Instead, he turned and went into his palace, and did not take even this to heart. (Ex. 7:23)

One of the students in my sixth-grade class liked to test the patience of our teacher on a daily basis. Every time she addressed his misbehavior, he threw an obligatory “I’m sorry” her way. One day she stopped class and said to him, “Sorry requires a change of behavior. If you’re going to continue to use that word, your actions need to show it.”

When Moses and Aaron struck the water of the Nile with the staff, and every drop turned to blood, Pharaoh had the perfect opportunity to fall to his knees and offer the biggest apology to God. If I’d been staring at a river turned to blood because of my own stubbornness, I think that would get my attention. But not Pharaoh. Instead of turning from his sinful behavior and running toward obedience to God, he turned the other direction and went back to his palace. Back to his stubbornness. Back to his sin.

While we might shake our heads at Pharaoh for his lack of understanding, we’ve probably had moments when we’ve treated God with the same contempt. Just because we didn’t have a bloody river flowing in our neighborhood doesn’t mean we haven’t turned away from God instead of toward him. As this year draws to a close, which way are you turning? Are you moving away from sin or turning back to it?

Consider: Is your heart turning toward God or away from him?

Bekah Shaffer lives in Kokomo, Indiana, and enjoys endless coffee, scrapbooking, speaking, and planning adventures with her husband, Ryan.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.