June 19, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. - Hebrews 4:7b.
Living in the country does have some drawbacks as we have been plagued by the invasion of tiny bugs and now that they have been beaten back, we are now swarmed with countless grasshoppers. Soon it will be time for bagworms and wasps, but we are spraying early for the bagworms this year. I sometimes have to almost laugh when I think how insignificant our little bug problems are compared to those of the Egyptians (Exodus 7-12). The Egyptians were plagued with frogs, lice, frogs and locusts (And also plagues of blood, cattle pestilence, boils, hail, darkness, and death of the first-born came upon them.).
Why did God send plagues upon the Egyptians? He was trying to get their attention and specifically the attention of their Pharaoh. God was also demonstrating in a very spectacular way His superiority over the false gods of the Egyptians. You would think that Pharaoh after the third or fourth plague would have gotten it, that he would have understood that there is a real God and that he, Pharaoh, was just a man. But nothing is able to gain Pharaoh’s attention and eventually great disaster descends over the Egyptian people as a result of his denial of the spiritual realities and refusal to obey the demands of the One True God.
Pharaoh had a heart-hardening problem (Exodus 7:14) but people today still have the same kind of problem. How often do we know God would have us to do some thing or not have us do some thing, and we do what we want even though we know it is wrong? We have hardened our heart when we do what we want instead of what God wants. Has God been speaking to you? Have you been ignoring Him? God in the past has spoken to people in a wide variety of ways including: a direct and audible voice, through another person, through plagues, visions, dreams, circumstances, prayer, His written Word, promptings of the Holy Spirit, and a donkey.
God defines hearing differently than we do. If we hear a voice audibly or even read something we would say that we have heard what someone is trying to say to us. However, just knowing what God says is not hearing. Hearing God means we do what He says (Matthew 7:21-27). Have you “heard” God lately or are you waiting for a plague?