?????????????? My opinion, I do believe God intervened and interceded for Moses and the Israel nation in a redemptive manner that he doesn?t do today: he spoke to people in a fire; they heard his voice but didn?t see his form. This was done because there wasn?t any other method available for the people to understand God?s plan of salvation for mankind. While he can choose to repeat this form of communication?I don?t think he does. The reason is because he has given us his holy word: the Bible.


I find it interesting that four of the ten plagues the Lord sent to disturb and discomfort the Egyptians he hardened Pharaoh?s heart. It wasn?t until the locusts were sent that Jehovah started to exercise his Godly powers. He hardened Pharaoh?s heart: Ex. 10:20. From that time forward until the ?Death Angel? killed the first born of all animals and humans, we are told Pharaoh hardened his own heart.


?????????????? Once in a while one may hear: ?She?s got a ?cold? heart?a mean heart; or, he?s got a cold heart?a dead heart, even a ?hard heart?, right? The questions for my Pilgrims: how does one ?harden? a heart? What reasons would one have to feel the need to harden a heart? If we take a deeper look and peek around the biblical corner I?m confident we can gain a biblical perspective we all can learn from that will make us a better witness for the Lord.


?????????????? I am totally convinced Satan?s most useful and powerful tool is PRIDE. It takes little spiritual undressing to recognize Pharaoh possessed an unearthly supply, so much so it was a detriment to his well-being and leadership ability. If one is pampered beyond a normal person?s imagination: he possessed the power of life or death with a mere movement of his scepter; had his own Cup Bearer; as many wives as he wanted, not to mention his concubines, and everyone in Egypt was prostrate in his presence, it is quite difficult to not believe one is a god.


?????????????? My question arises because I?m satisfied Pharaoh was doing a bang-up-job on his own of being a ?stiff-neck? pagan before the God of creation. Though his empire was beset with plagues: water turned into blood; frogs covered the land; gnats infested all of life; flies saturated even the food; and the live-stock died and left diseases? Pharaoh still was determined to dictate the terms to let the Israel nation leave with Moses.


?????????????? This battle of gods and power remind me of what my Poppa used to say about the game of baseball when people would show up late to a ball game and ask: ?Who?s winning; what?s the score??

??Ninety-nine to nothing?but we haven?t had our bats yet,? he?d reply, laughing. Jehovah?s battle with Pharaoh mimicked this battle of teams well.



?????????????? So, why did Pharaoh harden his heart? My opinion, one?s pride is a valuable commodity and nearly as precious as his soul. For the heathen, it is more precious. When God confronted Pharaoh with his messengers, Moses and Aaron, he forced him to be submissive against his will. It echoes the Psalm that declares one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. In the face of each plague?s outcomes, he was forced to acknowledge the Creator?s right to rule Egypt. Pharaoh hated doing obeisance; and as soon as possible, he stood on his feet and found a visceral resolve to never let it happen again. His reality check: he couldn?t deny he had been forced to take an enormous hit to his pride. He hardened his heart so he could count on it to not allow him to show any kind of weakness to the enemy. Might this be the same pattern we now see in this nation?s Gansta behavior? Any perceived ?chink in the armor? of one?s leadership ability to exercise authority must be never known by those who serve in a submissive manner.



?????????????? How does one define this misplaced pride a person holds dear and in the end despises its outcome in one?s life? You do know that pride is all about perception verses reality? There is a grand difference between PRIDE and being PROUD. Improper pride can be seen everywhere. American Idol is one. Each season we see people audition, who don?t have talent, and when they are rejected, they act out and even use profanity to tell the world the judges don?t know their business. When a child has been reared in an improper home, education, and societal environment that is more concerned? about his ?self-esteem? than his ability to learn knowledge, you get these miscreants who believe they possess talent they don?t. Their perceptions don?t balance with reality; their PRIDE gets in the way of their progress of becoming a useful adult. It is oaky to be PROUD of accomplishments when one has prepared himself properly for success: education, knowledge, and experience, as long as God gets the glory.



?????????????? In the face of the plagues: blood, frogs, gnats, flies, livestock diseases, boils, and hail bigger than softballs, Pharaoh hardened his heart. His treasure chest: PRIDE was so empty one would be hard pressed to find an ounce of precious metal in it.


?????????????? Pilgrims, are we to deduce then that after one has had sufficient time to ?harden? his heart against a loving God?s demonstration of power and forgiveness, and he chooses to reject God, God then decides to just allow him to have his own free will in this contest for souls? From the sixth plague forward, the Lord hardened Pharaoh?s heart.


?????????????? After his own first-born son died from the ?Death Angel? plague, he succumbed and let the nation of Israel go?until his pride was issued another challenge and he rushed again into violence that left thousands dead when the Red Sea drowned his army as they chased Moses and his people to force them to return to Egypt as slaves.


?????????????? Pilgrims, we have witnessed in scripture the terrible consequences when pride rules one?s life. How has pride ruled you? What type of pride caused you to harden your heart against God? How has the idea of being submissive offended you so that your felt the need to harden your heart? Is it your mechanism to keep from giving forgiveness to one who has offended you? Have you stopped to consider how your actions might influence others to harden their heart against God? Will your spouse, children or grandchildren mimic your choice when they one day face a ?Redemption-journey? that always begins with forgiveness? During the plague of boils, Moses said Pharaoh and his officials? hearts were hardened against the Lord. If your heart is hardened against the Lord, how long do you think it will be before the Lord gives up on you and decides to join you in your vendetta and he helps you harden your heart? Are you aware this happens every time you choose sin and refuse to seek repentance and forgiveness? Do you realize this evil choice mocks Jesus? blood sacrifice: you accept his forgiveness; you refuse to do the same for others?


?????????????? Scripture does tell us why God hardened Pharaoh?s heart: so his mighty wonders would be seen, felt, and known in the world. I think it was to demonstrate the vast difference one will receive if he chooses to love the Creator verses reject him. Pharaoh?s behavior and actions prove a ?hardened? heart can be penetrated: when faced with the awesome miraculous powers God did in Egypt, several times he confessed Moses? God was greater than his gods?and he begged for mercy. God, the merciful one held back his hand of destruction and offered the Pharaoh another chance to accept his authority and the blessings he wanted to bestow upon him and his people.


?????????????? Scripture clearly shows what happens when one plays ?Kings X? (one confesses things he doesn?t really believe but wishes others to think it is true) because Pharaoh tried to play God for a fool; God sent more plagues and misery. When was the last time you played ?Kings X?? Sadly, too often the believer tries to play this game as he promises he will change?as soon as? You fill in the blank! Who do you know, whom you love, that you can ?call out? for playing Kings X? Is it time for you to take a ?cup of cool water? in Jesus? name to that needy one?


?????????????? Until next time Pilgrims, add your comments; pontificate, ask your own question, and give us something to think about. Send my blog information to your friends.


Dr. Christian


About Ranny Grady

I was born in Herington, Ks. In 1940. I graduated from El Reno High School, El Reno, Ok. In 1958. I served four years in Uncle Sam?s military: I traveled halfway around the world, and was a member of the All Navy Basketball Team. I graduated from Phillips University, Enid, Ok. 1965 with a B.S. In History and Physical Ed. I was a teacher and a coach for a few years. I worked for Prentice Hall Publishing Company for seven years: sales and marketing and author promotion. I graduated from Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary with a M-Div in Theology in 1980. I?m listed in Who?s Who in American Universities and Colleges: 1980. I have been madly in love with the same girl: Denise, for 49 years. We have two sons and five grandchildren. I?m a retired minister, except for my Friday Nights Jail Ministry at the Wayne County Jail in Monticello, Ky. I have self-published two novels: LOU?S DIRTY DOZEN (2007/2009) and recently, THE ROOKIE (2011). My novels can be found in nearly 2000 libraries scattered across the Southeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, and a few places in the East. I put them there via ?cold-turkey? calls to librarians. You won?t find them in the Retail Market because this market rarely, if ever, accepts ?self-published? books.
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