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Pliable Hearts

Daily Reading: Exodus 4

Scripture Focus: And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. (Exodus 4.21)

Devotional Thought: Some of us remember the Flip Wilson character, Geraldine: "The devil made me do it!" Geraldine didn't want to accept responsibility, so she just blamed it on the devil. Many people adopt this same excuse as their own. There are others, however, who look for another scapegoat: God!

I have friends who are foundering in drug addiction who are like that. They wait and wait for God to do something miraculous - for God to deliver them - without their having to do a thing! In essence they are saying, "I'm an addict because that's the way God made me. I'll stay an addict unless and until God changes me." Refusing to accept personal responsibility, they blame God.

I know of spouses who continually refuse to "love, honor and cherish." Instead, they withdraw their love, put down their spouses and refuse to treasure them. When the last straw has been added, the offended spouse separates. Inevitably, the offender blames the offended, but who is really responsible for the separation?

I wonder if Pharaoh blamed God: "Well, God, I would have let them go, but you hardened my heart." I somehow don't believe God would buy that argument. Pharaoh made the choice to hold the Israelites in slavery. God simply allowed Pharaoh's sin-calcified heart to harden in that condition. It's what the Apostle Paul described: "Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind" (Romans 1.28).

Let us keep our own hearts pliable to God. Let us also pray for the lost that their hearts would not harden in their rebellion and unbelief.

Prayer: Father, help me to remain tender to your touch and sensitive to your Spirit. May you never find cause in me to allow my heart to harden before you. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 9 Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it; 11 ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace. 12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me-- then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me-- then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. 14 We used to take sweet counsel together; within God's house we walked in the throng. 15 Let death steal over them; let them go down to Sheol alive; for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart. (Psalms 55:9-15)

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