Here we are, all the way into the sixth of ten plagues that the Lord is going to unleash on Egypt and Pharaoh has continually hardened his heart and not released the Israelites. However, it seems as if God is now ready to up the playing stakes and change the rules. Exodus 9:12 says that the “LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses” How can this be? It seems as if God was using Pharaoh to accomplish His purposes. Again, we see in Exodus 10:16-20, Pharaoh is suffering from a half-hearted worldly sorrow for his land being demolished from locusts. Moreover, Pharaoh regaining his amnesia and not releasing the people is again hardened by the LORD. The story does not end well for Pharaoh as we read in Chapter 12:29-32 as he and his people have suffered devastating loss. However, even after this, Pharaoh takes one last feeble attempt at accepting defeat and half-hearted repentance and demands that Moses “bless him also.” It seems that Pharaoh was dead wrong about the sovereignty of God and what he was capable of. I wonder if we, sometimes, might be guilty of the same offense.
Questions for further thought:
1. How did Pharaoh gravitate toward deifying (making Godlike) man and humanizing God with his negative responses toward Moses’ repeated requests?
2. How am I sometimes like Pharaoh?
Challenge: Take time to read Exodus 1-13 and study the responses of Pharaoh and his relentless pursuit of his own agenda. However, God had other plans and worked them out for the good of the Israelite people.
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