Why does GOD allow ‘EVIL’ people to ‘RULE’ on this EARTH?
January 20 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 7-9
"But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now." (Exodus 9:16-18)
For over eighty years, and probably much longer, the Egyptians had oppressed the Israelites, and patiently God had borne with their persecution of His people. But the time had arrived when He was to interpose on behalf of His “firstborn” (4:22) and take vengeance on Pharaoh who had reduced Israel to menial bondage. The Lord is slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, but, “He will not always chide; neither will He keep His anger forever” (Psalms 103:9). A succession of ten terrible judgments known as “the plagues of Egypt” had now descended upon Pharaoh and upon his land. The main purpose of these plagues was to give a public manifestation of the mighty power of the Lord God (9:16) that even the magicians of Pharaoh acknowledged (8:19).
We should note that Pharaoh had as fair a chance as any other person to hear and obey God, but he used his encounters with Moses and Aaron as opportunities to prove his determination and might. Being a strong-willed individual, Pharaoh kept complete control over his decision not to let his cheap labor force – the Israelites – depart from Egypt and thereby resisted God’s plan. We find another case of hardness in the New Testament, where a chronic refusal to respond to God produced a hopeless condition for some believers (Heb. 6:4–8).
In the case of Pharaoh, God reminds him that He had spared Pharaoh in order to demonstrate His power and spread His fame. God used Pharaoh as an example of what happens to a person who is determined to resist the power of God. In his letter to Romans, Apostle Paul argues about the justice and mercy of God with these words: "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.' Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." (Romans 9:16-18)
Pharaoh was not only an evil ruler in a powerful state, but he was an ungodly, unrighteous, and proud man who had set himself up as a god to maintain the stability of his kingdom. God had raised up this evil Pharaoh for two main reasons: (1) to demonstrate His power; and (2) to declare His name throughout all the earth. God’s purpose was to allow Pharaoh to experience Jehovah’s mighty wonders. As a result, God’s character would be declared throughout all the earth. The resulting declaration of God’s name “throughout all the earth” was later incorporated into the Song of Moses in 15:14–16 and was also graphically illustrated in Joshua 2:9–11.
Let us be clear that God shows His power even in those who defy Him, and His judgments are always tempered by mercy. He withheld total destruction so that the Egyptians might know His power and repent (v. 15). Further, God’s judgments against Pharaoh would cause His name to be proclaimed to the nations. This is the reason why God allows evil people to rule on this earth – even today!