And God hardened Pharaoh’s heart

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lump of clay

 

“The same sun which melts wax hardens clay.  And the same gospel which melts some persons to repentance hardens others in their sin.”  ~Spurgeon

Problems reveal what you’re made of.  When the pressure comes, do you crumble or turn into a diamond?  The same problem that causes one person to draw closer to God can cause another to shut God out of their lives forever.  The same crisis that causes one person to become aware of and appreciative of God can cause another to curse God and grow bitter and hard.

The Bible says that when God was preparing to deliver the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt,  God had a plan to show his mighty hand to the polytheistic, idol worshiping nation.  He planned to use the man Moses and to use the apocalyptic powers of nature to reveal his mighty powers.  Every time Pharaoh would come close to letting the Hebrew slaves go, he would change his mind at the last minute, his heart getting harder and harder each time.  The Bible says “And God hardened Pharaoh’s heart” because he still had more lessons to teach the Hebrews and the Egyptians alike.  Is it fair for God to harden a man’s heart and then condemn him for it?

Yes, it is fair.  Because your reaction to pain is evidence of what you are made of.  Hurricanes of pain and suffering happen to both the good and the bad.  But only a certain kind of person comes through with resilience.  Your reaction to God will reflect what you are made of in your heart.  Will the pressure turn your life into a clump of dirt or a diamond?  Only going through pressure can reveal that to you.

My roommate from college lost a child when he was just over 1 years old.  As I read her emails from wherever I was in the world, I saw her growing stronger and stronger in her faith.  If you had asked me back in college whether I thought her faith could survive such a storm, I would have said No Way!  And yet, here she was maturing and growing right in front of my eyes and it was the pain and pressure that was promoting that kind of rapid growth.  The astonishingly high divorce rate among couples who have lost a child is evidence that this kind of pressure causes many to crumble.  But not my roommate, she was pressed into her true form through this tragedy.  She is a diamond.

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