Tuesday, April 23, 2013

God’s Intentions for Performing His Signs (the Plagues) on Egypt -- Exodus 10:1-2


Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians, and how I performed My signs among them; that you may know that I am the Lord.”
 
It is interesting that after the seventh plague God momentarily suspends His focus on Pharaoh (and what all these plagues are intended to show him and the Egyptians) and focuses once more directly on Moses, Aaron, and the children of Israel explaining His intentions for them in all this display of His powers.  He shares with Moses that He is performing these signs of His among the Egyptians in order that Moses (and it is assumed other men of Israel) will be able to tell their sons and their grandsons (and other future generations) of what God did for them.
Backtracking just slightly, we note that God here also says that not only did He harden Pharaoh’s heart, but He also hardened the heart “of his servants”.  Commentators seem to be, for the most part, silent on this.  In trying to find some basis for this phrase, my search took me back to a phrase I had missed in Genesis 9:34 – the immediately prior portion of Scripture we looked at in this study.  That verse reads as follows, “But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.  And our current passage tells us that God had a hand in that as well.  When God pursues His plan for His people and His Church, and requires them to overcome the enemy, we can be sure that while one man may be pivotal in the plot, many others who have a similar heretical view of the Almighty often abet him.  I believe we are seeing this in various governments around the world today.  The Enemy first cultivates his leaders and then works on getting them followers to accomplish his work.  We see this principle at work in the cabinets of some governments around the globe.  And so it was in the case of Pharaoh and his servants.
We know that God will not be mocked.  But here we also see the Almighty telling us that He wants us to know and remember how He “made a mockery” of the Egyptians.  Now one may challenge that as being unlike the character of God, or unfair given His advantage, and so on.  May I suggest that if one is tempted to do so, there is a possibility that he/she has not understood the Sovereignty of God and Who He really is.  Also, God does not always choose to mock His adversaries without cause.  He seems to do so when they mock Him and we clearly saw signs of this earlier in Exodus.  In Exodus 5:2 we read of Pharaoh asking, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?  I do not know the Lord….”  And Pharaoh also displayed a type of mockery when he twice said, “I will let you go, just stop the plague” and then twice changed his mind.  We cannot play like that with the Almighty.
There is currently a well-known song called How Great Is Our God that comes to mind as being most relevant here.  I share the lyrics with you below.  You can hear Chris Tomlin sing his song at this url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKLQ1td3MbE .
The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God
I think it is important for us, as it was for Moses and the children of Israel at the time, to realize that what God did from the beginning of time, including how He ultimately freed His people from the bondage of the Egyptians, and how He continued to bless them, then providing them (and us) with a Savior, as well as what He still does for us – all of it is a series of facts that need acknowledging, sharing, and explaining to all generations.  We have been tasked with that great responsibility but also that great honor and opportunity to be messengers of God’s involvement in the world.
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