What hardens our hearts towards what God might be saying or doing? When Ben was ill, and was made well, it was clear to me that God had performed a miracle healing. Yes, medical people were involved, but Ben’s healing was so much more than good medical intervention. There was a cancellation of surgery for another person, so that Ben was operated on the day after diagnoses. There were side effects from the treatment that were serious that surprised the medical people, as miraculous. But as a result of sharing what I perceived as ‘God’s intervention’, some people spoke of these things as coincidental to the medical intervention; they couldn’t see what I could see, for their hearts were hardened against seeing a God at work in this world we are in.
Pharaoh’s heart was hard. He had his own people do the things that the Lord had done, with the staff becoming a snake, but still the Lord revealed his overall power in the midst by the devouring of all the other snakes by the one conjured by Moses. The Lord recognized that whatever Moses did, Pharaoh’s heart would remain hardened towards belief in the God of the Hebrews. The staff, that became the snake, that gobbled up all the snakes made through the sorcery of the Egyptian Magicians; that staff, then changes the water of the Nile into blood, and still Pharaoh will not believe in the power and presence of the God of the Hebrews; nor will he respond with obedience to the Lord’s command to let his people go.
Jesus knew the hearts of human beings; he knew stubbornness and lack of faith in some, no matter what they see or hear to the contrary. He knew Pharaoh’s hard heart would not change, till the ultimate sign of the Lord’s power was displayed; to his cost.
The challenge for us is to be people who are disciples open to the movement of the Spirit of God; who see and perceive, hear and understand, turn towards the Lord and be forgiven.