Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4 - Exodus 8:18-19

The magicians tried to produce gnats
by their secret arts, but they could not. ... 
And the magicians said to Pharaoh,
"This is the finger of God!"
But Pharaoh's heart was hardened ...
Exodus 8:18-19
Three times in a row -- with a staff that turned into a snake, with a bloody river, and through an onslaught of frogs -- Pharaoh's magicians matched Moses miracle for miracle. (Or should I say, "miracle vs. trick.")
When their best humanly immitations could not match-up, they realized that this was "the finger of God!"
It's easy to understand why Pharaoh did not agree.
First, he'd seen some pretty good human immitations and wanted to stick with worldly explanations.
  • Do you know anyone who looks down, rather than up, for answers to life's biggest questions?)
Second, he had an agenda, and he didn't want Moses -- or God -- to ruin it.
  • Do you know anyone with their own plans and they're not excited about God's call or God's rules "ruining" it?
Pharaoh's third objection is a little troubling to some people: Did God really harden Pharaoh's heart? It does say that in places. But the explanation that makes the most sense to me is that God set up the circumstances in which Pharaoh's heart could choose either a supple faith or a hardness of heart.
  • Do you know people in circumstances where they forced to choose between godliness or wickedness? This tempting circumstance alone can sometimes cause their hearts to be hardened. 
Some blame this hardening on God because he didn't deliver them from the situation. Others blame it on the circumstance because they wouldn't have fallen if they hadn't been in a place of temptations. Others blame it -- more rightly -- on themselves, the tempted pawn.
We will all face trying times. And we can all blame our actions on anything we want -- from God ... to our parents ... to the schools ... to the government ... to bad luck and unfortunate circumstances -- but it ultimately comes down to this: Will we finally recognize the finger of God or keep looking for a worldly way out?
In Christ's Love,
a guy who's sometimes content
with chicken fingers for lunch
but ought to be more diligent
in searching for God's fingers at work

No comments:

Post a Comment