A Hardend Heart: A Purpose, A Plan, A Promise to Be Kept
WOW! Have you ever refused to entertain a different idea? We continue our Lenten journey through Exodus with “aha” moments; verses that jump out or cause extensive pondering and prayer for clarification. This week’s “aha” takes us on a wild ride through the plagues.
- Water to blood, frogs, and gnats,
- Flies, dead livestock, and boils, hail, locusts, and darkness,
- Death of firstborn.
Things just seem to go from bad to worse. It all started when Moses took God’s message to free the Israelites to Pharaoh. Pharoah refused and acknowledged he didn’t know the God of Moses and the Israelites. And so, a battle began between the hardened and unyielding heart of Pharaoh, and God, through His faithful servant, Moses.
This story is a reminder of the power of faith and obedience. Despite the challenges and obstacles, Moses trusted in God’s promises and followed His lead. In the end, God kept His promise to Abraham and the Israelites were set free.
We probably all have had moments when we dug our heels in and refused to listen to reason, even when it is in our best interest. Our hearts may have become hard, making it difficult to see the truth.
As Pharaoh and God (through Moses) continue these encounters, God gives Pharaoh yet another chance, but it comes with a warning; if Pharoah doesn’t listen, God will release the full force of His plagues against Egypt. I don’t know about you, but after water turning to blood, frogs, gnats, and flies, I would seriously think twice about my decisions. How stubborn do we get? How often do we ignore nudges from God, even though we know we should follow them?
The rest of the story: livestock die, painful boils, devastating hail, crop devouring locusts, 24/7 darkness, and the loss of all Egyptian first-born children. Pharaoh’s hardened heart and denying God’s authority can serve as a warning against the dangers of a hardened heart. They can remind us that our choices have consequences, not just for ourselves, but for those around us as well. It can also remind us of the power of humility and the importance of being open to change.
This story offers hope. Despite Pharaoh’s heart, God had a plan and a purpose. Even in our own lives, when we feel stuck or hopeless, we can trust God has a plan and a purpose for us too. We can choose to put our faith into action, even when it seems impossible.
In the end, this story of Pharaoh and Moses is a reminder we all have a choice. We can choose to let our hearts become hardened and closed off, or we can choose to trust in God’s promises and follow His lead.
It is true, without a doubt. God’s promises are yes and amen (2 Cor 1:20)!