a fine day to stop hitting yourself in the head with a hammer.
“And He called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; go and serve the Lord as ye have said.” Exodus 12:31 KJV
The story is told about a man who sees someone hitting them self in the head with a hammer. “Why are you hitting yourself in the head with a hammer?” he inquires. The individual stops and smiles, responding, “Because it feels so good when I stop.” The story may seem rather silly. After all, who would do something as obviously harmful as hitting themselves in the head with a hammer? Let’s face it: while it is true that it would feel good to stop inflicting pain upon yourself, it would be better to not inflict it in the first place, or to learn our lesson quickly.
Pharaoh kept hitting himself in the head with a hammer. He repeatedly ignored Moses when Moses told him what God would do through him if Pharaoh refused to allow the Israelites to leave. For him to scoff at what Moses was suggesting the first time may be understandable, but once Moses had demonstrated that God truly had given him the ability to do as he said he was going to do, his refusals then became the same as hitting himself with the hammer. It wasn’t until Moses had sent plagues of blood, frogs, gnats, and flies against Egypt, followed by plagues against Egypt’s livestock, a plague of festering boils, plagues of hail, locusts and darkness, and the ultimate deaths of every firstborn son of Egypt, including Pharaoh’s own son and the firstborn of all of Egypt’s livestock that Pharaoh finally stopped hitting himself in the head. He finally appeared to capitulate and let the Israelites leave.
And then what did he do? He hit himself one last time when he sent his army after Moses and the Israelites. God parted the Red Sea, through Moses, and the Israelites crossed safely. And when Pharaoh’s army chased after them, the hammer struck once more “And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh who came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.” (Exodus 14:28 KJV).
Many of us are like Pharaoh. We keep ignoring God’s instructions and when our sinful nature continuously creates problems in our lives, we cry out to the Lord. We may change for a while, but then the memory of the pain caused by our actions fades and we pick up the hammer once more.
How many plagues will we bring upon ourselves and those we love before we learn the lesson and never forget it? Let us resolve to stay turned toward God for all time. Let us ask Him to help us put down the hammer and never pick it up again unless we are going to use it to build something.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson