Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go. Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. Now therefore send, get your livestock and all that you have in the field into safe shelter, for every man and beast that is in the field and is not brought home will die when the hail falls on them.”’” Then whoever feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses, but whoever did not pay attention to the word of the Lord left his slaves and his livestock in the field. Exodus 9:13-21 ESV
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Acts 2:36-41 ESV
In 1980, Mount St. Helens in Washington State began to show strong signs that it was going to erupt. There were earthquakes, and steam came out of the mountain. The side of the mountain began to bulge. People who were afraid of what might happen got away, but some people weren’t afraid, and they stayed. When Mount St. Helens erupted, some the people who weren’t afraid to be there died in the eruption. One person who died was an old man named Harry Truman. He lived by himself in a cabin by Spirit Lake, and he refused to leave, even though people warned him of the danger. He said he would rather die on his mountain than live away from it.
The same kind of thing happened in long-ago Egypt. God had showed his signs of power, and Moses warned Pharaoh and his servants that God was about to send another plague. This plague would be hail that was so heavy it would kill both animals and people. Some of Pharaoh’s servants had learned to respect and fear Israel’s God, and they brought their slaves and animals to shelter. Others didn’t pay attention to Moses’ warning. They left their animals and slaves out in the fields to be killed by the hail. They would rather suffer loss than respect and believe in Israel’s God.
The same thing continues to be true. God will someday judge the people of the world. People who take shelter in what Jesus did for them on the cross will be saved, and have life with Jesus forever. But some people would rather go their own way. They won’t take the shelter Jesus wants to provide for them, and they don’t respect or believe in the warnings God sends. We are thankful that Jesus has called us and brought us to shelter in the forgiveness and love he has to give, and we work and pray that others will also come to faith in Jesus.
Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and that we could be saved forever. Amen.