25. Beware a heart of stone

God brought Egypt to its knees by means of executing ten devastating plagues on them. Most of their animals were dead, their crops were destroyed, their health suffered, all the fish in the Nile were dead and they all lost their firstborn son. It was truly devastating. God also caused them to lavish the Israelites with loads of gifts as they made their way out of the land, and due to this, they became even poorer. And to top it all off, their free slaves were gone. They actually had to work now for a change. They must have felt hopeless.

They were devastated and I wonder if they were angry at their leader too? I mean if he had let the Israelites go after the first plague they would have at least skipped the last 9 plagues. But he wouldn't listen. Even his own advisors later begged him to let the people go, but he refused. He simply couldn't accept that anyone was greater than he was. In their culture he was god, he was the morning and the evening star, he was 'the man' so to speak. No one has ever been greater than he was and yet now he was confronted with 'this' God he couldn't control and it was too much for him to accept. He hardened his own heart towards God. He didn't want to lose face and acknowledge that anyone or anything was greater than he was.

It was only after the 6th plague that God passed judgment and hardened his heart for him even further. After each plague from then on the Bible clearly states that "The Lord hardened his heart." God wasn't being unfair when He did this; He merely confirmed Pharaoh's prideful decision and set the painful consequences of his action into motion. God didn't force Pharaoh to reject Him, He gave him every opportunity to change his mind during the first 6 plagues, but he didn't. He didn't want to acknowledge God as God and superior to him and that was his downfall. God didn't delight in this, after all God says in Ezekiel 33:11 "I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people." But enough is enough; sooner or later evil people will be punished for their wicked deeds.

Don't make the same mistake and only acknowledge God in your life when calamity strikes and leaves you with no other alternative than to recognize God in your life. God should be recognized as King long before your pride needs to be disciplined. God needs to receive the proper respect He deserves as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. One day every knee will bow before Him as King, even Pharaoh will be there, proclaiming Jesus to be King, but it would be too late.

I experienced a small part of this when I didn't want to listen to God's voice when He wanted me to do something. He told me over and over again, but I made excuses and didn't want to listen and as time went on His voice grew softer and softer and I didn't hear Him anymore, my heart had become hardened. Luckily I realized what was going on and quickly repented and went ahead and did what God asked me to do. What would have happened if I didn't? Luckily I would never know. The point is God won't force His will on anyone, but beware before your heart becomes hardened, it might just have grave consequences.

Lord we want to follow You no matter what. We want a heart that is soft and loving and we don't want a heart of stone. Help us to stand strong against pride and lustful actions of the heart and look up to You as our Deliverer and Strength. Amen

2 comments for “25. Beware a heart of stone”

  1. Gravatar of Karlien WoodKarlien Wood
    Posted Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 7:30:11 PM

    thank you for these most meaningful devotions Ilze, it is so relative and we NEED to hear and practice it OVER AND OVER AGAIN! May God bless you richly. Love u!

  2. Posted Monday, June 17, 2013 at 2:27:59 PM

    I experienced a small part of this when I didn't want to listen to God's voice when He wanted me to do something.

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