But when Pharaoh saw that he had some breathing room, he got stubborn again and wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron. Just as God had said. Exodus 8:15 (TM)
When I was about ten years old my older twin brothers were in high school. There was a group of high school girls who liked my brothers and would regularly stop by our house to see if my brothers were around. My brothers were rarely there. So, these high school girls would stop to talk and dote on me – the "cute little brother." Being an impressionable, girl-crazy boy, I fell in love with all the attention I was getting. I can still remember summer evenings sitting on my Schwinn Sting-Ray five-speed bike (complete with the banana seat) literally praying that "the girls" would stop by to talk to me. My pitiful prayers were the bargaining desperation of a child:
"Please God. Pleeeeeeeeeease. Make them stop by. I’ll do anything you want. I’ll [enter any number of hollow promises here]. Just pleeeeeeeeeease make them drive by."
I may have grown up, but if you’d listened to my prayers through the years you could easily argue that I may not have matured all that much. I know that there have been plenty of times in life when I’ve bargained with God in prayer. "Do this for me and I’ll [enter any number of hollow promises here] for you."
It’s easy to look down my nose at hard-hearted Pharaoh for not keeping his promises to let the Israelites do their thing, but to see the speck of Egyptian dust in Pharaoh’s eye I’ve got to ignore the big ol’ Iowa Oak branch in my own. How many promises have I made to God through the years and then reneged on those promises – even when God blessed me and answered my prayer? Just kidding, God – but thanks for the blessing anyway!
God, I’m more like Pharaoh than I care to admit. Forgive me.