Friday, September 23, 2016

September 23, 2016


Exodus 8:11

But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, his heart was hardened; and he did not heed them, as the Lord said.

Personal Challenge

Using today's logic and English language we record the story of Moses and Pharaoh as God hardening Pharaoh's heart and not giving him a chance. This is not how God operates. God created us with free will and gives us the ability to choose how we want to respond to everything in our lives. So how do we reconcile this interpretation? We go back in time to where those who were closer to the original writings of the texts that have been handed down to us. John of Damascus (675-749 CE) shared in one of his commentaries on this passage that "It is customary for Holy Scripture to call Gods' permission His action" (taken from the Orthodox Study Bible). Pharaoh consistently chose to harden his heart, even though God, working through Moses, gave him multiple opportunities to change his mind. And because God cannot violate His own creation, His own laws that He has put in place, He allowed Pharaoh to harden his own heart. The lesson in this for me is to continually ask the question, "Am I hardening my heart?" Do I consistently ignore the warnings that God lovingly gives me so that I can have my own way? Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner?

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