Daily Readings and Thought for February 4th. “BUT THE LORD HARDENED PHARAOH’S HEART”
We thought about this for some time. How do we understand the references in today’s ch. 10 of Exodus. We read, “But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” (v.1,10,27) Can God blame man for what God does – if that is the way to understand this? Notice how Moses conveys the message of the LORD (i.e. Yahweh/Jehovah) to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews; how long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?” [v.3]
Pharaoh refused to recognise the power of the one and only God. In the time of Joseph God’s power had been fully recognised as a result of the 7 years of famine and then of plenty. Then we read in Exodus 1 v.8 “Now there arose a new king over Egypt that did not know Joseph” and the situation changed. To restore the spirit of knowing and fearing the only real God was surely part of the purpose of God in sending the plagues. God saw that a Pharaoh would ne “raised up” whose attitude and pride would cause this to happen.
We can see a more recent parallel to this. When printing was invented, the first book printed in nearly every language was the Bible! There was a celebration of 400 years since the King James Version of the Bible was first printed, but not many took any notice. Four Centuries ago there was a wonderful change in the attitudes of many people; the world became more spiritual; laws were influenced by the principles set out in the laws that were read in the Bible. The R.C. Church tried to resist this but the reformation movement, fed by the reading of the Bible, spread throughout the world. People at last read for themselves what God had really done and said.
The effect of this reformation movement came to an end during the 20th Century; now a generation or two have come into being who largely do not know the Bible. Sadly a few read the Bible to get power and influence for themselves and distort what it says in trying to find in it things they want to believe; hearts have been hardened!.
The stage is set therefore, for God to bring another series of plagues on the earth, to show his power to Godless man, so that once again people will be aware of the true God, but it will require one last dramatic act of God to really cause them to wake up – and that surely will be the return of Christ to rule the earth.