25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land.”
28 Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far. Now pray for me.”
29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the Lord, and tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh and his officials and his people. Only let Pharaoh be sure that he does not act deceitfully again by not letting the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.”
32 But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go.
Exodus 8:25, 28-29, 32 (New International Version)
When the Lord commanded to let Israel go free by the word of Moses, Pharaoh refused. As a result of his stubbornness, the Lord inflicted the king and the whole land of Egypt with disastrous plagues starting frogs, then gnats, and finally flies. After each plague, Pharaoh admitted that he was wrong to disobey God’s command and consented to free Israel. However, after each plague ended, the king changed his mind and stubbornly refused to let God’s people go. After a plague of frogs, you would think Pharaoh learned his lesson and admit that God was in charge.
However, when a person is in trouble, it’s easy to admit that they need God’s help to overcome a trial; but when the danger is passed, they return to their old ways as if nothing happened. For example, suppose a sailor, who lived a very sinful lifestyle, is suddenly thrown overboard into wild stormy waters. As he struggled to keep his head above water, he asks God to help him and he promises to turn his life around if he is saved. After he made this prayer, a life preserver was thrown to him and he was pulled back to the boat. However, the moment he is safely aboard, the sailor forgets his promise to God and continues on his sinful ways.
The Wall of Stubbornness
Stubbornness is a wall to a man’s heart which blinds him from recognizing his need for God. As a result, because He loves us too much to allows us to be separated from Him, the Lord will repeatedly breakthrough this wall in order to show us that He is God and that He wants us to be with Him. Now, depending on the nature of the stubbornness, it may require the Lord to bombard a person with a series of unfortunate events in order to get this point across.
In God We’re Satisfied
Now the Lord does not do these things because He enjoys watching people suffer. As a matter of fact, He does it so that we no longer need to suffer because of their own willfulness. To stubbornly seek your way all the time is a time consuming exercise and in the end does not bring you happiness. Only when we let go and realize that the Lord is the only one that can truly satisfy us, can we truly walk unafraid into the future.
Time to Let Go
What is it that you are stubbornly holding on to? Whether it be a secret sin, an unhealthy relationship, or bitter feelings; as long as you stubbornly resist the Lord’s urging to let it go, your spiritual walk will always be hindered. It’s time to surrender this hindrance to the Lord and allow Him to work in you so that whatever it is that’s holding you down will be detached from your soul.