Text: Exodus 7:8-13
What was Moses thinking as he marched up the steps of Pharaoh’s palace? Once raised as an adopted son in this palace, now he was returning 40 years later with his brother as the new leader of the Israelites. Would Pharaoh listen? Would he get any respect? Would this powerful ruler laugh him back to the desert?
Surely, God gave him some powerful signs to bolster his faith and back his message. The first was an impressive miracle–Aaron’s staff thrown to the ground became a snake. Yet the “magic men” of Pharaoh simulated this act of power.
Even when Aaron’s staff-snake swallowed up the other snakes, it wasn’t impressive to Pharaoh. Amazingly, none of the God’s acts of power were “impressive enough” to Pharaoh–including all the mighty 10 Plagues!
This wasn’t because these acts of God weren’t powerful or astounding though. Pharaoh had simply hardened his heart against God and his Word. Pharaoh rejected God. Thus, Pharaoh also rejected Moses.
Lesson learned for the preaching Christian (which is every Christian!). We may go out into all the nations armed with just the right tools–God’s Word and God’s power. But sometimes people simply harden their hearts against the Lord. Like Pharaoh, they reject God, his message, and his messengers.
This is not to say that God’s Word isn’t powerful and doesn’t work. Just the opposite in fact. This shows God’s power in a different way. It shows the power of God’s Word in convicting and condemning the hearts of sinners. But when sinners refuse to believe their sin or refuse to believe in God’s forgiveness, their rejection of God is confirmed by his powerful Word.
Simply put, the Word of God works. Sometimes it works to comfort and bring forgiveness and salvation. Sometimes it works to convict and harden in unbelief.
So as we carry God’s Word into the world, like Moses marching up to Pharaoh, we can simply trust this: We need not worry. God’s Word will work on its own as God sees fit!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for your grace, that you have worked in our hearts with your powerful Word to give us faith and trust in you. Now we pray that as we share your Word with others, you work also in the hearts of others. Continue to work among those who do not yet know you, that they may come to know the truth and learn of your salvation. Embolden us to carry this message forward to all people. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.