365: Exodus 9-12
scripture for today: Exodus 9-12
prayer emphasis: Pray for everyone coming to church on Easter Sunday tomorrow
think about it: Exodus 9:7
How stubborn was that ol’ Pharaoh, huh? You would think the guy would learn after one plague, maybe two, but it took ten plagues before he was convinced that the God of the Israelites was more powerful than him or his magicians. I’m thinking that after the very first plague, I would not only have let God’s people go, I would have called ahead to Motel 6 and made reservations for them!
It is easy to joke about Pharaoh now. We know that even after he finally let them go and they were out in the desert, he changed his mind again and sent his army after them. We know that God parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could pass to the other side on dry land. We know that the water came up over Pharaoh’s men and chariots and horses and drowned them all. So why was Pharaoh so stubborn?
We’ll find the answer in yesterday’s reading. In Exodus 7:3, God told Moses, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart…” After each plague, scripture specifically says that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. (See verses 9:7, 12, 34 and 10:20, 27) Was God teaching Moses a lesson about patience? About faith?
Moses never wanted to take on this task. In fact, he had plenty of excuses why he couldn’t do it. (Wouldn’t you?) But God shot down every one of them. God promised that He would bring the Israelites out of captivity but He also told him ahead of time that it wouldn’t be easy. What if Moses had become discouraged or mad the first time Pharaoh went back on his word? What if Moses had said, “Well, that was embarrassing! I did what you asked but it didn’t work. I’m going back to my sheep.”
Both Moses and Pharaoh saw signs from God. One made excuses but finally submitted to God’s will. The other made promises he never intended to keep. Have you ever made deals with God? “If You will just heal my loved one, I’ll go to church every Sunday.” “If You will just give me this promotion, I will start tithing.” God is who He says He is and He’ll do what He says He will do whether we keep our promises or not.
Are you a Moses or a Pharaoh?
provided by Trudy Buehler