After reading Exodus 10:1-20 recently, a few insights came to mind, especially in light of events going on around me. It may seem that I am repeating myself in this article. However, the message is so vital that it bears repetition. Hopefully, those of us who need to hear, will take heed.
First of all, let us review Exodus 10:1-20. Moses and Aaron are once again confronting Pharaoh to release the Israelites so that they may go and worship YHVH. The first message from YHVH to Pharaoh is “How long will you refuse to submit to me?” His second message to Pharaoh is a command, “Let my people go so that they can worship me.” YHVH’s third statement to Pharaoh is a warning, “If you refuse to let my people go, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory.” Even Pharaoh’s servants try to persuade him to comply. Then Pharaoh makes his compliance conditional; only the men may go and worship. Pharaoh refuses to obey and YHVH sends the promised locusts. Vegetation in the land was destroyed, so Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aaron, admitted that he had sinned against YHVH and asked Moses and Aaron to intercede for him. He makes an interesting statement that shows the condition of his heart: “Please forgive my sin just this once and intercede with YHVH your God so that he may take this plague away from me.” Pharaoh was willing, under the circumstances, to admit to one sin, but what about any other sins in his life? As soon as the plague was removed any “remorse” expressed by Pharaoh vanished.
Within my own little sphere of family, friends and acquaintances there have been numerous adversities in the past few weeks including: illness, natural disasters, broken or dysfunctional relationships, drug abuse and death from drug overdose, and employment issues. Perhaps some of you are experiencing challenges of your own. When adversity strikes, we may be tempted to ask what YHVH is doing about these problems. Why is He allowing these things to happen? Is YHVH to blame? Are we asking the right questions?
Let us examine the points made in Exodus 10 and see if or how they may apply to our own situation:
- YHVH asks Pharaoh how long he will refuse to submit to YHVH? Have you accepted Yeshua as your Lord and Savior? Is Yeshua king over the particular area in question or are you?
- Are you obeying YHVH’s commands? At first glance, we are often tempted to say “of course”, but careful examination sometimes reveals otherwise.
- Do we “conditionally” obey YHVH, rationalizing or amending His commands?
- Is your current dilemma a result of your own stubbornness or disobedience? In other words, is there any way that you could have brought this on yourself?
- Are you sorry that you are suffering the consequences of your choices or are you sorry for making poor choices?
- When a problem arises, how do we react? Do we cast blame, have a pity party, or ask YHVH for help and guidance?
- Is there some area in your life where you are sorry long enough to perhaps persuade YHVH to help you, but not sorry enough to change your ways?
It is often distressing for us to ask ourselves these questions honestly. It seems much more comfortable to blame someone or something else for our troubles. I have been guilty of such reactions. However, once we get to the point of admitting that the problem just might be due to our own faulty choices or attitudes, then we can begin to make corrections. YHVH will accept our repentance and help us to change.
Sometimes we are faced with problems that are not our fault, but our reaction can either help or hinder the situation. Within the last two weeks, I found myself in a crisis situation, my panic rising by the second. While wavering between feeling sorry for myself and wanting to cast blame, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me to ask YHVH for help. I asked YHVH for help and the situation was soon resolved. Seeking YHVH should always be our first choice. We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit until it becomes our first reaction when we feel threatened or overwhelmed.