Reading through the book of Exodus leaves me full of wonder and quite a few questions. One question that has bothered me for years deals with Pharaoh and his refusal to release the children on Israel.
If you read through the story, you'll find the words, "Pharaoh hardened his heart." Okay, that makes sense to me. I can see where he would/could harden his heart and refuse to allow them to escape. But many times, the Bible actually says, "But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go." Huh?
God hardened Pharaoh's heart. That makes absolutely no sense to me. After all, God wanted Israel to go free, right? God send Moses to lead them out, right? Is it just me or does it seem like God it thwarting His own plan? If He hadn't constantly hardened Pharaoh's heart, how much sooner could Israel have gone free?
Truly, this concept has "plagued" (pardon the pun) me for years. But this week, God allowed me to find the answer. It was there in the Bible all along, but I had never noticed it. I guess I had been so caught up in my questions that I hadn't seen the answer. But now, I see it clearly.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. - Exodus 11:9
Why did God harden Pharaoh's heart? So that He could have more opportunities to show His power. So that there would be no doubt about Who He was and what He could do. So that when we read about the rescue of the children of Israel, we can't help but be amazed at the wonders our God can perform. God had a reason. It was all part of His master plan.
Are you facing situations today that don't make sense to you? Do you feel discouraged and held captive by your doubts and fears? God has a rescue on the way. It may not seem obvious, and it may not make sense to you, but if there's one thing we've learned through the Bible, it's that God's ways are not our ways. They're better! Put your hand in His hand, and allow Him to lead you out of your captivity. And along the way, watch for multiplied wonders!