Sunday, February 27, 2011

Exodus: Chapter 7

The plagues begin with this chapter but first is the striking verse which threatens our confidence in the goodness of God.  Hebrews tells us that those who come to the Lord must believe that He is--and that He is good.  Yet in Exodus, we are told that 'God hardened Pharaoh's heart.'  The glory of the Lord brings blessing and joy to hearts that desire Him; those who choose to give their awe and hearts to other gods become blind to the grandeur of God.  The sun gives me a natural world understanding of this truth.  The sun on our winter landscape will melt the icy covering and reveal the life which has been being nurtured throughout the winter months.  The sun in a lifeless desert dries the land further until the parched land cracks and splits.  Pharaoh's heart was lifeless and he rejected the glory of God--the source of life. 

God never rejoices in such a heart; He desires all to live in the fullness of creation.  The opening scene with Pharaoh acknowledges the power in even false idols; this world does have allurements that hold us in their grip.  The rod of Aaron, though, was greater than the magic enticements of the Egyptian priests.  God is greater than anything that draws our allegiance.  We must choose to look at His glory and allow our hearts to be melted by His beauty.  

The plagues were all intended to help Pharaoh and the Egyptians see the inadequacy of their gods and know the true giver of life.  The river which they worshipped and relied on for life was touched first.  The water of life for the Egyptians become a flow of death; the reaction of hardened hearts is to dig deeper instead of reverentially submitting.  God gave the Egyptians a week to consider and seek Him.  He is patient and does not want any to perish.  Might we be committed to praying for all who are intent on their own life and refusing to seek Jesus who is the Life.

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