There are very few words that can describe my appreciation for the Lord and His calling me out of the desert. As time continues, I become more and more humbled by my lack of merit for such a mercy. Nothing I have done in my life makes me deserving of this faith I was born into, nor for my awakening and the 180 degree flip from the life I had once known. Reading in the Old Testament I discovered that God has even been known to intentionally harden the hearts of His people for His glory. In Exodus 7, we see God speaking to Moses about delivering His people from Egypt.
“See I will make you as God to Pharaoh.. You shall speak what I command you.. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, then I will lay my hand upon Egypt and bring forth my hosts. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” Exodus 7:1-5
Upon reading these words I was shocked that God, who had desired freedom for His beloved people, would have intentionally made Pharaoh stubborn and at times, quite hateful and prevented him from repenting of his ways. Feeling quite perplexed by this seemingly backwards approach of our all-knowing Lord, I looked up commentary on this Scripture passage. I then was immediately led to another Scriptural passage, Romans 9:14-18
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So it depends not on a man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills.
What an answer! God used Pharaoh to give Himself glory and to be known throughout the land. He hardened His heart merely because it was His will and His right. So who am I to question His motives, to question His perfect intentions? Who am I to be worthy of being called to this life of freedom? My life is a gift, my faith is a gift, being able to serve Him and love Him is a gift! He saw me in my misery and filth and had compassion on me. My duty is to praise Him by my life, not because of obligation, but out of love.
Oddly enough, I do pray to be like Pharaoh, that I may too be used to give Him glory and to make His name known throughout all the earth. Instead of turning my head in opposition of His goodness, I will allow Him to use my past as means of showing His power and life-saving mercy. If we let Him, all of our sins and failings may be recycled and used to make us stronger and rely more on His provision, or even to empathize with those going through similar situations who feel alone in their struggles.
Humble me Lord for You have made it known to me, “It is not you who chose me, but I who chose you.”