Today's Manna

February 13, 2017
Hard-Hearted
by Matt Alvarado
Scripture Reading: Exodus 8

In Exodus 8, Pharaoh continued his stubborn, heart-hardened ways in response to the plagues from God. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to give a complete demonstration of His power and glory.

The second plague involved a plague of frogs, which God sent after Pharaoh refused to heed Moses' warning to let God’s people go. The Egyptian magicians were able to imitate the plague of frogs, but they couldn’t make it stop, so Pharaoh entreated Moses to call upon God to end the plague. Moses gave Pharaoh the opportunity to select the time for the plague to end. This way Pharaoh would have to acknowledge the power of the one true God. Moses cried out to God to make the plague stop, and the frogs died. The people piled the dead frogs into massive, smelly heaps that made the whole land stink.

In the third plague God caused the dust of the land to turn to lice - hyperbole to stress the extent and intensity of the plague. This time Pharaoh and his magicians were not prepared, and could do nothing to make lice appear. The lice covered both man and beast. Pharaoh's magicians then acknowledged that the plague was “the finger of God," but Pharaoh refused to give credit where it was due, hardening his heart even further.

In the fourth plague, the Lord sent thick swarms of flies all throughout Egypt, but He left the Israelite land of Goshen untouched. Pharaoh agreed to let the children of Israel offer sacrifices as long as they stayed in Egypt to do so, but this was unacceptable to Moses. Pharaoh finally agreed to let the people go and asked Moses once again to intercede to God to make the plague stop. At Moses’ request the Lord stopped the swarms, but Pharaoh hardened his heart again and did not keep his promise.

By this point in time, Pharaoh knew he couldn’t win, but he was too full of pride to just admit defeat because of how hard his heart had become. His sin and decision making not only hurt him, but the consequences were felt by the entire country. Ultimately, God's will was accomplished in Egypt, He was glorified, and the Egyptian gods were exposed as nothing but dumb idols, in spite of Pharaoh's best efforts to the contrary.

God will always accomplish His will. Nothing or no one can stop what He wants to do. There will never be a nation big enough or powerful enough to stop God physically or spiritually. The sooner we come to the realization that God is God and we are not, the better off we will be.

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