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Warnings Are Just Signs of Love

I have to confess something.

I just threw my Bible.

Not in an overly dramatic, contestant on the Bachelor kind of way, but I'll admit that it wasn't my finest moment. Granted, it landed safely on my plush white comforter, so relax. There was no harm done.

You're probably wondering why I would do such a thing, and I promise you I have good reason. I think.

I opened to Exodus today, which I already read recently, but for some reason have had my heart fixated on it for the past few weeks. Of course, life is happening pretty chaotically at the moment, so I haven't had the time to really dive into the book like I've been wanting to.

Anyways, tonight I finally had the chance.

And let me tell you something...

I would very much like the opportunity to kick a soccer ball right at Pharaoh's head.

Yes, Pharaoh is the sole reason I just threw my Bible across my bed in absolute disbelief.

I could only read the words "Pharaoh hardened his heart", so many times. The best part was, it was immediately after he would pray to Moses to have God get rid of the various plagues! He would ask for God's power, receive it, and then totally deny it. Was this guy serious?

Here's a quick, and extremely educated synopsis on how the cyclical process went:

  1. Moses would warn Pharaoh about a specific plague that would be cast on his people if he did not let the Israelites free.

  2. Pharaoh would ignore this warning, and the plague would come, just as Moses had said.

  3. When it became too much to bear, Pharaoh would ask Moses to pray on his behalf that God would take away the plague, and assured to let His people go if He did.

  4. Moses would pray, God would come through.

  5. Pharaoh's heart would harden, and he would not let the people go. (Insert confused meme here????)

This happened over, and over again. Ten times to be exact. Ten chapters, nearly identical.

Do you see my frustration here?

But then, I realized something pretty humbling:

We, too, can be just like Pharaoh.

How many times do we hear messages about warnings of sin, and unjust behavior that leads to disastrous endings? Yet, we decide that we don't want to listen, and we end up heartbroken, lost, empty, and overwhelmed. Then, in our despair, we cry out to God, asking Him to free us from these chains, and He does.

Then, when everything is good to go again, we forget about His warnings again, and forget the consequences that come along with deciding not to obey God.

If you read Exodus closely, you'll notice that Pharaoh was the one hardening his own heart for the first five plagues. It is not until the sixth, that the words "God hardened Pharaoh's heart" come into play.

The first few times we go through something where we receive consequences for our sinful actions, the sting can be pretty deep. I'm sure the first few plagues were terrifying for Pharaoh and the people. But, we have two decisions after the warning signs come:

  1. We can harden our hearts, and repeat our behaviors.

  2. Or, we can repent and ask for God to help us obey Him and live a life more pleasing to Him.

Ultimately, God was trying to show Pharaoh and the people how powerful He was, and how seriously they should have been taking sinful behavior toward His chosen people. (Of course, this is a condensed, general summary, so go easy on me here Bible scholars. I'll write a novel just for you some day).

So, I don't necessarily think that God went in and physically hardened Pharaoh's heart.

I think that He did not allow another chance for it to soften, because Pharaoh played a large role in the initial hardening of his own heart, time and time again.

We too, can become desensitized to sinful behavior if we allow our hearts to harden in the presence of warnings. The warnings are not from a mean God, but they are just the opposite. They are from a loving God, meant to protect you from the consequences of behavior that is against His Word.

I wish I listened to the countless devotions that were strategically placed in my emails, or on social media timelines that urged me to seek my worth from the Lord, and only the Lord. This would've saved me from countless nights full of engaging in behavior that led to heartache, hot tears, and self-harming thoughts.

I would pray the pain away, and the plague of self-loathing would ultimately flee, but my behavior didn't change. I continued to seek my worth from my peers, boys, social media, and my success in the classroom.

My plague was gone, but my heart was still somewhat hard.

It wasn't until I decided to give up the world's way, and start to follow what the Word said, that this pain was finally replaced with peace. Of course, this came after my world felt like it was completely crumbling. My heart began to soften to the warning signs, and I finally submitted myself to the One who holds my life in His hands. This could've been avoided, had I listened to my "Moses" a lot sooner.

I'm not saying that I'm perfect, or that I don't give into these emotional instant gratifications anymore, but my heart is more sensitized to when I do begin to act this way again.

There is an immediate check in my soul, and I can remind myself of God's truth and goodness, to help me stay on track.

Pharaoh's heart never softened, and this led to his demise, along with all of the Egyptians who also refused to soften their hearts.

God isn't a mean God. If He was, He could've knocked Pharaoh right on out with the first plague. Peace out, bye Felicia. Instead, He sent Moses back with warnings, time and time again, until his heart was rock-solid.

God loves us enough to send us these warnings, over and over.

Don't let your heart grow any harder.

Don't be a Pharaoh any longer.

Don't be the reason God wants to throw His Bible (JOKE, relax).

Allow Him to soften your heart, and the plagues will finally subside.


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