Day 9

Thursday, February 25
Exodus 9:1-11:10

In today’s reading of Exodus 9:1-11:10, Moses comes to Pharaoh with more warnings as we see the plagues continue.

When my son was 6, we watched “The Prince of Egypt”. He was so fascinated by Pharaoh. He asked questions I couldn’t keep up with. “Pharaoh was a smart nice dad who loved Moses at the beginning of the movie. Why would he fight God? Why did he have slaves?  Mom, he had everything he wanted. His house was so cool. Maybe he was powerful and didn’t think he needed God anymore.” Oof! Good job, kid!

Not only does Pharaoh personify a dynasty built on the backs of slaves; but when you look deeper into today’s reading, you’ll see he embodies human rebellion against God. He would not accept God’s authority.
Do you notice at this point of the plagues, Pharaoh’s heart shifts from being “unyielding”? He hardened his heart and would not humble himself before God. Yet we see he asked Moses for forgiveness. He verbalizes permission for God’s people to be set free…only to go back on his word again. Hearts are fickle; but after many interactions with Moses, Pharaoh seemed to pass the point of no return. It is interesting that at this point, God also hardens Pharaoh’s heart and allows the last few plagues, ‘bringing God’s full glory into view’.
Have you wrestled with this? Was this stubbornness orchestrated by Pharaoh or God hardening his heart?
Tim Mackie sums it up well by gently writing, “The fact that God can steer evil towards his purposes does not mean he engineered it. Even the most heinous and absurd forms of human evil are not a true threat to God’s purposes.”

These stories may seem antiquated and hard to relate to. Let’s explore with some questions:
-What does this quote look like for our generation?
-Do we choose to harden our hearts to certain truths or to God?
-What kind of spiritual path could hardening our hearts take us down?
-What could happen if we continue to reject God over and over?

Prayer: “Lord, may we not harden our hearts as we hear Your voice. May we keep our hearts tender for Your word, Your truths, and the hope we find in You. God, keep us close, deliver us from what our minds are enslaved to, and do not leave us to our own desires; even though we struggle stubbornly for them. Guide us today and let us contemplate these questions and the nature of our own hearts. It’s in your Son’s name we pray, Amen.”

Reflection by Dallis Meyer

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