1 Samuel 6:6
“Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?”
Tucked away in the story of the Philistines return of the Ark to Israel, is this powerful exhortation regarding the danger of hardening our hearts to God. We are reminded of the difficulties Pharaoh endured because of his refusal to humble himself and obey the Word of God. The lessons from this exhortation are twofold.
First, we need to examine our lives to be certain we are not hardening our hearts. If there is any area where we are making excuses for an attitude or behavior that is unbiblical, then we are in danger of hardening our heart to the Word. This may seem obvious, but the danger of hardening our hearts is that we will ultimately end up with a hard heart. Each time God speaks and we refuse to listen, we become a little less sensitive to his voice, until one day we find it almost impossible to hear Him. This can stop immediately, all we need to do is obey what His Word teaches.
There is a second lesson here. This exhortation did not come from a Hebrew priest or king, but from the lips of an unbeliever. Here, we find a person who knew the truth of God enough to instruct others, yet he himself was unwilling to make a decision to follow God. Imagine knowing the stories recorded in Scripture, seeing the hand of God at work in the life of others, and yet refusing to surrender to the Lord personally. Sadly for some, we do not have to imagine, because that is exactly what they are doing. This man could have passed a written test on who God is, yet when it came to his own life, he refused to surrender to God and walk with Him.