Regard for the Respite

Man and woman making a pinky promise. Hands isolated on white background.

But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Exodus 8:15

You know the story – Moses approaches Pharaoh to request the release of the people of Israel. Pharaoh’s hardened heart denies Moses’ request over and over again.

By the second plague – when frogs swarmed all over the land of Egypt – Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and asked them to “Plead with the LORD to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go sacrifice to the LORD.” Exodus 8:8 So Moses cried out to the LORD and the frogs died.

But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Exodus 8:15

Have you ever done this?  What might be called a foxhole promise?  Lord, if you get me out of this mess, I will never do it again.

Lord, if you cure my cancer, I promise to read my Bible every day.

Lord, if get me out of this financial crisis, I promise I will pray every day.

Lord, if you ______________, I promise I will ______________.

Perhaps another way we might see this in our lives is when we are in the midst of trial and we read our Bibles faithfully and pray regularly like never before.  Then a respite comes from our suffering and over time we read less frequently and pray less faithfully.

We can see clearly in Exodus the respite repeatedly led Pharaoh to harden his heart and change his decision to let Israel go. In what ways have we been affected by a respite from pressure, trials and suffering in our lives?  What promises have we failed to keep because the pressure which led us to make the promises to God has ceased?

Perhaps we need to give regard for the respite.

Blessings, Diane

After serving 16 years full-time on the staff of America’s Keswick, Diane Hunt and her husband moved to North Carolina where she continues to serve part-time as a contributing writer and Partner Care Consultant.  She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at dhunt@americaskeswick.org.

 

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