But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he did not let the people go. Exodus 10:20 TLB
Moses became a shepherd.
He did not start out that way.
God “enrolled” him in His training course for shepherding people.
Imagine what it must have been like, to be a “favored son of Egypt” living close to Pharaoh, and believing that you are a part of his family.
Then, you suddenly discover, nothing could be further from the truth!
You are actually from shepherd stock; slaves are your tribe!
Talk about a shock!
Poor Moses, he makes me think of all the times I got it wrong.
Stand in his shoes for a moment.
You react to that news… getting it all WRONG… you’re not royal… you’re a slave…
So, you blow it… you kill a guy and then you run… you hide out on the back side of the desert–among a bunch of riff-raff shepherds!
The destiny you believed was yours–is not your destined purpose at all.
I tell you the truth, when we say, “God’s ways are not our ways…” it’s not some super cozy one-liner.
No, we should probably have it engraved on our hearts.
It might go a long way in revising our expectations of ourselves, and possibly, others.
Why are we so slow to learn this?
Could it be we like having it our way?
We might even believe we can tell God, “No!” and have everything according to our plan.
Perhaps we cherish the idea of control–which is nothing but illusion.
I’ve been there.
I have thought this… belived in my own plan… lived this foolish illusion.
But, my Bible tells me,
The Word of God reminds us,
The Lord, the God of battle, has spoken—who can change his plans? When his hand moves, who can stop him?isaiah 14:27
God had plans for:
- The Israelites
- And, Pharaoh
That statement will either make you angry, or it will give you great peace.
It depends on the condition (and position) of your heart.
So, how’s your heart?
Heart of stone or heart of flesh?
In my Bible it says six times, “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.”
I like what R. C. Sproul said regarding this,
Since God allows men to rule over nations at His pleasure, hard hearts and stiff necks are not a problem.
God will make even man’s foolish rebellion to serve His purposes.
Hearts of stone are no match for an omnipotent God.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Ezekiel 11:19.
We all have the ability to harden our hearts.
In my experience God will ask us first.
Then, perhaps a few more gentle nudges?
Then, an outright challenge.
Followed by a warning.
(God always warns.)
But, if we like Pharaoh, refuse to heed the warning?
In the Last Days–1 Peter 3:1-7 MSG
3 1-2 My dear friends, this is now the second time I’ve written to you, both letters reminders to hold your minds in a state of undistracted attention. Keep in mind what the holy prophets said, and the command of our Master and Savior that was passed on by your apostles.
3-4 First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level of their petty feelings, they’ll mock, “So what’s happened to the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first day of creation. Nothing’s changed.”
5-7 They conveniently forget that long ago all the galaxies and this very planet were brought into existence out of watery chaos by God’s word. Then God’s word brought the chaos back in a flood that destroyed the world. The current galaxies and earth are fuel for the final fire. God is poised, ready to speak his word again, ready to give the signal for the judgment and destruction of the desecrating skeptics.