“We still face fears without facing God. He sends Exodus-level demonstrations of power: sunsets, starry nights, immeasurable oceans. He solves Red Sea-caliber problems and air-drops blessings like morning manna. But let one crisis surface . . . and we tornado into chaos. Rather than turn to God, we turn from him, hardening our hearts. The result? Cow-worshipping folly!”- Max Lucado
“[Hardhearted people] are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.”- Ephesians 4:17-18 (NLT)
In Chapter 3 (“Hope for the Hard Heart”) of 3:16 – The Numbers of Hope, Max Lucado notes that our hearts harden when we react to fear in an unhealthy way. Note, though, that the presence of fear in the Hebrews failed to bother God. Rather, their response to fear bothered God.
Thus, nothing persuaded the Israelites to trust God. Not plagues or liberation from slavery. Absolutely nothing penetrated their hearts. Hence, the children of Israel responded no better to the golden calf they worshipped. They rejected the very God able to help them.
Furthermore, Max’s assistant, Karen Hill, once saw a stubborn cow in a pasture stick her nose into a paint can. Unable to shake it off, the cow and her calf faced danger. Yet, when the cow spotted rescuers, she set out for pasture to escape. It took three days, using pickup trucks and ropes, to corner and de-can the cow.
However, Max notes, God loves this hard-hearted, stiff-necked world, even though we:
- bow before gold-plated cows
- stick our noses where we shouldn’t
- run from the very One able to help
In conclusion, Pastor Lucado exhorts:
“Is your heart hard? Take it to your Father. You’re only a prayer away from tenderness. You live in a hard world, but you don’t have to live with a hard heart.”
Today’s question: When you tornado into chaos, what Bible verses calm the storm? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: Plutoed so often – skittish, jumpy”