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The People Paid the Price

Daily Reading: Exodus 9

Scripture Focus: This time I have sinned; the Lord is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. (Exodus 9.28)

Devotional Thought: Our mistakes are not just our own, are they? What we do impacts others. I remember the time running cross country when one of the runners went the wrong way. Others followed. I was too far back to get caught in their mistake, but the ones near the front had some ground to re-cover!

Athletes make wrong turns and their teams suffer. Politicians say stupid things and their party suffers. Officials make bad decisions and their nation suffers. Parents lead in the wrong direction and their children suffer. You see, "None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself" (Romans 14.7).

God sent sign after sign to Pharaoh. Pharaoh ignored them and went his own way. But, as Pharaoh continued to reject God, he came to a point when he realized that he was wrong. What is striking to me, however, is that Pharaoh confessed not only that he had sinned, but he said, "My people are in the wrong." Because Pharaoh had selfishly refused God's direction, the other Egyptians found themselves in the wrong, too. What a weight to be upon his shoulders! He led a whole nation to ruin!

When leaders go the wrong way, many others end up paying the consequences. How many people have been shipwrecked upon the shoals of their leader's sin! We need to pray for our leaders - both spiritual and national - that they will make wise decisions and go in the right direction. And, we need to determine in our own hearts that we will do what is right so that we don't lead others astray.

Prayer: Lord, we do pray for our leaders, that they would be wise and that they would be righteous. Bring our nation's leaders to you, O God, and make our spiritual leaders strong and holy. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! 4 My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts-- the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! (Psalms 57:1-5)

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