Change always seems to be a slow process. That includes changing one’s mind. Moses, in his epic argument with God at the burning bush, has to be slowly, argument by argument, moved down the path toward resigned agreement. From “I’m not important enough” to “I don’t know You” to “they won’t believe me” to “I don’t talk good” to finally, “just send someone else, please”, God has to respond to all of these excuses as Moses slowly moves from No Way to Ok. Good thing God is patient.
But it’s not just Moses we see moving slowly toward the inevitable conclusion. Pharaoh does the same thing… twice. First, it is his trust in his court magicians. When Aaron’s staff becomes a snake, the magicians do the same and Pharaoh laughs at this man of God. It’s the same when the Nile turns to blood, though Pharaoh’s reaction is more angry this time. When Aaron brings frogs out of the Nile, however, Pharaoh is beginning to learn. When his magicians do the same thing, he nonetheless turns to Aaron and Moses for relief. “Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away.” And sure enough, the next plague of gnats cannot be reproduced, and Pharaoh loses his trust in his magicians.
The other slow change is in Pharaoh’s willingness to let the Hebrews go. From their first encounter where Pharaoh makes the word even harder on the Hebrews to their last where he finally gives in and chases them out of Egypt, Pharaoh slowly changes his mind. And even then he is quick to recant this change, but that is a story for a later day.
Seldom do we change our minds quickly, and the larger or more important the issue, the slower the change. Some have likened this to an ocean liner changing course when we expect a speedboat’s maneuverability. When someone you know is pondering God’s big questions in life, give them time. Change always seems to be a slow process, and that includes changing one’s mind.
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