“‘“But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.”’”
There are often areas of gray in matters of black and white, often complex ethical discussions between right and wrong, and often levels of variance between light and dark, aren’t there? For instance, intentions blur the simple lines of ethics, because someone can mean the wrong thing while doing the right thing—like the prophet who preaches God’s Word for the sake of wealth—and someone can mean the right thing while doing the wrong thing—like Moses who murdered an Egyptian soldier out of his desire to help his hurting brothers. That’s why I’m so grateful for Scriptures like Exodus 8:22-23, because they’re moments in the historical record where God has imposed Himself into the complexities of human life and drawn a simple line in the sand that makes all the difference.
See, friend, someone will say today that ‘we’re all God’s children,’ and that’s partly true. And someone else will add, ‘and God loves and accepts all His children just as they are,’ and that’s also partly true. But statements like these, half-true as they are, miss the line-in-the-sand, divinely given choice that undergirds them. Because while we are all God’s creations, only those who choose Him over the Pharaohs of the world will He call children. And while God accepts our sinful souls just as we are, redemption is about transforming what is lost and broken and marred by sin back into godliness, which means that Love doesn’t leave us as we are, but makes us holy, little by little, day by day, virtue by virtue, till the image of our blessed Creator is restored in us anew.
God has drawn a division between His people and the people of earth, and we don’t have the power to erase or redraw those lines at will. We just have the power to cross or get left behind.