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From the Mouths of Babies

From the Mouths of Babes

Exodus 9:27-28

Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the LORD is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Plead with the LORD, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.”

Over the Christmas holiday, we spent time at Gigi and Poppa’s house with my brother and his kids and my sister and her kids, and, for the most part the kids got along and played well together. But one particular occasion, Tucker, an adorable but wily four-year-old, tore down a doll house that his cousin, Livy, a tender-hearted seven-year-old, had spent time building, and, in her grief, she hit him. It wasn’t a hard slap—more of a frustrated push really; but Tucker immediately started bawling, and Gigi came running into the room to console him and to scold Livy. A few moments later, with Tucker out of the room, I watched Livy burst into tears and groan out a few words. To my surprise, she didn’t say, “But it’s not fair! He started it!” Instead, she groaned between sobs, “I can’t believe I did that! What was I thinking?” And my wife went over to console her.

If Pharaoh had just said, “I have sinned! The LORD is in the right—I am in the wrong!” we’d be reading a very different story right now. But those two little words at the beginning of his cry dam up the flood of repentance waiting to burst out. This time, he says. But what makes this time any different than the others? Well, this time the plague has touched him directly. This time he’s swallowed the bitter pill he’s been force-feeding everyone else for weeks. And the thing about hard-hearted people is that, when it comes to sin, the only thing they find more distasteful than a confession is a consequence.

Friend, kids are often wiser than kings, so learn from my cousin Livy: as you confess to the Lord today, start with the truth—“I have sinned—I am in the wrong,” because rationalizations won’t deliver the restoration your soul needs.