August 17


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 themself 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.”

Of course, the story is rather silly. After all, who would do something as obviously harmful as hitting themselves in the head with a hammer for any reason, let alone because it felt good to stop doing it? 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.

Pharaoh is a good example of one who kept hitting himself in the head with a hammer.

He repeatedly ignored Moses when Moses told him what would happen if he refused to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt. Moses let Pharaoh know that God would do horrible things to Pharaoh’s land and people if he didn’t allow them to leave and follow Moses. 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 death 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.

At long last he appeared to capitulate and let the Israelites leave.

And then what did he do?

He hit himself in the head 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 fade, 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

About Tony Casson

" For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
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