Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Another Rude Awakening

We were awakened early last Friday morning by the sound of hail hitting our house. The windows of our bedroom, which are on either side of our bed, sounded like they were about to break. The hail hit so hard that it sounded like fire crackers going off. Needless to say, I immediately got up and went down stairs to see how bad it was. I grabbed my camera and snapped off a few pictures (thinking insurance claims), but two were too blurry and only these two came out fairly clear. The hail ranged from pea size to large marble size, and some areas around us had golf ball size hail. How can that not damage something? I was glad that our vehicles were in our garage. Of course, with all the tornadoes that have hit so many places the last week, our hail storm seems pretty mild, but...

...being the preacher I am, it did cause me to remember the hail that God send as a plague to get Pharaoh's attention. That was no ordinary hail storm. Exodus 9 says that it was the worst hailstorm to have ever fallen on Egypt. Accompanied by lightning and rain, "it beat down everything in the fields - both men and animals...everything growing in the fields and stripped every tree." It seems to make it clear that any one who didn't get their livestock and workers out of the field, lost them all to hail. Wow. That got their attention - even more than the river of blood, frogs, gnats, flies, killing of the livestock in the field, and the boils did. But, as you remember, once they cried "uncle" to Moses, and he cried "stop" to God - they "hardened their hearts" all over again.

It is amazing how hard hearts lead to hard-headedness. While we might want to ridicule Pharaoh and the Egyptians for their stubbornness, just look at how most of us ignore and postpone real change in our lives until we get slapped in the face with our mortality. It's easy to think of power hungry and prideful Pharaoh as being way more irrational, hard-headed, and stubborn than we are, but even "church people" tend to have short memories of the "signs" God allows us to have to get serious about eternity. Who knows what signs he sends to remind us? (Okay - this is for family who are expecting it) What - the hail?

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