PARASHAH VA’ERA (Exodus 6:2-9:35) Week 14
The condition of Pharaoh’s heart was in opposition to the God of Israel. His heart was not in a stagnant condition, but a progressive one. Adonai, in His sovereignty, knew the condition of Pharaoh’s heart becoming increasingly hardened each time Moses and Aaron came with a message to command Pharaoh to allow Israel permission to go out into the desert for three days to worship their God. The conflict here was an issue of pride. Pharaoh viewed himself as Divine! To succumb to the God of Israel would take Pharaoh off the throne of his own life. This is a heart issue shared by all of mankind. Whose kingdom do we serve?
Much has been written and argued over the centuries, as to the meaning of Divine Election. The condition of Pharaoh’s heart is a perfect example to ponder. We see the comparison between Adonai’s Covenantal promises to the descendants of Abraham, versus Pharaoh’s pride and the progressiveness of it, leading to greater resistance to be obedient to God’s call on his life. Yes, Adonai made a call upon the life of the King of Egypt. God used two agents of change, Moses and Aaron, to call upon Pharaoh to examine his own heart. Their obedient calls upon the King were met with growing and arrogant refusals!
This is the Lesson of Divine Election. As we examine the story of escalating demands and judgement by Adonai upon Pharaoh in very personal ways, we see a progressiveness in the turning away from God’s call upon the King. Adonai, in his sovereignty, knows the beginning from the end of all things, especially in our hearts. Are we turning toward the light of God in His call upon us, or away from His light as His call intensifies?
This is the Lesson of Divine Election. We are never without free will in our relationship with Adonai. Yet in his sovereignty, God knows the tipping point of our rebellion, and from this point onward, like clay hardening in the sun, versus melting like butter, we pass the point of no return by our increasing rejection of His love.
This is the Lesson of Divine Election. Each of us must choose, moment by moment, to melt like butter under the warming light of Adonai and His call upon our lives. May we run from darkness and into His glorious light! May we feel His warmth and may any hardness within us melt away under His eyes of flaming fire. Holy fire brings with it healing, cleansing, warmth and beauty. The merciful invitation given to Pharaoh by Adonai to SHEMA (Hear and Obey) and thus be saved, could have stayed the plagues!
CANDLEGLOW LESSON FOR SHABBAT
Instead of melting like butter under the flaming gaze of Adonai, Pharaoh hardened like clay baking in the desert sun. This is the progressive hardening of rebellion which is descriptively written of in Exodus. May we see this story for what it is. In Adonai’s sovereignty, He sees past our lives, into the last moments of invitation and our response to Him.
The election is divine! Only an Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent Creator sees from our past and into the future, where time has no boundary. It is from this heavenly vantage point that Adonai makes His elections, based on each person’s heart as He sees us, before the beginning of time as we know it, until our last day, when our free will still tethers us here, to the earth.
May we ever be the apple of His eye! May the flames of His passionate gaze kindle our hearts and melt away all that has become hardened by past rebellion and sin. Face-to-face we will see our reflections in the iris of the eyes of our Creator, and our hearts will just melt!