August 29 – Stiff Necks, Hardened Hearts

“A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.” – Proverbs 29:1 (NASB)

It was during the reign of King Hezekiah that 137 proverbs spoken by Solomon were copied into the collection in chapters 25–29. Solomon warns us of the danger of fighting God’s will in our life. Resistance can leave us useless. In Exodus 4:21 is the first mention of a heart being hardened. The Lord’s direct and personal involvement in the affairs of men to accomplish His purposes is revealed when God informed Moses what would happen with Pharaoh. Pharaoh was also warned that his own refusal would bring judgment on him (Exodus 4:23). God told Moses that Pharaoh would certainly refuse* (Exodus 3:19). In the letter to the Romans the Apostle Paul used this hardening as an example of God’s enigmatic will and absolute power to intervene as He chooses, yet never without loss of personal responsibility for actions taken (Romans 9:16–18). The theological conundrum posed by such interplay of God’s acting and Pharaoh’s acting can only be resolved by accepting the Biblical record as it stands and by taking affirmative refuge in the omniscience and omnipotence of God who planned and delivered Israel from Egypt, and in so doing also judged Pharaoh’s sinfulness.


* This interplay between God’s hardening and Pharaoh’s hardening his heart must be kept in balance. Ten times (Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17) the historical record notes specifically that God hardened the king’s heart, and ten times (Exodus 7:13, 14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34, 35; 13:15) the record indicates Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

March 6 – He Will Help Us

“Like a swallow, like a crane, so I twitter; I moan like a dove; My eyes look wistfully to the heights; O Lord, I am oppressed, be my security.”  Isaiah 38:14 (NASB)

There are times in our lives that our hearts ache for many reasons. The words in this verse were recorded by the prophet Isaiah but were the words of the King of Judah, King Hezekiah. The King Hezekiah had been told to set his house in order because he was about to die. But he knew he could appeal to God. God heard and added fifteen years after he recovered from a very serious illness. There are times in our lives when our hearts are troubled by our circumstances. Our problems may not be as serious as King Hezekiah who had expected to die from his illness but sometimes they actually are that heavy on our hearts. However that might be we can turn to God. We can say and cry out as the King did, “I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid.” Yes, friends, whatever it is that might cause turmoil of our minds and our hearts, we can turn to God for help. And as He helped the King of Judah, he will help us too according to His will as we rely on Him.


July 19 – Delightful Sacrifices

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” – Psalm 51:17 (NASB)

When we consider, with our own powers of reason, our Christian lives may not always make sense. But God promises that living for Jesus Christ is a sense of blessing and rejoicing in God. How can this be? In our own eyes and according to our own reasoning, some of the things we encounter as Christian seem so out of place. However, they are exactly what helps us to engage in God’s understanding and relinquish our own. They deepen our trust and faith in God’s promises. The previous verse (Psalm 51:16) teaches us that some sacrifices we are making to God actually do not interest Him. There are sacrifices we are willing to afford and offering them makes us look good to others. But God is not interested in how we look to others. He desires our sacrifice of submission to His will. Never yet has God snubbed a lowly, weeping and contrite heart. God is love, and Jesus is the man who accepts repentant sinners. He doesn’t desire what we are willing to sacrifice, but our penitent hearts he is what He delights in. Each one of them is like the sweet aroma of true sacrifice.


April 30 – Easy as A. B. C. D. E.

“The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming.”

“Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the LORD sustains the righteous.” Psalm 37:12-13, 16-17 (NASB)

Still more great promises from Psalm 37 that will bring delight to us Christian believers. The futility of the evildoer’s activity is well pictured here. This counterbalances the seeming success that the wicked has enjoyed. Despite their efforts against God, His Anointed, His Spirit and His adopted children. His attempts to destroy will ultimately fail. The Lord God laughs at the wicked and their efforts. God know and sees the day coming when the evildoers will be vanquished. The righteous and the wrongdoer are contrasted in the second pair of verses. This contrast refutes the very thought of the prosperity of the evildoers. How can it be said they will flourish when their arms will be broken? They will be powerless, crippled, disabled beyond handicapped. The advantage is and always will be on the side of the righteous because we have the LORD God sustaining us. We may face and suffer trials and tribulations but it is only for a little while which we won’t call meanwhile but will call it ‘Godwhile’ . God promises we will be sustained. Easy as ABCDE the evildoers will be Annihilated, Bested, Crushed, Deposed and Eliminated.