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October 16, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Mark 4-5
Audio: Mark 4-5

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

All the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.”
(Exodus 12:50 ESV)

Exodus 7 (ESV)

And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lordcommanded them. Now Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron eighty-three years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent. 16 And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.” But so far, you have not obeyed. 17 Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.”’” 19 And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”

20 Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. 21 And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the Nile.

25 Seven full days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.

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Next: Exodus 8

Back: Exodus 6

This Post Has One Comment
  1. But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Exodus 7:3-4

    God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility

    There are many people who identify as Christians that either ignore or outright refuse to believe a loving God would harden someone's heart or pour out His wrath and judgment on people and condemn them to hell. I've heard people who attend church every week and are even in positions of leadership (with high visibility) who refuse to believe God would act in such "horrific" ways. Sadly, many "christian" authors peddle these increasingly popular (but unbiblical) views. 

    It's clear that we're living in the days Paul wrote to Timothy about in 2 Timothy 4:3, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions." The time is clearly here.

    May people find no problem being God's judge but they refuse to accept God as their judge. This proves just how deceived even well-intended people can be. Ignorant? Maybe. But deceived none the less. No matter what anyone thinks, God is a righteous judge and will judge the living and the dead. Those outside of Christ will be judged according to their sins for rejecting the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. God will also judge believers for the works we have done in the name of Christ.

    When we think of God being "unfair" for the way He executes His will on humanity, do we ever think how loving, merciful and gracious God is to soften Moses and Aaron's heart and give them the desire to follow Him and do all that he commanded? Without God moving in my life and in yours, we would never turn to God. We would never follow Him or obey Him. 

    The default posture of fallen man towards God is that of an enemy. Unless God moves in our lives, we would never seek Him or desire Him. We certainly would have no interested in humbling ourselves before Him as Lord over our lives. 

    If we feel God is unjust, we're not alone. The Apostle Paul addressed this issue in Romans 9:14-16, "What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy." 

    In these verses, Paul is referencing Exodus 33 and is explaining to the church at Rome (and us) God's sovereignty in relation to His character. 

    Paul then goes on to reference Exodus 9 when he writes in Romans 9:17, "For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.'"

    Then Paul drives this point home in Romans 9:18-24, "So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?"

    While God is ultimately the cause of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, it's important to note that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Although God is sovereign, we, like Pharaoh are responsible for what we say and what we do.

    When we look at the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, here are Scripture references provided by The Gospel Coalition (TGC) which shows God hardening Pharaoh's heart and Pharaoh hardening his own heart:

    • Three times Yahweh declares that he will harden Pharaoh’s heart (Ex. 4:21; 7:3; 14:4).
       
    • Six times Yahweh actually hardens Pharaoh’s heart (Ex. 9:12; 10:1; 10:20; 10:27; 11:10; 14:8).
       
    • Seven times the hardening is expressed as a divine passive with Yahweh as the implied subject, i.e., Pharaoh’s heart “was hardened” by Yahweh (Ex. 7:13; 7:14; 7:22; 8:19; 9:7; 9:35; 14:5).
       
    • And three times we are told that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Ex. 8:15; 8:32; 9:34).

    Here is the article by Justin Taylor on the TGC's website for further reading:

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/the-hardening-of-pharoahs-heart/

    What comes to mind when we read about God hardening Pharaoh's heart?

    Do we ask ourselves why He didn't soften Pharaoh's heart? 

    Does it trouble us when we read Paul's explanation of God's sovereignty from Romans 9?

    Are we God's judge?

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