Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Ever since the book of Exodus was written, God's people have wondered, "Did God really harden Pharaoh's heart, and if so, why and how?" I don't believe God did it through any mysterious, hidden means...but simply by showing him increasing amounts of His miracle-working power! Not about to submit to anyone but himself, the more Pharaoh saw, the more he wanted no part of God or His power. So, what does this mean to those of us who can't sleep sometimes? It might be very significant if our sleeplessness stems from having attended a service where the power of God was particularly strong and having come away with a negative reaction. Perhaps, instead of rejoicing, a part of us recoiled the same way Pharaoh did. Pulling back, we might have thought, "Leave me alone. I'm not ready for this yet!" Jesus predicted that each one of us would experience an initial, negative reaction to His power when He said, "...no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, The old is better" But, although we may have initially retreated and said, "The old is better!" the challenge now is not to remain frightened or to harden our heart forever, as Pharaoh did. Instead, be open to growth, pass through this stage, and begin to anticipate the opportunity to go on even further.