The frogs go right after the Egyptian god Heqet. She had a frog head and was supposedly the goddess of birth. As soon as Pharaoh gets some relief, he goes back to his stubborn position. Last Sunday at church Doug talked about indifference and how it goes against what God calls us to do. This popped into my head when I thought about Pharaoh and his hard heart. He was totally indifferent to God. He was uncaring and aloof.
The gnats or mosquitos where an attack on Set, the god of the dessert and against the Priesthood of Egypt. The priests prided themselves on being ceremonially clean, but with a bunch of bugs flying around that would have made them unclean. With this one even Pharaoh’s magicians know that God is at work. Pharaoh remains stubborn and indifferent.
The plague of flies goes after Re, a sun God, and Uatchit who was represented by a fly. God shows mercy to His chosen people. This plague is bothersome enough that it causes Pharaoh to offer a compromise. But you don’t get to compromise with God…ask me how I know. And again, even though Moses warned him, Pharaoh changed his mind and went back on his word.
The livestock plague goes after Hathor, goddess with a cow head and Apis the bull god of fertility. He again shows mercy to Israel and spares their animals. And Pharaoh, even though he saw it with his own eyes, remained stubborn.
The boils plague goes after Sekhmet, goddess with power over disease, Sunu, the pestilence god and Isis, goddess of healing. Everyone had boils. Some people get concerned because they say, “Wait all the animals just died, how are there animals left.” Well, these plagues were not all in one week. Months go on in between them so purchasing of more animals and breeding probably went on. After this plague we see the God does in fact harden Pharaoh’s heart.
The Hail plague goes after Nut, the sky goddess, Osiris goddess of crops and fertility and Set, the god of storms. In the warning about this plague God is clear with Pharaoh. He says that all of this is happening so that the Earth will know God’s power and fame. Even Pharaoh’s officials could not remain indifferent anymore. The hail was a devastation everywhere except Goshen. And then look what happens! A confession of sin from Pharaoh! People get so worried about God hardening Pharaoh’s heart but look what that hardening produced! Pharaoh says, “I have sinned this time, the Lord is the Righteous one, and my people and I are wrong!” God accomplished exactly what he wanted to, they knew He was LORD. If it takes a hardening of the heart to produce that, then hardening a heart is an act of mercy from where I sit. It made Pharaoh realize his error in thinking.
The bad news is, Pharaoh had an opportunity to deny himself and follow the LORD, but as soon as the emergency had ended he went right back to serving himself. They sinned again and became stubborn. Pharaoh preferred to be indifferent to God. God lovingly brought him to confession, and he turned the other way, just like God said he would.
Matthew 19: 13-30
Jesus reminds us again to be like the little children. That is too simple for everyone so someone says, “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?” Isn’t that the question we all ask ourselves? What do I have to to do to get in? We then get to see Jesus systematically dismantle that worldview, just like the plagues with the Egyptian worldview.
Jesus says follow the commandments, Jesus knows we can’t.
The guy says “which ones,” because he knows he can’t follow the commandments.
Jesus lists a few commandments knowing this guys heart and knowing he has not followed them.
The guys says, “oh, yeah, I have done that!” I am perfect! But he knows something is still missing.
Jesus goes to the heart of this guys worldview—his money and his stuff. He says, give all that up and follow me!
This guy would have done every good deed Jesus asked him to do, but the one thing he had to do to get the eternal life he wanted was not what he wanted to give. He worshipped his stuff.
And Jesus proves to us that just because you are affluent and have money does not mean you are right with God. In fact your affluence can keep you from knowing your need for Jesus. And Peter, bless him, knows they have given up much and wants to know what his return on investment will be. Jesus promises us, that whatever we do without and give up here on earth will be returned 100X in the eternal kingdom. This flies in the face of our culture that says affluence is the sign of God’s blessing. Don’t fall for the stuff and money, fall for Jesus instead. He is telling us that being like little children is what He is asking of us.
Gosh, I could not make this up! Look at how this Psalm proves Jesus’ point in the section above! “The Earth is the Lords and everything in it!” We get sucked into “that is MINE.” God says, NO! It’s MINE, I made it all. And to add to Jesus’ point David reminds us that the only ones who are right with God are the ones that have pure hands and pure hearts. If you are worshiping the idol of “good deeds,” you are missing the mark.
Proverbs 6: 1-5
My enjoyment of this next section of proverbs will be obvious. Jesse and I teach Dave Ramsey’s FPU and Proverb 6 is our battle cry. This proverb teaches that debt, even to help a friend, is BAD.