Iguanas are Next

“You’ve got to stop preaching from Exodus!” the voice said over the phone.  “I’m certain locusts are next!”  “That was last week’s message,” I replied calmly, but with some confusion…

“You don’t understand!  First it was mice in my attic, then came an iguana living in my tree, a songbird entered my house, and now a snake is at my front door.  I’m being overrun!  Next, it’s going to be locusts; I know it!”

As a pastor, I get calls like this now and then, but this one was unique.  “Hmmm,” I said, “Have you perhaps hardened your heart in some way like Pharaoh?”  Long, uncomfortable pause…  Now, before you think me too harsh or judgmental, the phone call was from my mom in Florida and we laughed together heartily!

All fun aside, a hardened heart is no laughing matter.  From our trek thru Exodus, we see Pharaoh’s primary problem was a hard heart that clutched and sought to control (for himself) what wasn’t his to control (the Israelites).  Also, at the root of his hard heart was an unwillingness to accept a wisdom or perspective greater than himself– namely God’s.  It proved to be his undoing and brought great damage upon those around him (the Egyptians).

It’s not just kings who struggle with this kind of thing.  We all do.  It can be very difficult for us to conceive of and believe/trust in the existence, wisdom, justice, and enduring love of a being so much greater than us and anything we have ever experienced.  Especially when much of life can be quite difficult and far from ideal.

The best way I know to avoid a hardened heart is to focus and center on Jesus Christ, the manifestation of God as a human being.  His selfless, sacrificial, and pursuing love can set us free from undue pride, bitterness, unforgiveness, self-righteousness, trauma, desperation, and selfishness. Exodus points us to Jesus, reminding us all is possible to help set us free!