Sermon Reflection

Sermon Reflection: Broken Hearts & Sovereign Hands

Contributed by Adeliyn • Apr 30, 2024

The first thing that popped into my mind as Pastor Mike was talking about God hardening the pharaoh’s heart was “didn’t the fella get a few chances to choose before God did that?” Short answer, yes the pharaoh did have many chances. Between Exodus 7-9 Moses and Aaron were sent to the pharaoh to plead for the Israelites seven times, and the pharaoh promised to let them go, only to harden his heart by choice and go back on his word (Exodus 7:13, 7:22, 8:19, 8:32, 9:7, 9:34).

It is recorded that God hardened the pharaoh’s heart in the Plague of Boils (6th Plague: Exodus 9:12), the Plague of Locusts (8th: Exodus 10:20), the Plague of Darkness (9th: Exodus 10:27), the Plague on the Firstborn (10th: Exodus 11:10) and finally the pursuit of the Israelites (Exodus 14:4) so that the God of Israel will be known as the Lord, and be glorified.

The irony of it all is that the Israelites, despite witnessing and living through the 10 plagues, and having the pillar of fire and cloud to guard and guide them daily from the day they exited Egypt, grumbled against Moses and God repeatedly until God decided after the  tenth time the Israelites disobeyed and tested God, the entire generation would be condemned to never seeing the Promised Land for treating God with contempt (Numbers 14:21-23).

It’s tragic to know that the Israelites turned their backs on the Lord even as He was literally present with them in Egypt and in the wilderness. But make no mistake. Even with the power of hindsight, the generations after them are no better. The Malaysian ex-premier Tun Dr. Mahathir once said, “Melayu mudah lupa”, however the sermon this week (and the Bible) tells us that it is in fact “Manusia mudah lupa”. The sin of turning away from God for “perhaps I know better” is as old as the original sin itself, when Adam and Eve chose to partake in the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil when God told them that it was the only thing they cannot do.

What we have, thanks to these records, is what to expect consequent to the choices that we make. Regardless of the natural tendency of humans to fall into slavery to sin, as seen in the Israelites’ journey from Egypt, it is imperative to remember through numerous sermons and reminders that no matter how much the fires of temptation or the depravity of the world decay our wonder of His sovereignty, we must remain open, teachable, and ready to be renewed in the spirit and for the One we call “Lord”. Let us remember to choose God everyday, come what may, so that we do not lose our way.