Updated: Feb 28, 2020
“But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the Lord had said.” —EX8.15
*If you’d like to read through the portion of scripture in reference, go to Exodus chapters 7-12.
I should have started to write about how the Lord’s been speaking to me through His Word at the beginning of January, but, it’s better late than never, right? So, with that said, I’d like to share a thought or two about Pharaoh’s heart in response to the relief of hardships.
Would you consider yourself a cold hearted individual much like the Pharaoh of Egypt was during the time of the Exodus of the Israelites? Probably not, right? However, we might have more in common with this hard hearted man than you think.
I decided to read through the Bible once again this year. I believe there’s a blessing for us in reading through God’s Word straight through. The difference for me this time than from times past is that I made a commitment to bi intentional about what I’m reading. I want to give the Holy Spirit ample room to speak to me through His Word…the Living Word!
Unfortunately, reading through the Bible in a year often times becomes more about keeping our daily reading schedule rather than soaking up the content of what we’re reading. So, why am I saying all of this? I believe that if we take our time to read His Word daily, we allow the Lord to speak to us through His Word. Not only showing us the depths of His mercies, grace, love and compassion, but prayerfully, allowing the Word of God to become a mirror of who we really are: broken, sinful individuals in constant need of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness! I know that to be true for me on a daily basis.
By being intentional readers of His Word, The Holy Spirit ample will speak to us and work in and through our lives. God’s Word will not only serve as a source of encouragement for us, but it will also serve as a source of admonition to those of us who are willing to hear and accept it. Our sinful human nature doesn’t like being called out on what we’re doing wrong. If we’re honest about it (and we should be), we become stubborn, prideful and obstinate. We defend, excuse or justify our poor attitudes, our unwholesome speech, our thought life, our bitter attitudes, our lifestyles with nothing more than self-righteous and prideful rhetoric.
I’ve read these chapters in scripture so many times before, but, I hadn’t really paid attention to this specific attitude displayed by Pharaoh, which more often than not, I too am guilty of. What was Pharaoh’s repetitive attitude that we’re guilty of as well? Simply stated, that of being fickle. Pharaoh’s fickle attitude was a reflection of his posture towards a Holy, Perfect and Just God! It showed complete lack of reverence (fear) for the Lord.
The Lord will often times use the trials and hardships in our lives as a means to draw us closer to Him. Most of the time they accomplish their purpose(s). Well, at least temporarily. What I mean is that during these difficult times, we become much more pliable, teachable and humble. The Lord gets our attention, and in response we “trim the spiritual fat”. We will replace secular music with worship, consistency in bible reading begins, even on a daily basis. Our prayer life becomes more intentional purposeful. We’re more patient. You get the idea.
However, when our trial and hardship subsides, we do exactly what Pharaoh did. The posture of our heart returns to a state of apathy and spiritual lethargy. As soon as the Lord met our deep need for deliverance, and the suffering subsided, we put God back on the proverbial shelf…that is until we need Him again! Unfortunately, our need for Christ is constant, never ending. We should always be relying on Christ, not just in times of need! This process happens over and over and over again. The honest truth is that we’re fickle, just like Pharaoh was. When the going got tough for Pharaoh, he called upon Moses and Aaron to intercede on his behalf so that the plague would cease. He wanted the discomfort, the tribulation, the trial, the hardship to be over, and as soon as the Lord removed it, his heart grew harder after each time. Therefore, the next plague was worse than the previous. Through all this, Pharaoh’s heart grew calloused, harder, indifferent and rebellious. Don’t be fooled, this too can happen to us if we don’t exercise spiritual wisdom and discernment (read James 1).
We so often seem to operate in like manner as Pharaoh did. We’re caught in the same vicious cycle he was, and end up with the same results. Does it ever seem as if you keep going through the same trial(s) over and over again? Maybe, just maybe, the Lord is trying to get your attention. He has given each of us gifts so that we would use them for His glory. He is preparing us, so that we can be effective at what He has ready for us. Don’t miss out, don’t be fickle, stay focused on Christ, even after you’ve been given reprieve and deliverance! Times are very short! Don’t spin your wheels learning the same lessons over and over again…take it from me, it doesn’t get you anywhere.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible (which I’m sure I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts) is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Amplified Version, AMP). God has your best interest in mind! God is preparing you so that He can use you! In essence, next time you’re in a “pickle”, don’t be fickle but recognize it, submit to Him, learn from it and He will move you on and lift you up and out! Be blessed!
If you don’t already know Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior and want to know about His plan of salvation and redemption, click HERE!
Don’t let today pass you by without making Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. You will never be the same. He has great plans for each and every one of us, the question is are you willing to surrender your life to Him and allow Jesus Christ to do great things through you!?!