I am currently participating in the One Year Bible challenge from Kidmin1124.com. This week, we are reading through the opening chapters of Exodus which set forth the Israelite slavery in Egypt and how God sent plagues to force Pharoah to let his people go. As I read through the first nine plagues that God sent on Pharaoh:
- Turning the Nile to Blood
- Wild Beasts
one thought continued to run through my head:
Why did it take so much? Why didn’t Pharaoh get it earlier and avoid the later plagues? Why did he not listen to God and avoid the tenth plague – death of the the firstborns? It seems so obvious. God wasn’t going to relent. Surely there would be more coming if the their first couple of plagues didn’t work. How many times was it going to take before Pharaoh “got it?”
Then I started to realize something. I am no different than Pharaoh! I have a heart which can be just as cold and stubborn as his. I spent thirty years of my life denying the God who created me despite all of the “signs” God had put in my life. To this day, I am not the obedient son that I want to be. I still turn from him in times of trouble. I still resist those things that He would have me do. In the end, I am not that different from Pharaoh.
It is easy to look at characters in the ancient stories of the Bible and think, “I’m not like that. I would make a better choice.” I wouldn’t have sold my brother into slavery! I would have fought the giant! I wouldn’t have lied about who I was. I wouldn’t have bowed down to that cow. I would have taken the promised land no matter what the spies said. I wouldn’t have denied my Lord, or I wouldn’t have sold him for thirty pieces of silver. It is easy to read those stories and neglect one very important point – we are those people. Pray today that God would speak to you through these stories to show you how you are denying him. Seek his hands and his face. Draw near to him and he will draw near to you!