Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7.
Pharaoh sowed obstinacy, and he reaped obstinacy. He himself put this seed into the soil. There was no more need for God by some new power to interfere with its growth, than there is for Him to interfere with the growth of a grain of corn. All that is required is that a seed shall be left to germinate and spring up to bring forth fruit after its kind. The harvest reveals the kind of seed that has been sown..
Pharaoh saw the mighty working of the Spirit of God; he saw the miracles which the Lord performed by His servant; but he refused obedience to God’s command. The rebellious king had proudly inquired, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? … [Exodus 5:2].” And as the judgments of God fell more and more heavily upon him, he persisted in stubborn resistance. By rejecting light from heaven, he became hard and unimpressible. The providence of God was revealing His power, and these manifestations, unacknowledged, were the means of hardening Pharaoh’s heart against greater light. Those who exalt their own ideas above the plainly specified will of God, are saying as did Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?” Every rejection of light hardens the heart and darkens the understanding; and thus men find it more and more difficult to distinguish between right and wrong, and they become bolder in resisting the will of God..
He who has once yielded to temptation will yield more readily the second time. Every repetition of the sin lessens his power of resistance, blinds his eyes, and stifles conviction. Every seed of indulgence sown will bear fruit. God worked no miracle to prevent the harvest…. He who manifests an infidel hardihood, a stolid indifference to divine truth, is but reaping the harvest of that which he has himself sown. It is thus that multitudes come to listen with stoical indifference to the truths that once stirred their very souls. They sowed neglect and resistance to the truth, and such is the harvest which they reap.
Conflict and Courage p. 88
——Sad update—Eleazar has passed away. Please pray for his family and friends during this time of grief. Rose
—–praise—A former neighbor was robbed at gunpoint last night. Thankfully he was not hurt. Rose
—–Update on Thomas: we just left him to go into surgery. Any risks are all less than 1%. He seemed fine. Better than I would be! Said he wanted to get it over with so that he could go home. He really wants to get home. We are still not sure how long it will be before he is discharged. He should be back in his room here in 2-4 hours. Tom
A few days ago, Esther and I were reminiscing about the time when she was six and got meningitis. At first I had thought it was a cold or flu, but soon my little girl was much sicker than I had ever seen anyone before. She was stiff and gasping for breath and had wine-colored patches just under her skin. She remembered the scared look on my face and how I rushed her to the doctor. As I brought her into the waiting room, the receptionist took one look at her and, although there was a room full of waiting people, hurried us right in. The exam was very painful to Esther and since she was only 6, she didn’t understand that the doctor was trying to help her. She blamed him for her pain. From that time on, she did not like him at all and protested whenever she had to go to the doctor. She remembered only the pain and not the fact that he was able to give her the medicine she needed to get over meningitis.
How often we find ourselves in the same condition. Our heart is full of sin. We are as Isaiah describes in Isaiah 1:5,6: ” the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Our Loving Saviour bids us, “Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you.” Zech 1:3 “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11
We try to make ourselves well, but we cannot heal ourselves any more than Esther could get well without medicine. We need someone to save us: Someone Who is able to change our sin sick hearts and make us pure within, Someone Who can change our thoughts, our motives, our desires, Someone Who has promised, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Eze 36:26,27
Yet, how often this process of cleansing takes us through trials that go against all that we desire. How often the “exam” is unpleasant and we fight and cry out against the One Who is trying to help us. How often we blame Him for our misery, when it is really caused by our own sin-sick heart. Paul speaks of this honing process that we often must go through. “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb 12:5-11
Praise God! Our Creator understands our pain and confusion. He soothes us, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isa 41:10 May we say as did the Psalmist, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” Ps 139:23,24, 51:2,7,10-12 May we declare as did Job when he did not understand, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Job 13:15 May we, this day, give ourselves completely to our Helper, our Saviour, our Redeemer, our King is my prayer.
Who is the Lord?