The first three plagues fall upon Israel too. They have to share the flies, gnats and frogs, the water turning into blood. We too have to share in the disasters that fall upon our people, even as Jesus shared. Faith is no lucky charm, but a trust in the person and character of the Lord.
“But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.”
“But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.”
“But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.”
This passage brings us close up against a very important truth to wrestle with.
God’s sovereign will at work through our responsibility.
Pharaoh was responsible for his sin, as we all are. He determined to harden his heart, to reject God and His ways, and to continue to oppress God’s people.
This is on Pharaoh, and he will be called to account on judgement day.
But too, God is at work. He hardened the heart of Pharaoh.
How can these two things both be true? How can a loving God harden people’s hearts?
Because He is God. He has written the names of His people in the Lamb’s book of life from before the foundation of the world.
The gospel is an offense to those in darkness. The very idea of the LORD, God Almighty, it causes great reactions in those who are dead in their sin.
Pharaoh chose to walk in unbelief, hardening his heart against God. And God chose in His sovereign will to harden the heart of Pharaoh.
Both of these things are true. Paul explores this in Romans 9.
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
* Sovereign God,
You are perfect, without fault. Your word is perfect, inerrant and infallible.
Please write Your word on our hearts today, that we might not sin against You.
Please show us what You want us to know today.
Please help us as we read of Pharaoh, the hardening of his heart.
Show us the truth of Your Sovereignty working through our responsibility.