Don't Choose Tomorrow

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 8 | Plan: Exodus

Today's Reading: Exodus 8

Exodus 8:10 (NIV) “‘Tomorrow,’ Pharaoh said. Moses replied, ‘It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the LORD our God.’”

So far in Exodus we have seen Pharaoh refusing to let the Israelites go and with a hard heart, dismissing the words of Aaron and Moses.

Remember, in Exodus 7, the previous plague of the Nile turning to blood was devastating to the Egyptian people. They were so desperate for water they dug along the Nile looking for water untainted by the blood. But Pharaoh’s heart remained seemingly unaffected as he simply turned away from the bloody Nile and went into the palace. 

But then in Exodus 8 we find Pharaoh in the middle of an extreme invasion of frogs and for the first time acknowledging the Lord’s power and being open to the possibility of letting the people go.

The frogs, though small and harmless individually, swarmed in masses even in Pharaoh’s personal space. They got into his home, his living quarters and his bed.

It seems because the frogs affected him personally, this plague affected him differently. And he shifts his response to be more favorable toward the Lord’s instructions through Moses and Aaron. 

But I find it strange that when given a choice to set the time for the frogs to go away, Pharaoh chooses tomorrow. Why not today? Why not right this minute?

And then it hits me, I do this very same thing with changes that need to happen in my life. Tomorrow seems easier than today. When I say I want to eat healthier, it feels better to say I’ll give up fried foods and sugary desserts tomorrow. When I say I want to spend less and save more, it feels less painful to start tomorrow. When I know I need to ask someone’s forgiveness but dread the awkward conversation, I put it off until tomorrow.

When my answer is tomorrow, that allows me to feel like I’m heading toward positive changes but still allows me to eat what I want today, spend what I want today and avoid the hard conversation today.

Pharaoh would have to make a change to get rid of the frogs. He would have to lose the manpower that the Israelite slaves brought to Egypt. And while he seemed so willing to do this when it was put off until tomorrow, something changed by the time tomorrow came. 

And when tomorrow became today, God kept His promise and the frogs died. However, now that the frogs were gone so was Pharaoh’s desire to let the people go. He hardened his heart and refused to do what he’d said just one day before.

Matthew Henry’s commentary says that “when Pharaoh saw there was respite, he hardened his heart. Till the heart is renewed by the grace of God, the thoughts made by affliction do not abide; the convictions wear off, and the promises that were given are forgotten. Till the state of the air is changed, what thaws in the sun will freeze again in the shade.”

Oh how this challenges me to not put off to tomorrow what I know I need to do today. The very best way is to honor God with this day. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess that all too often I find myself putting things off to tomorrow that you have asked me to do today. I want to honor You with my actions. I want to be obedient. Help me to remember that delayed obedience is still disobedience. Give me the strength I need to do what you have asked me to do today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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