Summary: Acknowledge that God is, that God is here, and that God is holy. Then allow Him to use you to make Him known to a world in desperate need of Him. Do that; or else, be a fool!
Three years ago (2009), Leonard Mlodinow shared a story in The Wall Street Journal from the life of baseball great, Joe DiMaggio:
During the summer of 1945, right after World War II had ended, Yankee slugger, Joe DiMaggio, returned to baseball after serving as a soldier during the war. Not wanting to make a big deal of it, he snuck into a mezzanine seat at Yankee Stadium as an ordinary fan with his 4-year-old son, Joe Junior, before rejoining his team. But a fan noticed him, then another. Soon throughout the stadium people were chanting, “Joe, Joe, Joe DiMaggio!” DiMaggio was touched and looked down to see if his son had noticed the tribute. He had. “See, Daddy,” said the little DiMaggio, “everybody knows me!” (Leonard Mlodinow, “The Triumph of the Random,” The Wall Street Journal, 7-3-09; www.PreachingToday.com)
Junior assumed that all the glory was for him and not his father. It was a silly mistake made by a 4-year-old, but when we as adults make the same mistake in relationship to our Heavenly Father, it’s not silly; it’s downright foolish.
Romans 1 says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…” (Romans 1:21-22, NIV).
Do you want to keep from becoming such a fool? Then I invite you to turn with me to Exodus 7, Exodus 7, where we see how God dealt with an ancient Pharaoh, who foolishly assumed all the glory was for himself.
Exodus 7:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.” (NIV)
God makes it very clear: Everyone will know that He alone is the LORD, that He alone is YHWH, the great I AM. Pharaoh is not. The Egyptian gods are not. Only God is the LORD, the I AM, and He will send 10 plagues of judgment to demonstrate that fact before every single Egyptian.
Now, the 10 plagues can be divided into three groups of three each, with the 10th plague being the culmination of them all. Notice, the 1st, 4th and 7th plague each begin with “In the morning.” Aaron’s staff is used in the first 3 plagues. No staff is used in the second 3 plagues, and Moses’ staff is used in the last 3 plagues.
In addition, each set of 3 plagues begins with a purpose statement, the reason why God is sending the plagues. In Exodus 7:17 God says, “By this you will know that I am YHWH. In Exodus 8:22 God says, “So that you will know that I, YHWH, am in this land.” And in Exodus 9:14 God says, “So that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.”