Thus far we’ve seen a staff turned into a snake, water turned into blood, a plague of frogs, a plague of gnats, and a plague of flies. Exodus Chapter 9 brings us a plague on livestock. God really enjoys hardening the Pharaoh’s heart so He can test out his new plagues!
“And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.” – Exodus 9:6-7
Given that God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart, God is not putting this plague on the people as a punishment. God is doing it as some sick game that the people can do nothing about. The Pharaoh has no choice in the matter.
“So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on people and animals. The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils that were on them and on all the Egyptians. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses.” – Exodus 9:10-12
And God continues hardening the Pharaoh’s heart so the Pharaoh once again has no choice.
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” – Exodus 9:16
Wow! God fully admits he is setting up the Pharaoh. I guess this is one approach to show power. The other, simpler approach, would be to go the Pharaoh and say, hey, I’m God, and I’m powerful. But who am I to correct this “amazing” God? 🙂
“When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt; hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.” – Exodus 9:23-24
God continues his evil game against the people of Egypt.
“When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts.” – Exodus 9:34
No. God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart. If the Pharaoh’s heart requires hardening by God, it is clear that the Pharaoh would have let Moses’ people go long ago. The only thing keeping the people in Egypt is God.
That concludes Exodus Chapter 9. God continues to harden the Pharaoh’s heart and continues raining destruction down on the people of Egypt. It’s a sick game that God refuses to stop.
Coming Soon: Exodus – Chapter 10: The Plague of Locusts