DAY 122 - BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE EXODUS
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them
Exodus 10: 1
Have a look again at our main Reading for today - Exodus 10: 1. It is surely one of the most difficult passages to comprehend and accept.
A common question I hear is about this story and concerns the repeated theme of Pharaoh’s “hard heart.” Sometimes we’re told Pharaoh hardens his own heart against the will of God, but other times we see that it is God who hardens Pharaoh's heart. What's really going on here?
To answer this we have to go back to Moses' commissioning, which we read about in Exodus 3-6. At this time God told Moses that He already knows that Pharaoh will resist the demand to let His people go.
19But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. 20So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let them go.
As you read on, you’ll notice a fascinating pattern emerge. In the first five plagues that God sends on Egypt, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart happens by his own will, or is again ambiguous, just as we saw in the opening scene. In the last five plagues, the pattern changes and is mostly said to be caused by God Himself.
God gave Pharaoh many opportunities to humble himself, repent and honour God. After that, it was game over. He couldn't have softened his heart even if he wanted to.
This is just how God will treat us. He will give you many opportunities to turn away from your evil ways but if you persist in rebellion and disobedience, you will find yourself facing an implacable God who will allow you to face the full reality of your choices and actions
God is gracious and slow to anger, yes - but don't put Him to the test. Repent while you can.
Thank You, Lord, that You are bigger than I am. There are moments and events that I don’t understand but thank You that You are always just and always good.
For the family
Share with your children in an appropriate way an area where you haven’t been able to understand what God is doing in a situation - yet are still able to trust Him.