My devotional reading has been in Exodus lately. Moses has been told to go to Egypt and tell the Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Yet, throughout the first nine plagues the Pharaoh’s heart grows harder and harder, instead of softer toward God. The Pharaoh’s heart was unyielding (see Exodus 7:13, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7,12, 35; 10: 20, 27).
From the plague of frogs through the plague of darkness, his heart hardened and Pharaoh even tried to manipulate Moses’ request to take the Israelites into the desert to worship God. First, the Pharaoh said no one could go; then he said only the men; then men, women and children; but he never said the animals could go which was part of Moses’ request.
It was only after Egypt lost everything that the Pharaoh relented and let Moses lead the Israelites into the desert.
Then, in one last attempt to show who was in charge, Pharaoh led his army to attack the Israelites. But God proved Who was really in charge and who was not. The Pharaoh’s army and the Pharaoh were lost under the waves of the Red Sea when they tried to pursue the Israelites.
This begs the question– how am I acting like Pharaoh? How am I trying to manipulate my way instead of obeying God in the first place? How far will I take my behavior before it is too late and I lose everything?
Oh Lord, may my heart be like David’s who prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm139:23-24).