Thursday, November 16, 2023
Turning from the Truth
Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. (Ephesians 4:18 NLT)
Moses had made a mess of things. He was a Hebrew who was raised in the house of Pharaoh, groomed to become the next leader of Egypt. Yet Moses was concerned for his fellow Hebrews and the plight they faced. And one day on an impulse, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He looked to the right and to the left, and then he killed an Egyptian. When word reached Pharaoh, he put a contract out on Moses’ life. So, Moses fled for his life into the wilderness.
He settled down there and tended sheep until the Lord recommissioned him forty years later. God told Moses he was to go back to Egypt to the court of Pharaoh and demand the release of his people.
Understandably, Moses was reluctant. He offered some flimsy excuses as to why he wasn’t qualified, which the Lord refuted. God even performed some miracles to convince Moses of the authenticity of his calling. And ultimately, Moses and his brother, Aaron, went to do what God had called them to do.
Moses and Aaron went into Pharaoh’s court and demanded the release of the Hebrews. They probably were hoping he would say, “No problem! God has been speaking to me about that. God bless you.”
But that isn’t quite how it went. Pharaoh basically said, “Are you kidding? There’s no way that is going to happen.”
This reminds us that being in the will of God doesn’t mean that it always will be green lights, blue skies, and singing birds. Sometimes we think that if God wants us to do something, it will be an easy thing to do.
It will happen, but it will be in His timing. And the devil will oppose us.
We also find an important statement in Exodus 7. God said to Moses and Aaron, “But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt” (verse 3 NLT).
Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Some would think that Pharaoh had nothing to say about this, that he was simply a chess piece on the board of life. But that isn’t true. Pharaoh had a choice in the matter. He hardened his heart, and the Lord confirmed the decision he had already made.
Pharaoh hardened his heart further, the Bible tells us, when his magicians counterfeited the signs. Then he hardened his heart even more when his magicians could not counterfeit the signs.
The Lord had given Pharaoh more than enough evidence to convince him that the gods of Egypt were false and the God of Israel was the true and living God. He was giving Pharaoh the opportunity to cooperate. But Pharaoh would have none of it.
This reminds us that to turn from the truth is to become more thoroughly entrenched in darkness. If you have heard the truth, know what is right, and don’t respond, then you are in danger of getting a hardened heart.
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