Thursday, March 19, 2015
Have you ever wondered why God hardened Pharaoh's heart? I've grappled with that more than a few times. It seems so contrary to what most people consider to be "loving". I mean, after all, If God was a "loving God" wouldn't He want someone's heart to soften and believe?
2 Thessalonians 2:10 tells us that those who are perishing are doing so because "they refuse to love the truth and so be saved". Pharaoh's heart was not a heart that loved the truth. He may have become convinced and fearful of the truth after God send plague after plague, but in no way did he love the truth. He refused to love the truth, inspite of the fact that it testifies completely to The One True God who is sovereign over all. So when he seemed ready to concede, it's no wonder why God would harden his heart. You see, Pharaoh not only worshipped many many gods, he also thought he was a god. To the rest of the Egyptian and Hebrew world looking on, it probably just seemed like a simple ordinary match between dualing gods. I can almost hear it now, "Ding! round two!" But there is nothing ordinary about what happened between God and Pharaoh and his gods. There is nothing ordinary about God at all.
When God hardened Pharaoh's heart I believe He did so for the purpose of making it clear that the God of the Hebrews is the One and Only God worthy of worship. He can not be expected to receive the same lame praise and adoration that the masses would give a demonically empowered god. No. God has always been distinguished. Pharaoh was merely a testy little defiant cockerel who dared to challenge God by shaking his fist in His face and puffing out his chest, calling upon his magicians as if they could contend with God's power. Their tricks, though empowered by demons were only good for wowing the masses. But God, in harding Pharaoh's heart, laid low every Egyptian and Hebrew soul that had breath in the land. And every single one of them saw God for the distinguished Sovereign that He is.
God is still distinguished. And He still demands that those who represent Him be distinguished. There shouldn't ever be a "Christian" who easily blends in with the wicked. Like the Hebrews, God desires that you be free. Nothing should have mastery over you. And when you allow yourself to become compromised with sin, when you allow your life to take on the appearance of someone who does not have a distinguished all powerful sovereign God, you make God out to look puny, like any other deity who is so unimpressive that he's easily ignored. God is not your God if you live such a life. But God is a God who will distinguish Himself, even if you refuse to acknowledge His Glory.
Dare you be like Pharaoh? Will you shake your fist at God and refuse to love the truth? Or will you be like the chosen, who humble themselves under God, obeying His rules and commands? He will be distinguished. The question is, are you? Do you obviously belong to God, or do you spend your life blending in being indistinguishable? God has never been interested in being compromised in such a way.