Devotion on Exodus, chapter 10, 3 December 2014 Anno Domini (Year of our Lord)
1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: 2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.
Do you know that God always warns us before bringing judgment? There is a fearful general warning in Ezekiel that applies to all: “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezek 18:4) Judgment has already been decreed upon the unrepentant sinner – it simply awaits God’s good time in execution. God did not create the hard heart of Pharaoh – He simply made righteous appeal that He knew Pharaoh would rebel against, being evil. God turns even the bad into the good for His people. Let me provide an illustration: There is an interesting account of a mission church in Japan that was built by stones that were hurled against its members in years gone by. When the first construction began, mobs appeared and threw stones at the Christians. This continued for many weeks until finaly a peace was reached. When the time of peace came, the Christians picked up the stones and worked them into their building. God is able to make the wrath of man praise Him. Anonymous
We find that God warns, and sends, the sixth and seventh judgment against Egypt in this chapter. It might be useful to point out that every soul in Egypt was not evil as was their king. Even the magicians had admitted the power of God, yet Pharaoh refused to acknowledge it. What lesson is couched in this narrative? It is that wicked rulers bring judgment upon a nation even when the people may not be wicked. In America, the innocent suffer along with the wicked the ungodly rule of a despotic leader.
GOD’S WARNING: “3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. 4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: 5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: 6 And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.” (Ex 10:3-6)
RESPONSE OF PHAROAH’S SERVANTS: “7 And Pharaoh’s servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?” (Ex 10:7) Noteworthy is the fact that the servants of Pharaoh recognized the true power of God and had even the courage to speak the same before Pharaoh.
DUPLICITY OF PHARAOH: Bad government will yield to allow the elderly to continue to worship God, but the state wishes to retain the young for their own ends. “9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD. 10 And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. 11 Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.” (Ex 10:9-11) Pharaoh insists on keeping the young ones of Israel.
GOD SENDS LOCUST: Sin is like a canker sore. It makes life miserable and eats away at our living tissue. God will send a plague much like the canker sore against Egypt to eat away their living substance of produce – the locust! “12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. 13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. 15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.” (Ex 10:12-15) A rebellious nation is always darkened by sin. Life is eaten away, and the shadows lengthen.
“16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only. 18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and intreated the LORD.” (Ex 10:16-18) Do you believe that Pharaoh truly repented? You may think my assessment to be incredible, for I do believe that Pharaoh repented. He repented in the same way as did Judas who was damned to eternal darkness: “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, (Matt 27:3) Pharaoh repented for his own safety and benefit, not out of a true love of God. His repentance was temporary as is that of many in modern Christianity. It begins with fear, and ends in personal greed instead of love of God. “19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.” (Ex 10:19-20) Anything less than an enduring repentance is not acceptable to the Lord.
GOD SENDS TOTAL DARKNESS ON THE LAND:
Since the heart of Pharaoh was already spiritually devoid of the slightest ray of light, God would send a physical darkness to match his dark heart – so thick that it could be FELT! “21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” (Ex 10:21-23) It is amazing the power of a dark heart over a man’s soul and mind. The remarkable miracles and plagues of the Lord are dismissed by Pharaoh. It is happening today in government and academia.
If forced into it, the secular power will allow us a limited worship of God, but it will deprive us of the resources to do so effectively. “24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.” (Ex 10:24) “And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.” (Ex 10:25-26) Please note that the man of God is uncompromising with evil. This flies in the face of modern politics, doesn’t it?
“27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. 28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die. 29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.” (Ex 10:27-29) Indeed, Pharaoh would not see Moses again. A great sorrow and grief lies between this meeting and the forcible expulsion of the Children of Israel from Egypt. The final warning from God would be relayed by Moses to the servants of Pharaoh who will inform their king of the final and most tragic plague. It will be a lasting sign to us, and to all, of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Pascal Lamb.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.