Sound of the Shofar #87
Ex. 14:4Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD.And they did so.
As I was preparing for the Passover Seder yesterday I had a thought that I want to share with you. Something for us all to take to the Lord, for Him to say "Yes or No". It is clear in the Scriptures that God Himself hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he would not let the Children of Israel leave Egypt. Despite the suffering this entailed to perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people, this was the Lord's will. His purpose was not the suffering or the death of all those Egyptians who drowned in the Red Sea, His purpose was for all of the known world to know that He, He alone is the LORD.
In Exodus chapter 7, the Lord is even more specific:
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.Ex 7:3-5
God's purpose is clear: That He would be exalted in all the earth, that He would show that He is a miracle working God, that His signs and wonders would be apparent for all to see - undeniable. His other purpose was to bring Israel out of Egypt.
Yesterday I was thinking of the Arab/Muslim Peoples. When the Jewish People began to return to the Land more than 100 years ago they brought with them many of the wonders of modern Europe: education, scientific farming techniques; factories, modern medicine, literature and other cultural benefits. The Arab Peoples could have reacted to this in a positive way. They could have realized that as the Jewish People prospered in the Land that they too would prosper and be partakers of the good things that the Jews brought to the Land. It did not work this way. The Jewish People were greeted with suspicion, hatred and murder. This is the way it continues to be after more than 100 years. The thought I had yesterday was: "Could this be the Lord, hardening the Arab People's hearts that He might be glorified in their midst"?
When I woke this morning, my thought went another step: "Could God be hardening US President Obama's heart toward Israel for the same reason"? The implications of this - IF it is true are truly momentous and would indicate a severe judgment on America. The Arab world is already in judgment, suffering brutal dictatorships, poverty and violent existence. What is waiting for America if they come against the "apple of His eye"?
For thus says the LORD of hosts:Zech 2:8He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.
Some things for us to consider:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.Heb 13:8
The LORD is a man of war; The LORD is His name.Exo 15:3
He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth.Psa 105:7
IF a severe judgment is coming on America, please do not think that it will spare the rest of the world, it will not. The consequences of that judgment will be felt throughout the earth. Perhaps another earthly kingdom will arise to take the USA's place as the "world leader" for a season; perhaps it will be the herald of the coming of the Anti-Christ - coming to "rescue" a world in chaos and violence?
This is something to ponder and bring before the LORD that He might share His wisdom with us for these perilous times we are in. I am sharing these thoughts with you NOT as "thus says the Lord", but as a strong impression on my heart that I believe is very possible and to call us to consider that we might be on the edge of momentous changes in the world in which we live. It will also affect how we pray and what we pray for.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say,1Th 5:1-6Peace and safety!then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.Dan 2:21
There is another part of the Passover story and God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart that is absolutely pertinent today. That is, God brought Israel out of Egypt. Most Israelis believe that Israel's very existence depends upon the support of the USA. Israelis believe that without the USA we will be destroyed. This is a dangerous and sinful attitude that denies the power of God to keep us and bring us through the difficult times ahead. There is no doubt in my heart that God desires for us to break the dependency we have with the USA and to stand alone as the nation that He has brought back to life to show His Glory amongst the nations.
Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.Isa 36:6
Ezek 36:23-28And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,says the Lord GOD,when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
Please join us in prayer for the Jewish People as they celebrate the Passover. They will be remembering the deliverance from Egypt that God bought for us thousands of years ago. Pray that they would allow the Lord to touch their hearts, to show them that they are still in Egypt and that His desire is to set them free and bring them out so that they can worship Him. May the Lord show many the Passover Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
And the LORD spoke to Moses,Ex 8:1Go to Pharaoh and say to him,Thus says the LORD:Let My people go, that they may serve Me.
with whom the LORD had made a covenant and charged them, saying:2 Ki 17:35-36You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them; but the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice.
For indeed Messiah, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.1 Cor. 5:7b
May you all have a blessed Resurrection season as we remember the goodness of the Lord to us all.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.Numbers 6:24-26
Jerusalem Israel, Passover 29 March 2010; 14 Nisan 5770