I was in 2nd grade. We were at morning recess. The recess monitor, who was the teacher I had in 1st grade, blew the whistle for us to line up and go inside. When I saw my best friend up near the front of the line I nonchalantly walked up and got in line beside her. Apparently I wasn’t nonchalant enough, because all of a sudden I heard in a rather loud voice, “Beth Pearce, go to the end of the line.” Busted! And I really can’t explain what happened next, but in a split second of brainlessness, I pointed my finger, raised my voice and said to her, “No, YOU go to the end of the line!”
Yeah…not one of my brighter moments. But wait…there’s more.
Since my comment didn’t go over very well, I had to go to that teacher’s room and sit in a chair until I apologized to her. Remember, it was morning recess. Lunch came and I refused to apologize. My 2nd grade teacher came in and begged me to apologize and come back to class, but I didn’t. At the very end of the day, when my bus was called, I got up out of my chair, walked to the door and said, “My bus is here. I gotta go. Sorry.” And out I went.
Stiff-necked. Unwilling. Unyielding. Refusing to listen. That pretty much describes me that infamous day in 2nd grade. But I’m not alone. It also describes Pharaoh in the book of Exodus, but on a much grander scale.
Moses went to Pharaoh umpteen times speaking on behalf of the Lord and said, “Let my people go!” And over and over again, Exodus records something about Pharaoh’s heart:
- “Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen…”(Exodus 7:13)
- ““Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding…” (Exodus 7:14)
- “…Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go” (Exodus 8:32)
- “Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go…” (Exodus 13:15)
Sounds strangely like a little 2nd grader, doesn’t it?
Even though I can remember that moment like it was yesterday, I’m not proud of it. It causes me to question the areas of my heart that may be hardened even still today. It causes me to ask, “Lord am I still unyielding? Where am I refusing to listen to You? How am I being stubborn?”
What about you? What’s the possibility that God is telling you to let go of something and you are stubbornly refusing? Might God be asking you to serve, forgive, have a conversation, give up a bad habit, make a change, yet you are remaining unyielding? Is God calling out to you to draw near to Him, yet you are simply refusing to listen?
“Happy is the one who always fears the Lord,but the person who hardens his heart to God falls into misfortune.” (Proverbs 28:14)