharoah’s hardened heart, doesn’t seem to make sense. Trust the God who has the big picture. None of this is surprising God. He sees the beginning and the end. Regardless of the circumstances, most assuredly the Heavenly Father wants His children to set their affection on Him, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). Pray for those in authority to have wisdom to make right decisions in accordance with God’s plan for the United States. 

Today’s Verse: Proverbs 16:4

The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble.

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended for further reading: Colossians 3

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Back to top