Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hardening of hearts

Today's reading was in Exodus 14-15 and Matthew 17. Read online at http://bit.ly/64hMby.

I got to thinking today about why people come up with reasons to reject God. I know there are plenty, and I don't want to be so naive as to think that there are any legitimate reasons to reject Him. By legitimate reasons I mean those that God would say "oh, yeah, good point" to.

In line with that thinking, Exodus 14-15 tell the story of the first part of Israel's journey - out of the city of Rameses up to the place where they go through the Red Sea. So, as if all of the plagues that God sent into Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to let Israel go weren't enough, Pharaoh turned his heart yet again against Israel and pursued them, saying "why did we let Israel go from serving us? What were we thinking?!" Isn't that a decision to fight against God?

So after Pharaoh made his decision, God decided to use this for His glory, and hardened the heart of Pharaoh. So hard that Pharaoh and the Egyptian host saw the pillar of fire and of smoke, yet continued with their desire to pursue Israel. Then they saw the waters of the Red Sea open up and DRY LAND appear there. That is two separate miracles, folks! So the pillar stands between the Egyptians and Israel, presumably following behind Israel as a barrier until Israel gets to the other side. As the pillar moves, the Egyptian army pursues Israel by going through the same way, but when they get to the middle, the unthinkable happens: God looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar and 'troubled' the host of the Egyptians. Then God takes the wheels off their chariots so they bogged down right there. THEN they say "let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians." Really? So, they didn't figure that out during the plagues? No, they didn't really repent of their actions, they just got "caught". We do the same thing, don't we? We keep living our lies until it becomes impossible to do anymore. Sometimes, however, by that time it is too late to avoid the dire consequences of those lies.

So what do we learn from this? Whatever you do, do not harden your heart against the things of God. People will always let you down - never let what other people do/have done be an excuse for why you won't surrender your life to God. You know what I mean - "I don't wanna be like THOSE people"; "If THAT's what a Christian is, then I don't wanna be one"; blah blah blah.We must draw near to God, grow our relationship with Him through his Word and prayer so we will recognize the things he does in our lives, have the right response to those things and not wait until we are getting pummeled and drowned by the waves of the Red Sea before we take action.

Are you ignoring the workings of God in your life? Maybe you don't even think there is anything God is doing in your life. You would do well to open your eyes, and if you desire to see those things and still don't, please get with me or someone else who can help you with the Bible and discover what it is God is doing! :-)

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