An inquiring student asks: In the story of Moses, if God wants the slaves to be freed, why does he make the king stubborn?

There’s a couple of really good things this story makes us think about.  First, to answer your question; right from the beginning if we think of God like a puppet master controlling humans like puppets, controlling our actions – that would be a wrong way to look at God.  He gives each one of us personal freedom, and that is a gift.  We’ve always had it; that’s why some of us choose to do good and some of us don’t.  That’s why some of us choose to believe in God, and some of us don’t.  God doesn’t make us love Him.  Could He?  Yeah, He’s all powerful so I guess He could.  Just like He could make Pharaoh release the slaves – but that would be an abuse of His power because it would be taking away Pharaoh’s freedom.  Even if Pharaoh doesn’t know or love God, God still created Him and so God uses Moses as His instrument to show Pharaoh that Moses who could have been really powerful like Pharaoh with worldly power chose to give His life for God and God’s people.  Pharaoh hated Moses and was spiteful, but eventually He let go of the slaves but not really because read on in that story and see how it ends.

Another good thing to think about here is how we see God and how we pray.  If we pray for God to make us a better person, or make someone like us – these prayers aren’t going to help us a lot and really we’re going to get frustrated and think God isn’t helping us.  We have to work at being better people, and God will help us with many parts of that.  If we ask God to open our hearts to love more, He will.  If we ask God to show us the way to live a better life, He will.  But all the same, we shouldn’t pray that God should make someone like us, because He would have to take away the freedom of that person and control them like a robot.  God won’t do that because it’s an abuse of His power.  What we do, is we continue to love as much as we can, we continue to try to be the best people we can be, and then others will be drawn to us, and like us and others won’t.

When I became a Christian and then a priest, I changed my ways and had many, many more really good friends who would do a lot for me and me for them.  There were and are people who don’t bother with me too, because they feel I am going to judge them for not living a good and holy life.  The point I’m making is God gives us all freedom – it’s up to us what we do with it.  He gave Pharaoh freedom, he chose evil.  He gave Moses freedom, he chose good.

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