Our reading today records the 5th plague from God upon the Egyptians, the killing of all the Egyptian cattle. The fact that no Hebrew cattle were affected shows that the Lord was set against the Egyptian people only and that this was not simply a phenomenon that was sweeping across the land in general. But, in spite of these very clear signs, Pharaoh still refused to soften his heart towards God.
Having a hard heart towards God is the absolute worst move a person can make in life. Hebrews 3:12-15 says this:
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
(Hebrews 3:12-15 ESV)
There the writer is exhorting believers not to let a hard heart grow up in them, but rather, we are to do what we can to keep our hearts soft and responsive to the Lord. When God speaks we want to be quick to hear it and quick to respond with belief and obedience. I want to have a soft heart towards God today!