This blog focuses on the traditional reading from the five books of Moses called a “parashah” or portion of Scripture read in the Jewish synagogue. This portion is called "Bo" and is found in Exodus 10:1 -13:16. One of the great purposes of the book of Exodus is to demonstrate how Israel goes from being a set of tribes to a worshiping nation. This particular section goes through the plagues God brings upon Egypt. Also within this narrative there is the interchange between God, and Pharaoh with Moses acting as God’s representative and Aaron acting as Moses’ mouthpiece. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them,and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the LORD." It is important to note that both God and Pharaoh participate in the hardening of Pharaoh's heart."When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not let the Israelites go, just as the Lord had said through Moses.(Exodus 9:34-35) Even more significant is the way God hardens Pharaoh's heart. God continues to command Pharaoh giving him more Revelation of himself. However, this revelation does not come in pleasant means but rather through adversity.
Another example of this type of revelation thru adversity comes from the Celtic Christians of old, while they were not Jewish; they greatly impacted the world for missions and left us with a well-articulated insight. The following dialogue is recorded in a book based on the journals of Patrick of Ireland and is related to Patrick questioning his abduction to and slavery in Ireland as he was taken from his home by Irish raiders. Spoiler alert, Patrick of Ireland was a Celt but he was not Irish neither was he Catholic.
" “Because He loves me? Don’t make me laugh!” Patrick sneered, his blue eyes flashing.
“No, I’m serious,” Cedd persisted, standing up and joining Patrick. “I think that God often uses calamity to bring people to Him.”
“Well, if that’s what He̓ is trying to do, He is using the wrong method. This whole thing has turned me against Him “Sometimes that happens,” Cedd responded, fingering his staff thoughtfully. “You see, calamity is like the heat of the sun. The sun’s warmth hardens moist clay, causing it to become brittle. In fact, it can turn wet clay into bricks. Yet, the very same heat softens a lump of wax. Similarly, when God permits calamity to befall mankind, some hearts will be hardened and others will be softened. The choice lies with the one experiencing the calamity. Patrick, you can choose to be hardened by what has befallen you, or you can choose to be softened by it. The decision is yours."
The application? For those of us who are not the Pharaoh of Egypt, and not necessarily under discipline or judgment from God, It is easy and understandable that at times we feel disappointment with God. King David of old went through this very thing. Disappointment with what God allows is not a lack of faith but an opportunity to draw closer to him