Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 2, 2022

“Tell the sons of Israel to turn back … I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; … And they (Israel) did so.”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 4:1-4.

“Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea;  you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea.  For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land;  the wilderness has shut them in.’  Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them;  and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”  And they did so.”  Exodus 4:1-4.


“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.” Proverbs 21:1.

In yesterday’s devotion, we meditated on how God led Israel the long way from Egypt to Canaan through the wilderness, rather than by the shorter way through the land of the Philistines.  And, likewise, when we experience delays in our progress, we can trust God that He has a good purpose for such delays.

In today’s Scripture, Israel was called to trust God even more and turn back to camp closer to Egypt even though God told them that the purpose of such move was that He was going to harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he would chase after them.  

What was Israel’s response?  Did they rebel or whine or question God?  Did they hesitate?  

No.  Scripture states simply:  “And they did so.” 

The LORD Who could harden Pharaoh’s heart is also the LORD Who could soften Israel’s heart.  

He is also the LORD Who can soften our heart to do His will.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.


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