Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country.
Today’s word (Word Of Reflection Daily) begins just before God passes through the land of Egypt killing firstborn sons and firstborn male animals. It begins also just before Pharaoh finally relents. Allowing Moses, Aaron and all the people of Israel to leave Egypt and leave quickly as possible.
In meditating over today’s passage the thought which comes to mind is God is a God of love who allows us to make choices. Who gives us freewill. Thus, it isn’t that God forces Pharaoh to reject him. To be prideful/stubborn. To harden his heart. Rather, God actually gives him chance after chance and opportunity after opportunity to change his mind. To accept him. Ezekiel 33:11 affirms this by saying, “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” However, perhaps because of pride and stubbornness, Pharaoh’s heart continues to harden through the first six plagues until God finally says no more and then passes judgement. Doesn’t this seem familiar and strike a chord in our own heart? Something you and I can so relate to. Whereby, God asks us more than once to do something, give up something, help someone, share our resources, forgive, apologize, love and/or say something yet we ignore him, refuse his promptings or say/think maybe later.
Hence, my take away today is remembering often Proverbs 28:14 which says succinctly well, “…the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.” Furthermore remembering, Proverbs 16:18 which says, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.”