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A Heart For God: "Squeeze"

Thursday, May 19, 2011


"'But I will harden Pharoah's heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.'" (Exodus 7:3)

"'But I will harden Pharoah's heart.'" In other passages of the Escape from Egypt story it reads: "Pharoah's heart was hardened" (Exodus 7:13) or "Pharoah hardened his heart." (Exodus 8:32a) And so the "hardening" process according to these passages includes: 1. an act of God, 2. a response of the individual (in this case, Pharoah) and 3. an individual (Pharoah's) choice. And this is true. (Other translations of harden: make obstinate; make stubborn; make stubborn and hard.)

The saying goes: "The same sun that melts wax hardens clay." Some believe Pharoah had no choice, that God made him "hard" (which I think they mean God had already determined to destroy Pharoah so he didn't have a chance to repent), but that's simply a false view of what "to harden" means. Look at that sentence about the sun, wax and clay again. It's all about the substance. Do you see that? The fact is God didn't make Pharoah stubborn by "hardening" him as "hardening" is more of a squeezing out of what's already inside.

Pharoah was not really God's. Neither would he submit to God. And so God put the "squeeze" on (God's act) / hardened Pharoah's heart. That's what came out (in response) ~ what was already there (by choice).

God would have had Pharoah repent. (2 Peter 3:9) God would have had Pharoah saved. Can you just imagine what that would have meant for him (his firstborn wouldn't have had to die) and Egypt (it wouldn't have had to be crushed ~ so it has remained in an impoverished state even to this day)?

God's purpose was for Pharoah to see the wickedness and rebellion in his own heart, turn from it (by letting the people of God, Israel, go) and receive the Lord's forgiveness and blessing in return. But Pharoah would have none of it (after nine months and ten plagues). So he was drowned in the Red Sea. (God gave Pharoah what he really wanted.)

What would come out if God put the "squeeze" on you?

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Anonymous Barbara Thayer said...

Good thoughts on what really lies in the heart. Jesus would not trust himself to men because he knew what was in the heart of men. The Lord also reminds us that we speak out of our mouths what is really in our hearts. Yes, it is good to think what God would find if he put the "squeeze" on us. Thank you for this good post!

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