There is a name for the phenomenon in which a person, undergoing very difficult circumstances, decides to give themselves to God. We call that a foxhole conversion. In our reading today, Pharaoh goes through a foxhole conversion. The frogs are so bad that he finally caves in and surrenders to God’s will for his life and for his land. I have sought to bring this very same kind of help to a lot of people over the years, people who were going through relational breakups, financial catastrophes, health issues, depression, you name it. And many of these people, down through the years, have realized that they needed to surrender to God and let Him have his way in their lives. God frequently has to speak with to us through rather severe circumstances.
But notice what happens to Pharaoh at the end of this incident. As soon as the frogs are gone, his surrender to the Lord comes to an abrupt end. It would seem that his “conversion” was not a real one.
This happens to people a lot today as well. As soon as the crisis is over they begin to lose interest in the One to whom they have surrendered. And I discover that their “conversion” was not a real one. They were only interested in getting rid of the frogs, not in knowing the God who made the frogs.
Now I know plenty of people who came to the Lord through the circumstances of some crisis. And they continue to be wonderful and faithful saints today. So this “Pharaoh” sort of thing does not happen all the time. But whenever someone comes to God through a crisis, we need to be wise in how we help them, talking openly about the truth that, once the crisis is over, we can tend to lose interest in the One in whom we have believed. There isn’t always a lot we can do about it, but we can seek to help people survive this tendency by giving them the help we are able to give through relationships and resources.