One of my favorite Old Testament stories is found in Exodus chapter 8. In this story, we see that God has called Moses to approach Pharaoh and instruct him to release the Israelites from slavery and captivity so that they may be free and may worship God. As Pharaoh hardens his heart toward God, God sends a plague of frogs to get his attention.
In Exodus 8:1, we see this incredible scene begin to unfold…
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land. 3 The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’” – Exodus 8:1-4
To paraphrase what God said to Pharaoh through Moses, “Let go of what is mine and if you refuse to let it go, it will not be for your good. If fact, if you don’t respond in obedience, things will get a little crazy.”
Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he refused to let go of what was God’s. And as he responded in disobedience, things certainly got crazy. Now picture this scene with me. Frogs came up out of every river, canal, and pond in Egypt and there were so many of them, they covered the entire land! Can you imagine walking across a ground completely covered in frogs… wearing sandals?? The frogs went into Pharaoh’s palace, and into his bedroom, and even into his bed!
Think about this. You get in bed at night, get all tucked in, start to fall asleep, and then you feel it…something crawling under the sheets. And as you are kicking and screaming like a Middle School boy (they squeal much higher than girls) you realize that you are sleeping with a bed full of frogs! Not only are you freaking out about now, the frogs have also entered the houses of “your people” and (as NIV says) are “ON your people.”
So not only is YOUR life being affected by your disobedience, the lives of everyone around is being affected as well. When you think it can’t get any worse, it actually does. We are told that the frogs “jumped into their ovens” (imagine putting in a pan of biscuits and pulling out crispy critters) and into their kneading bowls. Now this is the worst. Imagine kneading some dough to make those biscuits and you feel a lump in the dough. So you squeeze that lump really hard… We are talking about a HOT MESS!!
And the root of this hot mess?? Disobedience. So we see in verse 8,
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord.” 9 “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.”
So Pharaoh said “Pray to God and ask him to take the frogs away” and Moses replied “You say when.” Pharaoh’s answer is astounding.
10 “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.
What!? Tomorrow!? This guy’s life is literally being ruined by the consequences of his disobedience and he says “tomorrow?”
Why in the world would he say this? Pharaoh’s heart was so hard, so selfish that even though he was feeling the pain of his disobedience, he wanted to have his way just one more day. He would rather sleep with frogs one more night, than respond in immediate obedience to God.
As crazy as this seems, consider how we sometimes do the same thing. Now we may not be sleeping with frogs, but whenever God calls us to obedience and we delay, there are no doubt real consequences that affect not only our lives, but also the lives of those around us. Imagine today how you may be missing God’s best for you life by telling Him, “OK, but tomorrow.” We may have the best intentions but we forget, delayed obedience is disobedience.
[bctt tweet=”Delayed obedience is disobedience.” username=”trippatkinson”]
- What is it God has called you to give today?
- What step of obedience have you been delaying?
Whatever it is, have confidence that as you respond in obedience TODAY that God can take your frogs and give you His very best! What a deal! Be assured today, just as Moses told Pharaoh, as you open your hands and hearts to God, “Then you will know that there is no one like the Lord our God.”
So walk in God’s best for you today and stop sleeping with frogs!!!
*For a podcast version of this post, click here.