The LORD made the pharaoh obstinate, that is the phrase that catches my eye today. Obstinate, inflexible, stubborn. Though the pharaoh had seen the work of Aaron and Moses, he would not let the people go. The reading describes the Passover , and though the LORD had made that ruler obstinate , The same LORD would also deliver His people to freedom. It was not the pharaohs way, but the LORDS. The same is true in the gospel reading when the Pharisees obstinately object to Jesus and His disciples gleaning the grain from a field on the Sabbath. The Pharisees objected to Jesus breaking their laws regarding the Sabbath , but those disciples had a hunger that needed to be satisfied. Both the pharaoh and the Pharisee required obedience, but despite their obstinacy they could not control Gods people. They could not keep them from Gods plans, God gave people a hunger only God can satisfy. God called His people to freedom, and called them to Himself.
Although Moses and Aaron performed various wonders
in Pharaoh’s presence,
the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate,
and he would not let the children of Israel leave his land.
In describing an obstinate people though, it would be wrong to heap all of the blame on those in leadership roles. In being stiff necked and stubbornly obstinate , I think that might describe myself. I, like many folk’s , like to do things my way. I am not always willing to journey somewhere I don’t want to go. I stagnate and trap myself, a slave to my own sins.
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath.
His disciples were hungry
and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.
Sometimes, I choose to be a slave to my desires, reluctant to experience the freedom God has planned for me. Am I willing to do what the LORD asks so that I might pass over into freedom? Am I willing to be nourished by Gods word, or do I simply feed my own ego? I think I will not win, and I will go where the LORD wishes me, though it will be with kicking and screaming, stubborn and obstinate to demand my own way. Oh I sound a lot like Jonah!