Exodus 10:7-11,24-28 Pharaoh’s officials said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?” Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the LORD your God,” he said. “But just who will be going?” Moses answered, “We will go with our young and old, with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the LORD.” Pharaoh said, “The LORD be with you—if I let you go, along with your women and children! Clearly you are bent on evil. No! Have only the men go; and worship the LORD, since that’s what you have been asking for.” Then Moses and Aaron were driven out of Pharaoh’s presence… Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the LORD. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.” But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the LORD our God. Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the LORD our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the LORD.” But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”
It seems like a never-ending flood of plagues on the Egyptians and after a point, one wonders if there is any hope left for them at all. Clearly God is making a point here and Pharaoh’s heart is too calloused to see sense in all this.
Why would an all loving God torture an entire nation for the sake of one man?
The word harden is used 3 times in my NIV and they are two different words in Hebrew, one transliterated as kawbad meaning heavy, weighty, or burdensome, and the other chazaq meaning to be or grow firm or strong, strengthen.
Clearly these words express the same meaning as the Hebrew was inferring and that does not change what God had done to Pharaoh’s heart.
When we consider Pharaoh’s latest exchanges with Moses, we see fear in him because he is unwilling to let the Israelites go fearing that he will lose his slaves and therefore become a helpless nation.
Fear manifests itself in anger and that is what causes Pharaoh to display his intolerance towards Moses’ requests. However, God permits this hardness in Pharaoh’s heart and obviously has an agenda.
When we consider the plight of the Israelites, they were enslaved by the Egyptians after the death of the Pharaoh who lifted Joseph to power and helped him bring his family over.
430 years of slavery by the Egyptians is what God is judging the Egyptians for and these plagues seem but a minor rebuke for the atrocities committed against God’s own.
We learn from this entire story that God is not blind to our tears and suffering, that He operates on an agenda that He has and not on our terms, He seeks to right wrongs and not place bandages on wounds, He has all authority over all of creation, He uses His power to bring all mankind to see His glory and worship Him and in everything He alone deserves praise.
This great God sent us His son Jesus Christ to come and live a sinless life among us and to die a death for no fault of His but only to pay for our sins and create a way for us to atone with God.
The choice we have today is between living life on our own terms being our own Gods but facing judgment from God for that choice or living in complete submission to Jesus Christ and being blessed by God for accepting His yoke.
In His Loving Service,
Hebrews 3:12-13 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
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