God is his mercy gives us the reason why he is hardening Pharaoh’s heart. He says it is so He can show Pharaoh and his officials his miraculous signs. I don’t know about you but I am so thankful for a God who will go to those lengths to show us who He is. You see, salvation is with the Lord. We have to remember that this whole book is God’s story of redemption. He has to show us who He is so that we know He has the power to save us. Also please note that this “hardening of Pharaoh and his official’s heart” did not stop them from repenting knowing they were sinning. Pharaoh’s officials are begging him to let the slaves go!
So with his hardened heart in place, Pharaoh still tries to compromise and get around actually letting them go. As a result the locust come. Last fall in Rockwall we had a cricket bloom. This means that the crickets swarmed to not normal numbers. It was the worst thing in the world. Trying to sit at football games was gross, walking and trying not to step on any became a joke, and then one lone one would get inside and make his presence know at 3 am. (chirp, chirp) The only animals around here that were happy were the chickens. They were living their best lives because it was like the Golden Corral All You Can Eat Buffet 24/7. This is just a small taste of what the locust in Egypt would have been like. The locust prove that Nut, the goddess of the sky and Osiris, god of crops and fertility are not real. (I may have called Osiris a goddess yesterday, my apologies to the fake god)
The darkness comes after another cycle of Pharaoh saying they can go and then God hardening his heart so he changes his mind. Also at some point with the hardening of the heart business we have to admit that Pharaoh is just reaping what he has sowed in the previous plague cycles. At some point when you deny God enough you will in fact be hard hearted. The darkness plague goes after the Re, Horus, Nut and Hathor. Re was their ultimate Sun God, it was who Pharaoh supposedly represented on earth. How wrong they were.
Pharaoh refuses to let them go again, and now we have the death of the first born. The first born in Egypt was a really big deal. It attacks several gods. Heqet, Isis, and Min, all gods of some form of reproduction. But the biggest blow to the Egyptian worldview is that Pharaoh’s first born son was considered a god. So the fact that God is able to take his life proves that He is the One and Only God of the earth.
Before we see this plague happen, God institutes Passover. This is what I geek out about. All the way back here in history God is teaching them about who Jesus is and what He will do for them. So many symbolic things go into this passover feast. The death of a spotless lamb, the bitter greens to mark sorrow, and bread without leaven or yeast (Paul tells us leaven was a symbol of sin, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”). Most notably the blood required to mark them as Gods people. Even the way God told them to smear it on the door was a symbol of Jesus because it looked like a cross. How can you not love this God! Already teaching His people how He is going to save them eternally, in the midst of saving them temporally. Oh what a savior!
Matthew 20: 1-28
Man oh man, Jesus has my number. Thank God that He tells stories to show us our sinfulness. I am the worker hired in the morning who labors all day and is watching out of the corner of my eye as these other bums, who probably slept in, get hired on. As I am working I think to myself, I am so much better then them, I am such a Proverbs 6:6 worker. I know the landowner is going to be so much more pleased with me that he will pay me more than these other losers. Guys, that thinking does not hold water in God’s economy. You will be left empty handed if you think you are the be all and end all. Last will be first and first will be last. Don’t be mad when God is kind to others. God has enough kindness to go around. You don’t have to prove you are better than everyone else to secure his kindness. In fact if you go around like James and John and get your mommy to ask if you can have the seat of power, God will most likely humble you. Pursing the seat of power is what the World does, He wants us to be different. He actually does deserve the seat of power and He chose to die like a criminal at the hands of the Romans.
Psalms 25: 1-15
This is a Psalm that celebrates the many attributes of God and our devotion to him. Here is what is cool. Bible Knowledge Commentary says this is an Acrostic Psalm, meaning that each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. David wrote this so it was easy to memorize. They could recite it when they needed to be reminded of His character, they could just go through their alphabet!
Proverbs 6: 6-11
As much as I would like to use this Proverb to justify my self-righteous over achiever-ness (See above), it is actually talking about being like an ant in the way that they don’t wait for someone to tell them what to do, they just get ‘er done no matter what. Being proactive and prepared is what keeps you from poverty. Being lazy and not anticipating needs of your life will result in poverty.
Have a great day!