God Unboxed Part 2, Exodus, car battery and God’s blessing
21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.
I am now on Exodus on my daily reading. This is one of the verses that was very hard for me to accept. “You refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.” Wait didn’t God said, “But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go?” Is this a contradiction?
The answer came to me in Romans 9:17-21:
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
If God chooses, no matter what you do, he will bless you. The reverse is also true, if God chooses NOT to, not matter what you do, he will not bless you. You mean… you mean… Yes, and yes. This was his answer. Indeed who are we talk back to God? This is hard to swallow, but yes.
Around 7pm, I left the house to go to megamall to hit the gym. When I arrived, it was full parking, so I waited for another car to leave so that I can secure a slot. “Hey”, said to myself, “why don’t I turn off the engine? To save gas.” (Sinabi ko talaga sa sarili ko yan, in english he he he).
Finally, a slot! My turn! I started the engine, but it did not start, the battery is dead. “Okay Lord, nakaharang ako sa mga sasakyan at ayaw magstart, at syempre di na rin ako maka gym. Ayus!” Pero relaks lang, things happen. I started praying, I even said, “in Jesus name mag start ka”. Hoping for a miracle, and voila…. It still did not start.
I called my dad, thank God he was in the area. We hooked up our batteries and after a few tries, hooray the engine started. Tried turning it off and on again, and it started normally again. Phew! Thank God. I was also able to go to the gym. Hooray praise God. Happily ever after. =)
On my way home, I was still thinking about the verses. I asked God, what just happened Lord (battery and all)? Normally, I would just shake this off because sometimes things happen and we just need to respond properly. But this happened to me twice this week with different cars. Pareho silang after hooking the batteries, worked normally afterwards. God just won’t let me brush off these thoughts.
Then it hit me, “Ang kulit mo bryan… Kung gusto ko patayin ang battery mo wala ka magagawa dun. I am the sovereign God. You cannot ordain me to bless you just because you are following me.”
I like how Bill Hybels quote it:
“Young Hezekiah, 25 years old, come to a conclusion, held it in the core of his being that honoring God was the way he wanted to live his life. It was the right thing to do. It was the best way to live his life… Young Hezekiah did not orient his life that way in order to obligate God to prosper or bless him. He totally left that decision to God… Totally.” (God Unboxed Part 2).
Going back to what hit me:
I cannot ordain God to bless me. I will follow him, because it is the best way to live my life, whether he chooses to bless me or not. But my hope still is in the Lord.
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.