Frogs … they’re everywhere! … in their homes, in their beds, in their bowls, in their ovens—everywhere! Yet, when Moses, God’s messenger comes to Pharaoh and asks when he’d like them removed, he says, “Tomorrow.” Just let me spend one more night with those frogs. How about you? Are there any frogs you’re keeping around for another sleepover?
Exodus 7 & 8
Exodus 7 & 8:
When we harden our hearts
Have you thought about the statement where God says He will harden Pharaoh’s heart? At first glance, that might seem a little unfair! I mean, is God on His throne pointing to one person and saying I don’t like the way she looks, I think I’ll harden her heart? God is God and He can certainly do as He sees fit, but that is not the picture we see in Scripture.
Remember that Pharaoh had already hardened his own heart. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He told Moses that He had heard the cries of his people in Egypt, cries against which Pharaoh had already hardened his heart. When we harden our hearts and refuse to show compassion on others, why should we be surprised if He withholds compassion from us? Even as believers, though we don’t lose our salvation, we can damage our fellowship with Him and can set in motion laws of sowing and reaping (Gal. 6.7-9). And if we repeatedly harden our hearts, it may be a sign that we are not really saved, because the Bible teaches that though believers may sin, they will repent.
Even in these passages in Exodus, Pharaoh continues to harden his own heart. Ten times it says Pharaoh hardened his heart and ten times God hardened his heart. God’s hardening was judicial hardening in response to Pharaoh’s personal, sinful hardening.
We see a similar picture in Romans 1 beginning in verse 18. We sometimes call this passage the downward spiral of sin. We see men and women refusing to respect God as God though they know the truth and choosing to continue in their sin. In verses 24, 26, and 28 we see the response of God. It says He, “gave them up …,” “gave them up …,” and “gave them over …” John MacArthur says in his study Bible, “When men consistently abandon God, He will abandon them by removing His restraint and allowing sin to run its inevitable course.”
This results in hearts that are more and more hardened by their own sin. As we look around our world today, we see this in abundance. It’s interesting that the example God uses in Romans 1 is that of homosexuality. Consider that as you listen to the news.
Also, notice Exodus 8.8 talking about the plague of frogs. Can you imagine? Frogs are everywhere—in in their homes, in their beds, in their bowls, in their ovens—everywhere! Moses says to Pharaoh, “Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you …” In other words, “When do you want me to get rid of the frogs?” And Pharaoh says, “TOMORROW!” Tomorrow? Yes, let me spend one more night with the frogs!
It seems ridiculous, but don’t we do the same thing? We know there are areas of our lives where we have refused to repent. We may even be suffering the consequences, but we continue to hold on to our sin. We are sometimes just like Pharaoh, “Let me have one more night with these frogs!”
Then notice verse 15, “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not heed them, as the LORD had said.” Again, we need to look at ourselves. How many times have you and I repeated this pattern? We have a crisis; we cry out to God; He begins to show us how we need to get connected to Him. So we start reading our Bibles, going to church more, going to Bible studies, doing the things we need to do … and then things get better so we begin to slack off.
Pretty soon we have fallen back into the old habits and begin neglecting our relationships with God. We’re yelling at the kids, can’t seem to find the time to read God’s Word, and on it goes. Pretty soon it’s another crisis!
As my husband says, “Amen” or “oh, me!”
Those who trust Him
God reveals much of His character through His names. Here the psalmist referred to Him as “You who save those who trust in you” (v. 7). In what area of life do you need to trust God more?
God & intimacy
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman,
And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
The imagery of a well is used here to describe what the intimacy in marriage should be like. The word “satisfy” in verse 19 means, “to be saturated, to drink one’s fill, to be satiated.” Ladies, our husbands should be so saturated, so satisfied with what they get at home that if another woman threw herself at him, he would say, “No, I’ve had enough!”
A good book full of practical advice on the subject is Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus.
But more and more when this issue comes up, women say to me, “It’s not me who’s unwilling. It’s the other way around.” I believe there can be a number of reasons, but I encourage you not to just suffer in silence. Please contact your pastor or a biblical counselor and seek godly counsel.
God loves you and is concerned about this area of life just like all others. He’s not embarrassed (He created it!) and we shouldn’t be either.
God & divorce
There’s a year’s worth of things to think about in this one chapter. First, Jesus addresses the issue of divorce, when it’s permissible and when it’s not (vv. 3-9). Jesus said, only for the cause of “sexual immorality.” And even then, it is not commanded. I have seen many marriages healed and put back together better than ever, even after adultery has taken place.
Paul adds to our understanding about divorce in 1 Corinthians 7. There are times when divorce is not a sin, but for believers, those allowable circumstances are very limited.
As with any sin, if you are divorced, know that God loves you, and it is not the unforgivable sin! But if you are contemplating divorce, please seek godly, biblical counsel.
Come and follow Me!
We also have the passage about the young man who comes to Jesus asking how he can have eternal life (vv. 16-24). Jesus’ response, “… go, sell what you have …” was not a call to him to go live in a commune or a picture of salvation by good works. But Jesus knew where this man’s heart was. He loved his riches! Jesus put His finger on the thing that was standing between him and God. This was a call to make God number one in His life! “Come, and follow me.” Romans 10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (v. 9). Many want a Savior, but few allow Him to be Lord.
Is anything standing in the way of your total surrender to God, today?
Are there some frogs with which (or whom!) you are still sleeping?
Jesus’ call to that rich, young man is the same for us, “Come, sell all that you have, and follow me!”
I pray that you won’t harden your heart if God is speaking to you.
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