January 24, 2013

Today’s Reading: Exodus 9-11

Today’s Headlines: The test of wills between God and Pharaoh continues. Pharaoh tells them they can leave, then changes his mind. God keeps sending horrible plagues: Cattle Disease, Boils, Hail, Locusts, and announces one last plague, the death of all firstborn.

It is difficult to believe Pharaoh held out as long as he did. He reminds me of an insane tyrant. Even his servants said, “Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed” (10:7)?  Sometimes it says God “hardened his heart” and other times it seems to be his own stubborn personality (8:32, 9:34).  Why do you think he refused to let them go? Are we ever like Pharaoh, turning to God when times are tough, but when things get better forgetting our vow?


Filed under Old Testament

7 Responses to January 24, 2013

  1. Jackie

    I think I would have let them go sooner. Especially when Egypt was so decimated and they could see that the Israelite’s in Goshen had not been visited with the plagues. They could surely see that there was a Higher Power behind these disasters.

    However Pharaoh had over 2 million Israelite’s to serve as slaves and build up his empire. Power is an intoxicating thing and Pharaoh didn’t want to lose his source of free labor.

    Can we make a parallel to how difficult it was to rid this country of slavery back during the Civil War?

  2. Sandy Steinman

    I don’t believe that there is any question that God allowed Pharaoh to have what he wanted- a hardened heart.

    The other issue as to why Pharaoh would agree to let them go and then change his mind is very interesting. When Pharaoh acknowledged God’s powers by saying ” I have sinned this time. The Lord is righteous and I and my people are wicked” sound like a great victory. These are picture perfect words of repentance from Pharaoh, but true repentance hasn’t worked its way into his heart. Pharaoh is grieved at the consequences of sin, but not the sin itself..

  3. Hayden

    Pharaoh is a stubborn beast. I would have let the people go before the gnats…God hardened Pharaoh’s heart because he wanted to show the Israelites and Egyptians who’s Boss.

  4. Mary K

    Pharaoh wanted to prove to the Egyptians and Israelites that he was smarter and more powerful than God. Of course he failed. I very much appreciate God’s remark that he could wipe them off the face of the earth in one swoop, but He chose this way to establish belief. The thousands and thousands of years He has spent since the fall of Eden demonstrating to people He is who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do, so that mankind can believe and be restored, takes my breath away. Because He could have wiped us off the face of the earth in one swoop, too.

  5. We are easily guilty in behavior similar to Pharaoh, sorrowful when we are experiencing hardship, especially hardship as a result of our sins, and forgetful of God during prosperity regardless if the prosperity is authentic and good or the prosperity is illicit. Or maybe it is just me.

    If we don’t give God the glory for the good prosperity, then we sleight our love towards God.

  6. Pharaoh was considered a god and considered himself god. Seems this was an attack on his kingdom and godhead and he would use any subterfuge he could. A crazy tyrant I think is a good analogy. Don’t think God had to do much to harden his heart and knew that. All the plagues and death didnt seem to matter to him for long.
    God could indeed show His power and might to future generations in taking care of this generation.

  7. Carol

    I agree with Susan. This is a true power struggle. Pharaoh believes he is more powerful than God. He refuses to be humble. Being humble would show weakness in his mind as the king of Egypt. Don’t we see this played out daily in work, government and all walks of life. As Christians our first priorty to others is serving rather than being served.

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