When we were youngsters, my dear sister was always on the lookout for creative expansion in our lives. She surpassed me in her boldness and adventure seeking, and thankfully, she would often drag her less outgoing, more reluctant, baby sister with her. I did learn a lot during the lets-try-ceramics phase of life, when two inartistic girls were trying desperately to unearth some deeply-hidden creative talents. Upon arrival at the small studio, we were introduced to greenware. Greenware is the term given to clay objects when they have been shaped, air-dried, but have yet to be bisque-fired, or baked, in a kiln. We would carefully choose the greenware that we wanted to paint, and then that object would be placed in the kiln, where it would be subjected to extremely high temperature, in excess of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. The searing heat causes the clay to mature, as it is dehydrated and changed forever, no longer fragile greenware; it is now ceramic material, suitable to be painted (by someone with more artistic talent than I possess!).
I was pondering that ceramic process while reading through the familiar saga of Pharaoh verses Moses recorded in the early chapters in Exodus. “Let my people go, that they may serve Me,” was the command issued to Pharaoh from God, relayed through God’s chosen instrument, Moses. God sends plague after plague-frogs, flies, pestilence, hail-but one phrase is consistent: “But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard.” The heat of God’s hand of judgment continued to further the hardening process, until we read that “the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed…just as the LORD had spoken to Moses.” Previously, either Pharaoh had hardened his own heart, or his heart grew hard, but now he was given over to his own will, just as the Lord had warned. God never chooses to coerce someone to do evil, but He will allow the true nature of a heart “that is desperately wicked” to be revealed.
A few years after I dabbled in clay, I experiment with candy making. Now when I applied the heat, the chocolate melted, allowing it to be shaped into any mold I chose. Some hearts are like the clay-the heat will harden them; some hearts are like the chocolate-the heat will cause them to melt. The heat is not at fault for hardening one and softening the other; the result depends of the nature of the material heated. As a sovereign Ruler over all, God will bring rebellious individuals to their knees, yet in His mercy, He first gives them the opportunity to “turn from their wicked ways” and obey Him. What effect does God’s Word have on YOUR heart? Does it harden to His instruction or melt in submission?
Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Lord, my desire is to have a pliable heart, able to be molded and formed by Your Word. When my heart begins the hardening process, send immediate conviction and guide me back to You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2619-62b9445d13685' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2619&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2619-62b9445d13685' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2619-62b9445d13685' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>